The German rating organisation USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle) can now allow the demonstration of symbols of banned organizations in computer games. On Thursday, the organization announced on its website.
Swastikas and other forbidden symbols will appear only in games, “where current events are presented is critical,” said USK. Easing of the organization was preceded by a debate about the appropriateness of censorship in video games, representing Nazism in a negative way. In USK find the decision “fair in relation to freedom of art”.
Under the laws of Germany, the use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine. However, as follows from the official statement USK when testing the video games authority may use the position of the so-called social adequacy. The exception in this case constitute a means of propaganda, which serve as “civic education, protection against unconstitutional ambitions, art or science, research or teaching, reporting about the processes occurring in the given time or earlier or other similar objectives”. Previously this practice was allowed to authorize the use of Nazi symbols in the film.
The laws of Germany for many years forced the developers to alter the swastika, runes and other odious characters in the German versions of computer games (e.g. shooter series Call of Duty). In 2017, gamers, and lawyers raised in the media the question of, can we consider video games art, and to apply the relevant provision of the Criminal code.
The debate was based around the released on the eve of the country Swedish-American II shooter Wolfenstein: The New Colossus, where players are invited to fight with the Nazis in the world of alternative history. In the German version of the game instead of swastikas added triangles, and the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler renamed the “Hailer”, depriving of his mustache and the official title is referred to as “my Chancellor”. In addition, this version removed all the characters of Jewish origin.