DOOM No Longer Considered Harmful To Children In Germany, Allowed Into The Country

from the did-they-allow-wolfenstein? dept

I’ve heard plenty of things about draconian anti-video game laws in Australia, but I had no idea that Germany had a “Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons,” which had effectively banned such dangerous games as DOOM and DOOM2. It’s not a total ban, as the game can be sold but with significant limitations, which did effectively ban such games. However, it appears that nearly two decades after DOOM came out, Germany has recognized that maybe DOOM isn’t quite so harmful, and it’s been removed from the “index” list. It’s still being designated as 16+, but that, at least, allows the game to be sold in the country.

In the meantime, I’m fascinated by the idea of a Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons. It’s like the official agency of moral panics, where hype and ignorance win out over any form of evidence. What a soulless concept.

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Comments on “DOOM No Longer Considered Harmful To Children In Germany, Allowed Into The Country”

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Thanatossassin (profile) says:

Re: Hmmm

Yep! Return to Castle Wolfenstein as well. I distinctly remember the stern warning when running the demo about the game being illegal in Germany when I was a kid and thought it was due to all of the nazi references.

This moment would only be so much better if a locked chest was unearthed, with dusty copies of doom on 3.5 diskettes being handed out to bewildered kids. (profile) says:

Pot, kettle

In the meantime, I’m fascinated by the idea of a Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons.

As are Germans by the fact the in the US you can show nipples on TV only when they are cut through with a buzzsaw. Reminds me of “The Big C” I saw yesterday with this dialogue:

I saw someone sunbathing naked today.
She was in her backyard, but still, I think,

what if some kid looked over the fence.

Imagine the damage done to the kid!

Luna Loof says:

Last year an even more idiotic version of the treaty that shall protect children and youths from all things dangerous to their development in media was stopped. It would have made it nearly impossible to even set up a blog or forum under German law, as you would have needed to police all your own entries and comments in advance. They would have to have had tags like: Only if you are at least…6, 12, 16 or 18 attached and you would have to decide that on your own. You also would have had people stop seeing content only for the eyes of people over a certain age. Or it would have been only allowed to show stuff for people over 16 after 11 p.m. (in germany or where?!?).

The sad thing is that it wasn’t stopped because politicians realised that it was completely idiotic, but because in one county there was a political fight after a change of government and so the new government didn’t want to be responsible for signing a treaty that the old one had negotiated. Even as their party in other counties has also approved and negotiated it.

And it is not only forbidden to advertise media on it, but some of the lists may not even be published to prohibit those lists becoming advertisements.

And it is also the reason, why there are no German porn companies offering porn to watch on the internet as they have to assure that it is not watched by people under 18. And it is not enough to ask for a pasport number or to make people pay with a credit card, but you need personal contact with them!

Anonymous Coward says:

Guys, I think you are blowing this out of proportions. The BPjS (Bundespr?fstelle f?r jugendgef?hrdende Schriften) is nothing but a rating agency that provides the ratings for TV, Movies and also Videogames, much like other organizations do in America and other countries as well.

It just seems there is a very different opinion as to what is consideren harmful to kids. In Germany it is very prohibitive to visually kill humans, that’s why some games come in a specific German localization, replacing human soldiers with zombies or robots, turning red blood into green fuel.
On the other hand, German regulations are much laxer when it comes to sexuality, since really little harm can come to somebody by seeing somebody naked (I’m not referring to Porn here), at least not to people who own a mirror and might have looked at themselves at some point.

The issue about banning Nazi symbols and swastikas is less about an ostrich mentality, we are well aware of them and what they stand for, it is purely designed to make it harder for ignorant people who actually think they were standing for something good and want to relive those days.

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