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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Department of HomeGame Security.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:30pm

    "What a soulless concept"

    Well parents can't protect their own children, that would be to hard. What good is a TV/computer if you can't just plop a child in front of it and let em go nuts? That is why we have such committees, so we don't have to parent when it isn't convenient.

     

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  3.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:32pm

    Re:

    "Department of HomeGame Security."

    Oh no! Someone attempted to assassinate Lord British with a BFG but accidentally hit Sonic and Tails mid-fornication instead! We must know what's in your inventory at all times!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:34pm

    Hmmm

    Is Wolfenstein banned as well?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    You made an error:

    "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."

    you might want to check on that effectively's effectiveness.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    blaktron (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Re:

    MiB (Men in Blastarmor)

     

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  7.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Don't look at me, I haven't found the BFG yet. I'm still on Knee Deep in the Dead.

     

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  8.  
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    A Dan (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re: You made an error:

    Banned them from being sold legally.

     

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  9.  
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    Thanatossassin (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    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.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Hmmm

    Yes, but more so on it's imagery. Depictions of swastikas and other Nazi symbols are forbidden in Germany. Apparently the preservation of ostrich mentality trumps free expression.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Re: You made an error:

    There's literally a link that responds to this point directly in the sentence immediately following the one you quoted which leaves one with the impression that you stopped reading after the very first sentence. The article isn't even that long...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Someantimalwareguy (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Use the invincibility cheat code and then fire up the chainsaw - very satisfying in a gory way...

     

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  13.  
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    front load washer smell, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Doom

    I've played doom and other so called violent video games all my life and it doesn't make me want to commit crime or and violent acts on others.

     

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  14.  
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    Pitabred (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    I find the concept of "protecting" children from experiences odd. You should be giving safe ways to have experiences, not protecting them from experiencing things. Otherwise you're basically kicking a lot of 18 year old emotional toddlers out of the house to sink or swim, and a lot of them will sink.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:40pm

    My cousin grew up as an army brat in Lars, Germany. When he was 12, he and his friends were not allowed in the local video arcade (needed to be at least 16), so they ended up spending their free time after school at the peeler bars...

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 2:55pm

    It's because of the nazi flag in the game, there are 2 Wolfenstein levels. Germany to this day can't handle the sight of a nazi flag, you can go to jail for the most frivolous reference to anything nazi. Not exactly free speech like their constitution states.

     

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  17.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re: Hmmm

    You all just don't understand: If they don't ban free speech, they might fall back into fascism.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Is Amerikkka really so different?

     

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  19.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 7:41pm

    Probably have kids of their own and everything.

    DOOM No Longer Considered Harmful To Children In Germany

    Of course it isn't. Those kids are all grown up now.

     

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  20.  
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    techflaws.org (profile), Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 10:48pm

    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!

     

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  21.  
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    WysiWyg (profile), Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 2:21am

    Isn't this why they make the blood green in games released in Germany? Or is that just a myth?

     

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  22.  
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    Luna Loof, Sep 3rd, 2011 @ 6:49am

    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!

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    Guys, I think you are blowing this out of proportions. The BPjS (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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