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A History of Violence
September 3, 2011 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Bethesda Softworks [the current owner of id Software] argued that the game's crude graphics had been surpassed by many modern titles and, as a result, the violence it depicted had far less of an impact.

As of 1 September, Germany has lifted it's 17-year ban on sales of DOOM ((previously)though not regarding the physical media) to minors. DOOM II, which contains several swastika-laden levels from Wolfenstein (previously), however, will still remain verboten.
posted by obscurator (34 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, tits and ass fine, violence and swastikas not fine, that's the deal in ole Germany.
Kinda impressive that they got the busybodies to lift the ban on the first part at all.
posted by ZeroAmbition at 1:55 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, tits and ass fine, violence and swastikas not fine

Where does that leave Duke Nukem 3d?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:59 PM on September 3, 2011


Technically, ZeniMax owns id and Bethesda, but ZeniMax was a shell company created in order for Bethesda to take in new capital and acquire other companies.
posted by michaelh at 2:01 PM on September 3, 2011


Strangely enough, I distinctly remember spending whole nights playing Doom in Germany 17 years ago. Like most of my fellow students, as a matter of fact. I didn't even remember there was a ban...
We also played Quake, Duke Nukem and even Wolfenstein, naughty, naughty us. These bans are not very effective, I'm afraid...
posted by Skeptic at 2:02 PM on September 3, 2011


Ah, it was a ban on sales to minors. I nevertheless don't believe it deterred many of them. The total ban on Wolfenstein certainly didn't deter most of the people I knew...
posted by Skeptic at 2:07 PM on September 3, 2011


The law extends beyond just straight up swastikas - the skating brand 'Mystery' has run into issues in Germany thanks to their logo that resembles the 'S' design used by the SS...

Localising WWII shooters for the German market is... interesting to say the least.

Regardless, Doom II is still an awesome game, even so many years after its release.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:13 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Bundesprufstelle said it had relaxed the restrictions because Doom was now "mainly of historical interest" and was far less likely to be played by children.

That's the part that makes me feel old.
posted by straight at 2:17 PM on September 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Lisa, if you don't watch the violence, you'll never get desensitized to it!
posted by 7segment at 2:28 PM on September 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


The law extends beyond just straight up swastikas - the skating brand 'Mystery' has run into issues in Germany thanks to their logo that resembles the 'S' design used by the SS...

The band Kiss had to change their logo for the same reason.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:42 PM on September 3, 2011


(Lisa finishes reading The Raven.)
Bart: Lisa, that wasn't scary, not even for a poem.
Lisa: Well, it was written in 1845. Maybe people were easier to scare back then.
Bart: Oh, yeah. Like when you look at Friday the 13th, part one. It's pretty tame by today's standards.

posted by 445supermag at 2:52 PM on September 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, here in the States you have mega trouble with a little skin showing but the ability to shoot a prostitute in the face? No problem.
posted by caddis at 3:02 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]




to be fair that game looks fucking awesome
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 3:22 PM on September 3, 2011


I really can't argue with censoring violence but allowing sexual content. I mean, I'm not for any censorship but that at least makes SENSE.
Sex is good, violence is bad. Okay, I'm into it.

I don't get the comment at the top equating "tits and ass" with violence. I hope it was a joke and not a breathless "They show tits and ass to children, they're destroying their young people with it, but won't let them see any violence?! What hypocrits!" or something of the sort.
posted by TheKM at 3:49 PM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


slimepuppy - "Localising WWII shooters for the German market is... interesting to say the least."

I'm curious, any examples?

I remember that America's Army, the US Army funded shooter, had Americans vs. Terrorists team play but everybody played Americans except that the "other team" looked like terrorists.
posted by porpoise at 4:20 PM on September 3, 2011


TheKM: "Sex is good, violence is bad. "

I wonder if there are game mods out there that remove the violence and instead use sex as a mediation tool to encourage consensus between all parties.

I could go look on google I suppose, but I'm afraid at what I might find.
posted by vanar sena at 4:45 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the deal here is a little more involved than simply "censoring violence". These are swastikas in Germany.
posted by DU at 5:44 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if there are game mods out there that remove the violence and instead use sex as a mediation tool to encourage consensus between all parties.

Bonobo II: Electric Bugeaboo
posted by edgeways at 6:54 PM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


DOOM II, which contains several swastika-laden levels from Wolfenstein

I had no idea that two secret levels constituted 'several'.

The source code contains support for a version of doom2 with the secret levels removed, and the game text translated to German. I had been under the impression that this was a special version made for the German market for this specific reason. Was it not actually released?
posted by Kalthare at 7:10 PM on September 3, 2011


What did Germany do with the 'Let's Kill Hitler' episode of Doctor Who?

This would be funnier if it didn't sound as bad as what the Aussie government does.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:50 PM on September 3, 2011


The law extends beyond just straight up swastikas - the skating brand 'Mystery' has run into issues in Germany thanks to their logo that resembles the 'S' design used by the SS...

Kiss had to change their logo too.
posted by delmoi at 9:17 PM on September 3, 2011


Localising WWII shooters for the German market is... interesting to say the least.

If it was me, I'd replace the swastikas with big yellow smilies, just for shits an giggles. And instead of Nazis they'd be Happis.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:29 AM on September 4, 2011


Just as with words, when symbols are censored they gain power.

Human beings are stupid.

Also, Doom III was boring and predictable. I have spoken.
posted by Decani at 1:43 AM on September 4, 2011


Also, I had no idea that Id software had been sold. Happened in 2009, apparently.
posted by delmoi at 2:31 AM on September 4, 2011


"What did Germany do with the 'Let's Kill Hitler' episode of Doctor Who?"

Unfortunately the BBC does not broadcast in germany.

But if they'd broadcast the episode here, it would be no problem. It is allowed and (sometimes obnoxiously) common to display swastikas in the context of the "social adequacy clause" ยง 86a Abs. 3 i.V.m. ยง 86 Abs. 3 StGB:
"civic education, in defense against unconstitutional efforts, the arts or science, research or teaching, reporting of news or history or similar purposes" (free translation by me).

A discussion when it would serve the arts or not in computer games can be found in this document of the governing body responsible for banning Doom and Wolfenstein, explicitly mentioning the latter. (It says they didn't even consider it under the clause.)
PDF is in german, unfortunately google translate does not work here...
posted by ts;dr at 3:05 AM on September 4, 2011


I wonder if there are game mods out there that remove the violence and instead use sex as a mediation tool to encourage consensus between all parties.

Bonobo II: Electric Bugeaboo Elect to Bugger Who?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:25 AM on September 4, 2011


Just as with words, when symbols are censored they gain power.

Didn't you get the memo? Those "symbols" already have power. They could hardly be more powerful. This is precisely why they are banned in many European countries - not just Germany. Bearing a Swastika or giving the "Heil Hitler" salute in public gets you arrested and fined in Sweden. (But you CAN say FUCK in the radio - something you cannot do in America.)

If every nation would own up to its past as Germany has done, maybe we wouldn't repeat this tragedy every generation or two.
posted by three blind mice at 6:51 AM on September 4, 2011


edgeways: "Bonobo II: Electric Bugeaboo"

"Lovemonkey engaged. Dialectic engine online in 5...4..."
posted by vanar sena at 6:54 AM on September 4, 2011


Unfortunately the BBC does not broadcast in germany.

"Whatever you do, don't mention the war."
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:15 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately the BBC does not broadcast in germany.

"Whatever you do, don't mention the war."


this is about as original and funny as posting the onion article "why do the homosexuals keep sucking my cock" in a thread about homophobia.
posted by ts;dr at 9:48 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


then it deserves a favorite
posted by caddis at 3:07 PM on September 4, 2011


What did Germany do with the 'Let's Kill Hitler' episode of Doctor Who?

They should have just had him replaced with a CGI Davros.
posted by dng at 4:48 PM on September 4, 2011


I wonder if there are game mods out there that remove the violence and instead use sex as a mediation tool to encourage consensus between all parties.

Bonobo II: Electric Bugeaboo

Either a bonobo-themed realtime game or a dynastic marriage strategy game. Or, would those Japanese dating sims count?
posted by hattifattener at 8:46 PM on September 4, 2011


hattifattener: "dynastic marriage strategy game."

The Total War series has this, though of course it's secondary to the war element. I assume it's a much more important part of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, though I could never watch my brother playing it for very long before needing to have a bit of a lie down.
posted by vanar sena at 2:17 PM on September 10, 2011


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