×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Germany Lifts Ban on Nazi Imagery in Video Games

Germany is softening its stance against the use of Nazi imagery in computer and video games, the country’s Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) said on Thursday.

The USK will now assign age ratings to games that depict symbols of “unconstitutional organizations” on a case-by-case basis, as long as they serve an artistic or scientific purpose or if they depict current or historical events.

The ruling mostly applies to Nazi symbols, which were banned from entertainment software in the 1990s. Previously, video games depicting Nazis as villains had to remove the offensive content before they were sold on store shelves. In the German version of Bethesda’s 2017 first-person shooter “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus,” for example, the Swastika is replaced with another geometric shape, Hitler’s name is changed to “Heiler,” and his little mustache is missing.

The USK’s ruling now places video games on equal footing with other forms of media that are allowed to use Nazi symbols, like films. The German games industry association Game said it’s actively campaigned for the change for years.

“This new decision is an important step for games in Germany,” said Felix Falk, managing director of Game. “We have long campaigned for games to finally be permitted to play an equal role in social discourse, without exception. Computer and video games have been recognized as a cultural medium for many years now, and this latest decision consistently cements that recognition in terms of the use of unconstitutional symbols as well.”

“We in the games industry are concerned about the tendencies we see towards racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination,” he said. “We are strongly committed to an open, inclusive society, to the values laid out in the German constitution, and to Germany’s historical responsibility. Many games produced by creative, dedicated developers address sensitive topics such as the Nazi era in Germany, and they do so in a responsible way that encourages reflection and critical thinking. The interactive nature of games makes them uniquely qualified to spark contemplation and debate, and they reach younger generations like no other medium can.”

More Gaming

  • jfk mooonshot ar app artwork

    JFK Presidential Library Releases Moon Landing Augmented Reality App

    The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library has released an augmented reality app (AR) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and the role President Kennedy played in getting the U.S. to the moon. The app, which is available for free for iPhones and Android, lets users relive the Apollo 11 mission in their [...]

  • 'Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the

    'Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch' Is Still a Fantastic Anime Adventure

    Six years after it’s original release “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch” is coming back with a Nintendo Switch version and remastered edition on PS4 and PC. It’s time for more long-winded, adorable JRPG action. It’s odd since comparing the new version of the Level-5 developed classic with the original game is pointless [...]

  • ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’ Highlights The

    ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’ Highlights The Mundane Side of The Anime

    There have been dozens and dozens of games based on the popular anime “Dragon Ball Z.” While most focus on recreating the series’s electric fight scenes, very few have explored the more mundane and humorous aspects of the characters’ lives. Fortunately, “Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot” (releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2020) [...]

  • 'Empire of Sin' is a Bloody,

    'Empire of Sin' is a Bloody, Strategic Take on the Criminal Underworld of 1920s Chicago

    When Paradox Interactive and Romero Games announced their new strategy game, “Empire of Sin,” some fans may have been disappointed. They could have wanted another intensely violent and fast-paced game from John Romero, one of the original creators of “Doom.” They shouldn’t be though as ‘Empire of Sin’ is a deep, violent take on criminal [...]

  • 'Marvel's Avengers' is Crystal Dynamics' Indistinct

    'Marvel's Avengers' is Crystal Dynamics' Indistinct Take on a Comic Classic

    After 22 films in the leadup to “Avengers: Endgame,” the culmination of everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe built up towards, you’d think any other take on the classic team of superheroes would fall flat on its face. New faces would be eclipsed by the likes of Chris Evans’ perfect Captain America, Robert Downey Jr.’s dashing [...]

  • The Inner Machinations of John Wick's

    The Inner Machinations of John Wick's Mind

    Many games have you play as a character but very few let you inhabit their psyche. That’s the aim behind “John Wick Hex,” a strategy game that puts you inside the scenarios found by the titular movie character. And if a choreographed action sequence is nothing more than a combination of well thought out punches [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content