Nearly 30 years later, “Wolfenstein 3D” unbanned in Germany
Originally released in 1992, id Software’s Wolfenstein 3D pushed the first-person shooter genre into the mainstream, pacing the way for Doom, Quake, and many other FPS titles that followed. And if you live in Germany, your government has prevented you from playing Wolfenstein 3D until now.
For those unaware, Wolfenstein 3D is a World War II shooter which takes place in Nazi Germany, complete with a mechanized Hitler final boss. It was all of this Nazi imagery, not the violence, that caused the banning of Wolfenstein 3D, as section 86a of Germany’s criminal code prohibits the display or distribution of symbols from “unconstitutional organizations”, which includes symbology associated with extremist ideologies such as Nazism and Communism.
This law is enforced by the German Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle rating board (USK), which either insists on games being altered before release or bans games outright. Wolfenstein 3D found itself on the “banned” list since its release, but has finally been removed the government’s naughty list.
This change of heart has come thanks to the release of a parody fighting game called Bundesfighter 2 Turbo, which features a right-wing politician who transforms into a Swastika as one of his special moves. After the government’s hammer came down, the developers appealed the decision and Germany’s attorney general ruled that video games qualify as art, and are therefore permitted the same exceptions as other forms if artistic expression.
The USK is now conducting”case-by-case examinations” on bans issued under section 86a, and the ban of Wolfenstein 3D has finally been lifted.
Let’s hope this trend continues and that more games become available, because banning stuff? Yeah- That’s the sort of thing that Nazis do.
Source: Tech Raptor
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