Germany Will Now Allow Some Nazi Symbols in Video Games

Breaking News
tags: video games, Germany, Nazi

On Thursday, Germany loosened its ban on the use of Nazi symbology in computer and video games — a change that comes as part of a decades-long evolution in how the country has grappled with its own past.

The Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body, which decides on national ratings for computer and video games in Germany, will now allow games with Nazi symbols such as swastikas to be deemed “socially adequate” as long as the the symbols are used for historical accuracy. The move now puts games on an equal footing with films and other works of art, which have likewise been allowed to use the symbols if they were used for accurate historical depictions. (The rule also applies to symbols of other “anti-constitutional” ideas.)

The debate that culminated in the change was sparked by the video game Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. The game depicts an alternate version of history in which the Nazi regime was not defeated in World War II; players must fight to bring the world out of Hitler’s control. However, the German version of the game replaces swastikas with triangles and strips the game’s reality of other historical symbols, including Hitler’s mustache, from the game’s visuals. The precedent for taking Nazi symbols out of games was set in 1998 when a German court ruled that an earlier version of the game, Wolfenstein 3D, could not use any of the symbols. The court ruled that it did not matter that the symbols were located in the areas of the game given to the enemy. “If such a use of prohibited symbols in computer games were permitted,” the court stated, “it would hardly be possible to counteract a development towards their increasing use in public.” ...

Read entire article at Time Magazine

comments powered by Disqus