German Censors Approve New Action Game

By Alec Meer on September 1st, 2011 at 4:45 pm.

Freeeeeeeeeedommmmmmmmmmmmm! (If you're sixteen or older)

Are you a German teenager? Then do we have some good news for you! After a short seventeen year-long wait, you are now legally allowed to buy a copy of Doom. And, indeed, Doom can now be stocked in normal shops, not just ones ominously deemed ‘adults-only’ – which was basically putting the game right up there with porn.

As of yesterday, Germany’s Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprufstelle) has removed Doom – and Doom II – from its list of ‘controlled’ games, following an appeal by id’s owners Bethesda. Their reasoning? Because the Bundesprufstelle thinks Doom is ‘now only of artistic and scientific interest and will not appeal to youngsters’, according to the BBC.

WHAT.

Alright, so it’s not Call of cocking Duty, but I’m pretty sure most any youngster could have a good time with good old Doom. I’m pretty sure some of them did, when it re-released on Xbox Live a couple of years back. Lunacy! This is Doom. Doom is a great time.

Still, the important thing is that teenagers are now allowed to buy a brightly-coloured, 2D monster-shooting game from 1993. I know Doom’s success went some way towards damning the mainstream games industry to an often tedious obsession with shooting pretending men, but it sure didn’t deserve a 17-year-long stigma.

All that said – you still can’t buy it if you’re under 16. And any version of the game containing the Wolfenstein 3D secret missions remains ‘controlled’ due to the Nazi stuff in ‘em. Them’s the breaks.

Germans! Are you now able to access the Steam re-release of the game, or do those wheels turn too slowly?

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130 Comments »

  1. TillEulenspiegel says:

    Germans! Are you now able to access the Steam re-release of the game, or do those wheels turn too slowly?

    An error was encountered while processing your request:

    This item is currently unavailable in your region

    I’m gonna go with “no”.

    • Saldek says:

      Oh, worry not. The Bundesprüfstelle will correctly ascertain that Steam might very well advertise those aspects of the game that regrettably aim beyond “artistic and scientific interest” (shooting monsters, cowering in fear, exploring odd, but imaginative worlds) and might entice youngsters to become interested in the game, after all. So, after de-banning Doom they will consequently de-de-ban it. (Just wait another swift seventeen years)

    • razorblade79 says:

      Weird, I can see it now. I hope Duke3D follows and we’ll see those on XBLA.

  2. Rii says:

    “I’m pretty sure most any youngster could have a good time with good old Doom.”

    Next you’ll be giving the youngsters one of those newfangled CD players for Christmas.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      (warning: Cool story incoming, bros)

      When I was 12 I remember I got my first CD boom box. I also happened to get the shareware version of Doom. So I would basically spend all day listening to music while playing games.

      In fact, to this day I tend to only play video games just as an excuse to listen to music. So I always tend to associate games with whatever piece of music I am listening to at the time (plus, how on earth can anyone play a video game without listening to music? I’d get bored out of my mind if I had to listen to the in game music).

      Anyhow, because of this I will always and forever associate “Doom” with Belly’s second album. That and the “Tank Girl” soundtrack.

      In fact, if you name a video game from the mid 1990s there’s usually an album I will associate with it:

      Dark Forces: Liz Phair’s first album and The Digable Planet’s second album
      Descent: Snoop Dog’s first album, NIN’s the downward spiral
      Thief: Leonard Cohen’s Songs of Love and Hate

      I could go on and on and on, into the late 2000s even ( Mass Effect: Regina Spektor’s second album, Mass Effect 2: Charlotte Gainsburg’s IRM and Fever Ray’s first album).

      In fact, my memories of video games are so intertwined with music that I tend not to remember individual moments of video games at all if I don’t have some sort of piece of music associated with them

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      The DOOM soundtrack is sublime.

    • Pinkables says:

      Our CD Rom drive used to be our only CD player in the house. So for me, Midtown Madness is Frank Zappa’s “Sheik Yerbouti” and Quake 2 is Faith No More’s “Who Cares a Lot?”. Quake 2 was especially good, because it assumed you had the game CD in the drive, so it would change track with different levels.

      I played Doom with PC Speaker sounds and no music though. We were a little behind the technological curve at that point. Those bleeps and parps will stay with me for the rest of my life.

    • Arnulf says:

      This is cool!

      I had a similar habit when I was young *sigh*. Only it was reading S&F books. I remember reading Lord Foul’s Bane while listening to Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse, C.J. Cherryh’s Downbelow Station with Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Warriors of The Wastelands… Oh those were the good times.

      Not so with games. Doom’s soundtrack is well done. I bought the CD by Bobby Prince. It is still great!

      Regarding Doom and the BPjM: *Extra-deep Sigh* Especially since the idea of censoring to protect the “youth” is a concept invented by the Nazis.

    • atticus says:

      Ahhh… I played through the original Half Life while listening to The Matrix soundtrack. That was awesome. Whenever I hear “Ultrasonic Sound” by Hive or “Du Hasst” by Rammstein it really takes me back to the Black Mesa complex…. Good times!

    • Daniel Klein says:

      Juan: whenever I put on Metal Church’s self-titled album, I see the greenish lines of WADED, a Doom level editor, in front of my eyes.

    • Donkeydeathtasticelastic says:

      It’s a little skew-wiff, but I associate Eurythmics with Pokémon Red, for some reason. And vice-versa.

    • Torden says:

      Every time I hear a song from Pearl Jam’s “Vitalogy” album, I think of “Link’s Awakening” for the same reason.

    • msarge says:

      There was a summer where I played the hell out of Doom II and would always have Mindless Self Indulgence’s “Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy” album going when I played.

    • adonf says:

      My first PC didn’t have a sound card. To me, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless is the actual music for the Wing Commander series.

    • manveruppd says:

      Undoubtedly there’s some sound designer or composer who works in games out there who wept a little tear at some of the posts above mine… :p

      Seriously though, some games have some very well made, atmospheric soundtracks, you might want to unmute your computer some time! :) Though I confess I once played a Quake 3 deathmatch online to the sound of Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and it was an almost hallucinogenic experience, something about the atonal, distorted sound of the piece combined with the fast-paced movement and shooting. It was also the best I ever played, the music zoned me out and everything was moving in perfect flow.

    • little grilly says:

      Dark Forces is totally Captain Beefheart’s ‘Safe as Milk’ for me, while Quake is Mansun’s ‘Legacy’ e.p.. Whenever I hear those, I’m straight back in those worlds.

      Later, I had a collection of mp3s, and I put them on random, and songs weren’t associated with games any more 87(

  3. ResonanceCascade says:

    Controlling art is such an absurd and wasteful use of government resources. Fuck off with it.

    The USA has a lot of problems, but at least the government generally stays out of this stuff.

    • NathaI3 says:

      Isn’t that the point? That the Bundesprufstelle has acknowledged that Doom is of artistic merit and hence shouldn’t be controlled the same way ‘mere’ games are?

    • Zorganist says:

      If I’m not mistaken, German law considers video games to be children’s toys, and not art, hence the draconian censorship.

    • xellfish says:

      The US is just as censor happy as Germany is, they just censor different things. In Germany it’s violence, in the US it’s OMG NIPPLEZ.

      And while I think that both countries are way too sensitive in this regard, one might argue that pictures of female organs are much less harmful to minors than those of mutilated bodies, especially since most children most likely already had first hand experience with titties in their lives.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      “The US is just as censor happy as Germany is”

      Wrong. Nudity is not censored by any government institution in the United States. The only thing that’s restricted is penetrative pornography, which cannot be sold to minors.

      Which I still don’t agree with, but that’s a lot different than saying they censor ‘nipples’ or that it’s “just as censor happy.” I’m sorry, but that’s a crock.

    • Bobsy says:

      Janet Jackson’s nipple says hi.

      It’s not government enforced, but the de facto censorship is definately there.

    • Unaco says:

      Janet Jackson would probably argue with you on that point.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Nudity is not censored by any government institution in the United States.

      *cough* FCC *cough*

      There’s softcore porn on broadcast TV in Germany.

    • Derpentine says:

      Video games are not art, soooo I don’t really have a problem there.

    • godwin says:

      Painting is not art, too. Not automatically. In fact, nothing and everything can be art depending on who you ask.

    • Shooop says:

      The FCC wants a word with you. It begins with “C” and ends with “D”.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Dammit.

      Alright, alright. I forgot about the FCC’s ability to impose fines for broadcasting boobage during certain hours. Gloat now everyone, I was wrong.

      I have revised my original statement: “Controlling art is such an absurd and wasteful use of government resources. Fuck off with it. You too, America.”

    • Shih Tzu says:

      The FCC does have government oversight over content on broadcast TV, I think based on the idea that the airwaves in question are a limited public resource. With the expansion of cable TV (which is under no such restriction) and internet video content, their standards are growing increasingly irrelevant. HBO’s Game of Thrones is free to drop naked people everywhere.

      And sure, there’s “de facto” censorship all over the US, but that’s tied to societal influences and is very different from the government stepping in and saying “no one can possess or sell this in any format”. I don’t usually go for gung-ho patriotism of the other-countries-suck sort, but I gotta say, reading about nonsense like this in Germany and Australia, USA RULEZ #1 FIRZT AMENDMENT BITCHES~~~

    • Askeladd says:

      Its a rather grey area, and they bent the law how your favorite politican (which has elections going on in near future) has reacted to your annual killing spree. By declaring after failing to understand the subject that games are to blame for almost everything.

      Sorry.

      Half the overstatements are in the worst case understatements.

    • mjig says:

      Technically in America you can show nudity on any cable channel at all, the reaon they don’t is to avoid conflict with sponsors.

      It still sucks, but at the end of the day, de facto censorship through the FCC on 3 or 4 channels =/= government agencies deciding what does and doesn’t make it past the censures on the majority of American television.

    • Nethlem says:

      “Wrong. Nudity is not censored by any government institution in the United States. The only thing that’s restricted is penetrative pornography, which cannot be sold to minors. ”

      I just like to point one thing out: Germany also doesn’t have a goverment institution that’s censoring.

      No german goverment institution is censoring/cutting anything, the only thing they are doing is telling the publishers/producers: “We don’t like those exploding heads, if you don’t remove them we gonna rate your game in such a way that people will only be able to find it next to Porn DVD’s, so you won’t be able to openly advertise or sell your game. It’s your choice!”

      That’s the perverse thing about this, the goverment isn’t censoring. It’s just forcing other people to selfcensor by using economic pressure. And by this they can censor what they want, but at the same time stay true to article 5 of our Grundgesetz (our constitution) which is about “[Freedom of expression, arts and sciences]” and explicitly states “There shall be no censorship.”.

  4. diebroken says:

    Can’t wait for DOOM I, II, III IV!

  5. Spinoza says:

    Why you need Doom if you can play Patrician?

  6. JackDandy says:

    Ha ha ha
    Those silly krauts

  7. Gnoupi says:

    And one screenshot of the iPhone version on a PC site, one! :P

    • Eclipse says:

      agreed, wtf with that screenshot?

    • tenseiga says:

      SOMEONES HEAD WILL ROLL FOR THIS!

    • LionsPhil says:

      What are you crazy people talking about. The image is, and always has been, the current, glorious, PC one. It was certainly not changed. I hope you think carefully about the treasonous lies you have spouted!

    • Squishpoke says:

      I blame that bastard Quinns.

    • TheGameSquid says:

      My God, what a BLASPHEMOUS mess! This’ll be in the newspapers by tomorrow, mark my words! I vomited all over my lap when I saw this. Then my eyes rolled shiftily, DOOM-style (or Dredmor-style, if that takes your fancy). I was not amused.

      The bets are on people! Who is going to get fired over this?

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Whatever port that screenshot is from it sure is ugly. OpenGL smoothing of those lovely sprites is a blasphemy.

      DOSBox or GTFO.

  8. ArcaneSaint says:

    Shh, don’t complain. Be glad Germans can finally experience this great game. If you start claiming that youngsters still have an interest in that game they’ll just ban it again.
    Nobody cares what the Bundesprufstelle says anyway (well, nobody except game journalists), though I wonder what other games can’t be sold because of them. I’m guessing Bulletstorm and GTA. I also know they won’t allow any any games with Swastikas in them (are they trying to hush-hush that period of history or are they just picking on hindoes?)

    • Subatomic says:

      GTA and Bulletstorm are not on the index as far as I know, they just have the standard USK 16/USK 18 age ratings. Also, games on the “index” can still be sold to adults, you are ‘only’ forbidden to display and advertise them somewhere minors could potentially see them (which in practice makes them unprofitable for publishers and causes either self-censored versions or no release at all).

      About the swastikas: it’s neither, the law that forbids the display of swastikas and other symbols of the nazi-party wasn’t meant to forget about that part of German history, quite the opposite in fact. The display of swastikas is still allowed in historical and artistic context like schoolbooks or fotos to teach about that part of our history, but not otherwise (for example as a party symbol), “out of respect for the victims of national socialism”, as the law puts it. Because video games were for a long time regarded as children’s toys, this definition didn’t include them and there’s still a double standard being applied (for example, the Indiana Jones movies had swastika flags in them but weren’t changed at all in Germany, while Return to Castle Wolfenstein had its entire plot replaced, swastikas removed etc.).

    • Plankton says:

      Part of the reason

      Thank god, Subatomic… Every time I see something on this topic on an English site, I find myself having to write exactly what you just wrote (almost word for word).
      So, for anyone reading this: Subatomic is spot on.

      It also really pisses me off that every time people are making the allegations that German society is all “hush-hush” about the Nazi past, when, in fact, it’s a great example of a society that has come to terms with its history (unlike many many other nations).
      The fact that Computer Games have not been fully recognises as a medium of art is a whole different matter and a real shame.

    • Felixader says:

      Hi, i am German.

      I once played doom?

      Do you want to know when and where?
      It was like 10 or more years ago.
      On my N64.

      So far for “can finally experience it”. X-P

    • rebb says:

      Don’t worry, german players have experienced all the “indexed” games that have ever been, and not just since yesterday.

      All the BPjM has ever accomplished is keeping sales low or causing developers to come up with silly low-violence versions instead.

    • ArcaneSaint says:

      @Subatomic: Thank you. It’s not that I really think Germany is being hush-hush about it all, just that many of the things they do (such as removing swastikas in games) sometimes make it seem that way.

      But yeah, the whole “games are not a serious media” issue does seem to come up a lot in this kind of thing.

  9. Subatomic says:

    Doom isn’t the exception, a lot (and by a lot I mean something like 80 to 90%) of FPSs ended up on the “index” in Germany during the nineties if they featured human-like enemies, but the BPjM has eased up on their “standards” a little in recent years. The remarkable thing about this is that Bethesda bothered to have the game re-evaluated after all this time, most publishers just don’t bother with it and release a self-censored version for the German market which either removes or reduces violence or does something ridiculous to avoid human-like enemies by replacing them with zombies or robots.

    • letoeb says:

      Interestingly enough, that’s mostly been brought about by a law meant to restrict young people’s access to violent video games: After the 2002 Erfurt school shooting, German parliament passed a law that made ratings by the USK (the video game industry’s self-rating board) legally binding – as a side effect, games rated 18+ by USK could not get indexed anymore. Which led to, of all things, Doom 3 not getting indexed – which, back then, was the weirdest thing ever: An id game not getting indexed.

  10. JFS says:

    At least every upstanding German youngster can enjoy unlimited amounts of beer and wine as soon as s/he turns 16, and has been allowed to do so for as long as anyone can remember. Who needs stupid pixels anyway when you can just get wasted on the open street all day long!

    • Askeladd says:

      Protect the youth!
      BEBEN III !

    • Tams80 says:

      And they let our youth drink in their country too! Corrupting our *wonderful* youth*!

      Hehe! Good times in Germany.

      *actually, most of the British youth are fine

  11. Forceflow says:

    Blasphemy.

    Calling Doom “2D”. Oh well, its engine was the absolute basework of 3D games for years to come, but I guess that doesn’t mean anything. Up until now, graphic card drivers still contain optimisations which were intended for the original Doom.

    Carmack is having a little cry right now.

    • PAK says:

      “…brightly-coloured, 2D monster-shooting game from 1993…” Okay, the sentence contruction does midly obfuscate the point, but I’m quite sure Alec is referring to the MONSTERS as 2D, not the game. Which is appropriate, as the monsters are sprites.

      EDIT: Then again, as posters below have reminded me, Doom is actually in 2.5D. Perhaps you were thinking of Quake?

    • iniudan says:

      Doom is in actually 2D, it just got a very particular type 2D that look like it 3D, but everything in doom actually only on a X, Y axis, what appear to be 3D is just extremely well done smoke and mirror effect in a 2D environment.

    • Twitchity says:

      … ah … eyawha???

      DOOM is definitely a 2D game. Does some fancy on-CPU pixel bending to pretend otherwise, but there’s not a vertex3 to be seen.

      I can’t imagine that any graphics card would or even could optimize for 2.5D raycast games (other than with post-fixed function pipeline tools like pixel shaders), but if you’re aware of them I’d like to hear about them — would be an interesting piece of computer folklore.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Since when does something need to use a GPU to be 3D? GET OFF MY LAWN!

      DOOM is raycasted (not the same as raytraced!) 3D. “2.5D” is a wooly marketing term. 3D is what DOOM actually, technically, by the definition of the term, is.

    • Dervish says:

      Just because Doom isn’t a true 3D engine doesn’t mean it’s right to call it a 2D game. Many things have height values that matter; the mechanics are three-dimensional.

      http://classicdoom.com/doommyth.htm#01

    • iniudan says:

      Part of my argument that ID1 engine game is a 2D and that it appear 3D due very well done smoke and mirror effect.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpL7ROdpGZo

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmOdEH-6yqw

      First one show one of the element used to create 3D illusion in the 2D environment of doom, second show you what happen if you do the same effect in a 3D environment.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      What??? Perspective is an illusion?????

      This is so funny. So, so funny.

    • thecat17 says:

      iniudan,

      Those videos were awesome to watch, and thanks for posting them, but… I don’t see the connection between them and how the Doom games render their worlds. If there even is a connection.

      Allow me to paste what was in Dervish’s link, since you seemed to have ignored it:

      Myth: The Doom environment is actually 2-dimensional (a horizontal plane). A vertical dimension, or “Z dimension”, is represented by the game’s graphics, but is an illusion. A vertical dimension is not a real factor in game physics or game play.

      Truth: Doom is not 3-dimensional to the extent that Quake and similar games are; The Doom world is far less complex, and much more restrictive. However, this does not mean that Doom is a 2-dimensional game. There are objects and events, calculations and variables throughout Doom that deal with 3 spacial dimensions.
      Some examples: Projectiles may pass above/below monsters or players; A player can run across a gap or pit without picking up items on the ground directly below; A tunnel or doorway that’s just tall enough for a Sergeant to pass through may be too low for a Cyberdemon to pass through; A player standing a few paces back from the edge of a tall cliff may remain unseen by monsters on the ground near the base of the cliff, but may be visible to monsters further away from the base.
      The heights of objects and obstacles, projectiles, monsters, players, windows, crushing ceilings, and so on, all have a real effect on what can happen, and what you can do, in the Doom environment.

    • MD says:

      @MFG:
      Are you talking about the first youtube link? The interesting part isn’t that perspective can be conveyed on paper, but that even when we make an active effort to see those lines for what they are and compare their lengths, the second one still looks longer.

  12. johnpeat says:

    and the swastikas which really pissed-them-off in the firstplace?

    • Askeladd says:

      They are just butthurt and too political correct.
      Butthurt … its hip in germany, at least in colone.

  13. Koozer says:

    I find it hilariously ironic that to prevent a repeat of Nazi Germany, a regime that put strict limits on information including media, they put in place strict controls on all media.

    • Knah says:

      There is acutally no censorship here.
      Its one of the most fundamental Laws in Germany.
      You are allowed to buy anything in Germany as soon as you are 18.

      This is a thing to protect the youth. Whether it is useful or not.

    • ulix says:

      Ahhh well, Knah. Sadly, you are somewhat wrong.

      While you can “buy” any media for private use without fear of the law, there are media that aren’t allowed to be sold at all, so your only possibility to acquire them would be through import. I’m speaking of Index List B (“Beschlagnahmung”) media, like the international version of L4D2, or Dead Rising 1.

      Which really is censorship, there is no arguing arround that.

    • kuran says:

      I remember Carmageddon (Macintosh version) having Zombie pedestrians, was quite neat!

    • Knah says:

      Yeah, but “Beschlagnahmung” is only possible if a video game is actually breaking a Law in Germany. Extreme Right or Leftwing Propaganda, abuse or in thoses cases: excessive violence against humanlike creatures which surpasses a line of human dignity.

      Those games probably cross the lines of these Laws.

      And i guess it’s kinda good to have a line or someday we will end up with some really fucked up shit…

    • ulix says:

      You can sweet talk it all you want, it’s still censorship. Even if it is rarely applied.

      And there are no limits like this in the US or most other western countries. Sure, that leads to movies like Braindead, or games like Manhunt 2, but who cares?

      Why not have fucked up shit? Who is harmed by a game like Postal?

    • Saiko Kila says:

      US have censorship, just different. There are limits on software you can export (so you cannot it in a part of a product you intend to sell abroad), and cannot use certain software even when in the US (for example these used also for circumventing copy protection). You risk criminal charges, not only civil, if you use it. And recently we have been witnesses to a very strict and stupid censorship related to the wikileaks case. I can read these cables all day long, and Americans involved with government, or even just considering it (like interns) can’t.

  14. c-Row says:

    The problem with their list is that old games aren’t automatically removed or re-evaluated unless the publisher/copyright holder asks for it, so a game could be stuck in limbo forever if there is no one left to ask.

    • jroger says:

      Like so many things said in this thread, this is not true. After 25 years things are removed from the list if they are not re-evaluated. Also, there is some degree of censorship in nearly every country, even the US. For example, child pornography is outlawed in most (all?) countries. Personally, I think that Germany’s youth protection laws go a bit too far in limiting access to some content to adults, but there is a very little actual censorship, though there is a fair bit of de-facto censorship.

    • c-Row says:

      Ah, my fault. Didn’t know about the 25 years rule.

  15. MOKKA says:

    This is another example of how ridiculous our bureaucracy is over here. I feel almost embarresed by this news.
    I wonder when they allow Wolfenstein to be in stores because its “historical accurate depiction of Nazi Super soldiers” only appeal to historians and not to weak minded Teenagers.

    • QualityJeverage says:

      Historically accurate?

      Did Hitler actually build a robot suit with gatling guns on it?

    • celewign says:

      yes

    • MOKKA says:

      Oh definintely! I think it was called “Project Blondie”, after his beloved Schäferhund.

  16. Ian says:

    Doom, eh? Is it any good?

    Can’t see that genre of game succeeding, tbh.

  17. GenBanks says:

    Meanwhile this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14730704

    It’s funny how a country can be liberal about peoples’ harmless preferences in one sphere of life but judgemental and controlling over another equally harmless one.

    • CMaster says:

      Dunno, sex = fine, violence = bad seems a much more reasonable attitude than the other way around. Although one suspects this sort of thing is more about practicality – prostitution is hardly rare in the places it is illegal, after all.

  18. Daiv says:

    Finally the German people can at last experience the historical truth behind the Mars Base Incident. Lest we forget.

  19. Xerian says:

    I’m a 16-year old dumb, mildly retarded gamer, whom has enjoyed doom 1 & 2 since he was a tiny, tiiinyyy kid. And I still play ‘em, cause they’re beast.

  20. Inigo says:

    Bun-dess-proof-stel?

  21. dannyland1 says:

    you guys need a +1 button.

  22. db1331 says:

    I can’t wait for the obligatory “Hitler finds out Doom is unbanned” video.

  23. killmachine says:

    in fact doom and doom 2 were not only “forbidden” because of their violence, doom 2 was actually banned because it has nazi symbols in it. remember the secret level with commander keen?

    nazi symbols are even worse than violence here in germany. they are “verfassungswidrig” which means basicly they are against our constitution. you actually go to jail if you wear or show the nazi rune in public or use the “hitler gruß” or say “heil hitler”. on some public forums the admins even censore the word “hitler”…

    • jroger says:

      Although there is a clear double standard here. Computer games with swastikas are sure to get put onto the index (although references to Nazis and Nazi Germany in general are fine in those games), but comic-like films like the Indiana Jones movies are allowed. Heck, Germany’s federal government even partially financed Inglorious Basterds. (Although swastikas were removed from promotional material …)

    • Similar says:

      Bit confused. I’m pretty sure I have a German Doom II wad somewhere that is missing the Wolfenstein levels. Was the game banned at first and then later sold this way?

    • c-Row says:

      That’s because movies have the benefit of artistic freedom while computer games haven’t.

  24. schnitzeljaeger says:

    They are a bit late. Played this classic on a 40 MHz 386 when I was like 8 years old :D

  25. Lambchops says:

    Shooting monsters? It’ll never catch on.

  26. BenLeng says:

    German censorship policies, especially regarding computer games, are really strange, always changing and often contradictory. Yet, as a german, i can assure you they have in reality NEVER kept german teenagers from enjoying a fine round of Doom.

  27. tenochtitlan says:

    Guys, a little background on the Swastika stuff: The distribution or acting out of Nazi references (this also applies to references to other “enemies of the constitution” as declared by the highest German court, their “Supreme Court”) is illegal in every medium (virtual and real), this is not limited to games. It is legal however, if the medium or act serves purposes like education, art or science, research, history and journalism. This might be one of the few legal consequences of the “games as art” debate ;-)

  28. LostViking says:

    Germany has always been strict on violence in games.
    In Carmageddon, where you could happily mow down pedestrians to score points in the game, they changed the pedestrians for zombies in the german version ;)

    • sbs says:

      werent they aliens?
      aliens with baby carriages?

    • Chauvigny says:

      And when you shot (by accident, of course!) one of the scientists in Half-Life 1, instead of dying, they sat down and shook their head.
      The marines were replaced with robots and so on…

      Ridiculous.

    • ChainSOV says:

      Nah, I wish they were zombies. AFAIR the early UK version of Carmageddon had zombies, which just had green blood instead of red, the german version had all pedestrians replaced by bucket-like robots with dying sound effects that made your ears bleed.

  29. rulez says:

    German teenagers squeal in glee when new titles are added to BPjM’s shopping lists.

  30. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Bah. Doom doesn’t hold a candle to Marathon.

  31. mjig says:

    I liked the part where they act like Nazis.

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  33. MythArcana says:

    The way the game industry is going today, I’m about ready to go back to Doom myself. Nothing beat those golden days of the 486 DX2-66 using a 14.4 modem with hacked strings to connect to a local BBS to tunnel through a linux gateway to the Internet to play a laggy 5 minute game of Doom before the game went out of sync completely. But, BOY, those 5 minutes were great!

  34. Metonymy says:

    The common understanding is that it is the demon army itself that is responsible for attacking the Mars bases and Earth, but there’s a simpler explanation. The powerful demon lords were interested in setting up a nation of their own, so they engineered the ‘Doomguy’ propaganda, in order to convince otherwise complacent and satisfied lesser demons to migrate to the Earth, where they would spend the rest of their lives waging war against humans, for the sole benefit of the demon lords.

  35. Big Murray says:

    A bit like saying “Hey teenagers, good news! You can now legally have sex if you’ve over 16!”

    (Because they’ve most likely been doing it anyway if they wanted to … not because Doom is comparable to sex.)

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  37. Ernesto says:

    This is Germany… the unrelaxed, bureaucratic, illogical, patronising, overprotective, ‘We have to put our children in gilded cages’, angst part. One could call it insane or just plain crazy.

    Also a note to Steam:
    I’m not a teenager anymore and it should be legal for me to buy any game I want. Even in above mentioned Germany. However, because Steam lacks an age verification system, I can’t! That is, I can buy the game but only versions the Bundesprüfstelle approved. Which features green instead of red blood, no gore, ridiculously illogical quests, robot npcs and the like…

    DooM is free :)
    But not via Steam:
    An error was encountered while processing your request:
    This item is currently unavailable in your region

  38. Nethlem says:

    Too bad Alec made the same mistake as the guys over at giantbomb, i guess that’s where he got the news from.

    It’s not “Bundesprüfstelle”, it’s “Bundesprüfstelle für Jugendgefährdente Medien”.
    Saying just “Bundesprüfstelle” would literaly translate to “Federal place that examines” without actually saying what it’s examining.

    Or do you really think such a lovely name like “Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons ” would translate into something as short as “Bundesprüfstelle”? ;)

  39. masiif says:

    The whole Quake series is still banned thats a shame.

  40. aircool says:

    Those Teutonics are a strange lot. Banning fun games, yet making tons of Donkey Punch porn.

  41. Ralphomon says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s depressing that Germany thinks that things of artistic or scientific interest won’t appeal to youngsters?

  42. Kaldor says:

    You may count on it that these games were still very widespread and known… I wouldn’t know anyone who wouldn’t know exactly what these games were like. For that reason, I didn’t even know they were banned. Besides, these shooters were somewhat of an exception, until they became mainstream.

  43. DeanLearner says:

    To those playing Doom for the first time, be sure to play it as I did back in the day.

    Use the arrow keys to move and turn, and hold ALT to make left and right strafe.

    None of this “wassed” mumbo jumbo or whatever kids call it these days.

  44. TheGroovyMule says:

    So, Germans can expect an uncensored version of L4D2 in about… fifteen years?

    • Askeladd says:

      Won’t matter by that time because nobodys young anymore!

  45. Zarunil says:

    About time.