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Mewt

Germany Lifts Ban on Swastikas in Video Games

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Posted (edited)

Interesting....

 

https://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gameswirtschaft.de%2Fpolitik%2Fhakenkreuze-in-games-sozialadaequanz-usk-oljb%2F&edit-text=&act=url

 

Obviously this doesn't mean that any other country lifts their ban, or that any of the IL2 Sturmovik games do either. But it's an interesting development.

Edited by II/JG3-Mewt
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Bout time.

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interesting indeed. 

 

I wonder if any games will be affected or if the ban in other countries will cause them to be left as is.

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Granted its a Google Translate but I'm picking up that the change is specific to blank ban versus case by case ban. Games may still have symbols and images banned but that cases could be reviewed. So the ban isn't lifted but rather there is a process of review (that would also affect the age rating of the game).

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I think in our case (ie BoX) the sensitivity is more towards Russian rules anyway, so I would not expect any changes here.

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Le windmill of friendship, peace and happiness. That some failed Austrian artist ruined for us forever. 

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I wonder how this law works in Russia, I looked up the museum of the great patriotic war, and was able to find a few swastika's 

 

Spoiler

fb

 

Spoiler

maxresdefault.jpg

 

So they must be ok to be seen in a historical context, such as Museum's and documentary's ? possibly even period drama ? 

One could argue that certainly IL2's career mode has a historical context.

 

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From what I understand, the ban swastika in games was quite bizarre in Germany.

 

In Wolfenstein’s Germany edition, even though it played in an alternate reality where Nazis Win WW2 and occupy the Us, did not even have Nazis, and even Hitler was censored (or at least he shaved his iconoc mustache).

 

Quite odd for a game that was all about killing Nazis and Hitler. 

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The thing is, why is it ok to show such symbols in movies or documentaries, while it is forbidden in videogames? Gamers are not known for becomming nazis when using uncut patches and mods like that. They're also not known for creating violence because of games like GTA and the like. So who really is endangered by showing such symbols? Its just history and history was brutal all the time. The stupid nazis didnt invent barbarism. It is part of all of us throughout history. Videogames should be treatet like art and art should not be censored in my opinion. 

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Posted (edited)

The new law doesn‘t say anything about whether the swastika is legal or not. Anything / any prpoaganda hostile to the constitution is an remains illegal. This has nothing to do with the swastika as such, this is due to a different matter.

 

The issue with the swastika came up with the game Wolfenstein. Any game or movie etc. gets assessed by the USK (same as PEGI or ESRB) and gets cleared for a certain age. In case a game doesn‘t get assessed, it cannot be sold to minors any you cannot advertise this game.

 

With Wolfenstein, it first didn‘t get an assessment due to the violence. The presence of swastikas left that very issue aside, however it was clear that it was problematic to include a swastika. On a second ruling however, it was decided that „no game may feature a symbols hotile to the constitution (verfassungsfeindlice symbole)“, but it completely left out the scope of what is a game and its context. There is indeed a section in the law stating that in some cases it may be allowed („sozialäquivalenzklausel“) but the publishers decided from then on better be safe than sorry and would simply not assess any game featuring a swastika, requiring it not to be marketet to minors.

 

What happened now is that games featuring such symbols / swastikas may be assessed by the USK any *may* get a rating. Any swastika used in the contex of gloryfying naziism (or being hostile to the constitution) will not qualify for getting a rating and the game, as before, cannot be sold to minors.

 

You will not have your nazi signs „activated“ now just like that, but what happened is an important step toward treating videogames the same way fir instance as movies. Inglorious Bastards has tons of nazi symbols, and the state even gave funding for the making if the movie. With games, up to recently, this would have been untinkable.

 

Edit: Up to Wolfenstein, plastic aircraft models used to feature the swastika as decals for respective models. With the Wolfenstein ruling, that changed as well. You can hope now fir a complete set of decals, should that be a concern.

Edited by ZachariasX
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No such ban ever in Portugal. Not in my lifetime at least.

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Posted (edited)

Well I`m shocked. Maybe now historically authentic games like IL2 will no longer fear having realistic markings on Axis aircraft any more. Movies, even silly ones have never had this restriction on the swastika, and even some silly games (that don`t care) have it.

 

They shouldn`t have in the first place. You censor something you only make it more powerful and more to be `feared`.

Edited by seafireliv

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I'm more annoyed by the lack of proper markings on model airplanes (some makers have them, most don't). It forces us to buy aftermarket decals. What's funny is that I don't like the full Swastika on planes, I always cut out the inner cross. 

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21 minutes ago, 216th_Jordan said:

Are there other countires imposing bans on the swastika?

In principle only in Germany and Austria. But it really depends on the context. Depending on the use, you can get problems with that (and other nazi symbols) in other countries.

 

In Switzerland, you are basically ok with that, but if you give the impression of like furtherance of naziism, you get into problems. Different countries have different standards for that. And it is of course up to anyone how many things like that he wants around him.

 

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4 hours ago, Wolferl_1791 said:

I'm more annoyed by the lack of proper markings on model airplanes (some makers have them, most don't). It forces us to buy aftermarket decals. What's funny is that I don't like the full Swastika on planes, I always cut out the inner cross. 

 

This is the sole reason why I won't purchase Revell WW2 Luftwaffe themed model aircraft kit sets.

It's a pity, as I have an extensive collection of both Tamiya and Hasegawa kits that do include the swastika's on their decal sheets.

I wouldn't mind betting that Revell looses quite a bit of money over it due to loss of sales internationally.

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A shame the symbol was appropriated and made into something ugly. It's true meaning is contrary to what most people see it as now.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

The new law doesn‘t say anything about whether the swastika is legal or not. Anything / any prpoaganda hostile to the constitution is an remains illegal. This has nothing to do with the swastika as such, this is due to a different matter.

 

The issue with the swastika came up with the game Wolfenstein. Any game or movie etc. gets assessed by the USK (same as PEGI or ESRB) and gets cleared for a certain age. In case a game doesn‘t get assessed, it cannot be sold to minors any you cannot advertise this game.

 

With Wolfenstein, it first didn‘t get an assessment due to the violence. The presence of swastikas left that very issue aside, however it was clear that it was problematic to include a swastika. On a second ruling however, it was decided that „no game may feature a symbols hotile to the constitution (verfassungsfeindlice symbole)“, but it completely left out the scope of what is a game and its context. There is indeed a section in the law stating that in some cases it may be allowed („sozialäquivalenzklausel“) but the publishers decided from then on better be safe than sorry and would simply not assess any game featuring a swastika, requiring it not to be marketet to minors.

 

What happened now is that games featuring such symbols / swastikas may be assessed by the USK any *may* get a rating. Any swastika used in the contex of gloryfying naziism (or being hostile to the constitution) will not qualify for getting a rating and the game, as before, cannot be sold to minors.

 

You will not have your nazi signs „activated“ now just like that, but what happened is an important step toward treating videogames the same way fir instance as movies. Inglorious Bastards has tons of nazi symbols, and the state even gave funding for the making if the movie. With games, up to recently, this would have been untinkable.

 

Edit: Up to Wolfenstein, plastic aircraft models used to feature the swastika as decals for respective models. With the Wolfenstein ruling, that changed as well. You can hope now fir a complete set of decals, should that be a concern.

Germany do not have constitution yet. Technically they are still under USA occupation if i remember correctly (no peace treaty).

Edited by 307_Tomcat
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1 minute ago, 307_Tomcat said:

Germany do not have constitution yet. Technically they are still under USA occupation if i remember correctly.

 

Of course Germany has a constitution!

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4 minutes ago, -IRRE-Therion said:

 

Of course Germany has a constitution!

Actually, Tomcat is right. I did translate that not in a very exact way. They have the „Grundgesetz“ (GG) which however de facto acts as constitution. It contains all definitions required for a constitution. It is the de facto constitution of Germany and materially it also quialifies for that.

 

In 1948, the GG was drafted as a tremporary measure for the fragmented state. 1949 it was introduced with the hope of drafting a constitution, once the occupied zones are patched back to a real country. (Again, makeshift is permanent.) 

 

The term „Verfassung“/constitution however does exist, namely in laws quoting the GG and referring to it as the constitution. Hence my semantics.

 

Not being a lawyer and lacking the exact definitions, I hope the reader still gets the point. 

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All this is rather theoretic. I don't believe we cannot have historical Finnish national marks because of German legislation. It's because producers of video games do not want to take any legal risk, in whatever country. Right so. I don't expect changes. But we do have the skin mods, and anyone is at liberties to use historical skins. The problem has been solved years ago for us.

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I am completely indifferent to the swastika and don’t feel strongly about having it on the tail or not when flying for the Luftwaffe.

But I have always found it a bit odd that BoS comes with a Peshka skin with ‘for the great Stalin’ on it, given that he was a notorious dictator and mass-murdering lunatic. 

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I did nazi that coming!...............😋

 

 

Hoss

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https://www.pcgamer.com/germany-lifts-ban-on-swastikas-in-videogames/

 

Will this bring a patch change to il2 flightsim games graphically accuracy? 

Time to put the swastika where it should be. 

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Posted (edited)

Last thread about this was deleted, was will this be, probably. It never was just about Germany, the same problems are true in Russia to a degree and probably in a few other countries, which is why Jason was very clear about this in the past. So don't hold your breath.

Edited by Ether
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Seems like they could have solved this problem wit different default skins for different countries. Countries that dont ban swastikas could have default skins with them on and vice versa, this way if you are in a country that bans them you will only see the non swastika version even if fighting a person with the swastika version.

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1 hour ago, Ether said:

Last thread about this was deleted, was will this be, probably. It never was just about Germany, the same problems are true in Russia to a degree and probably in a few other countries, which is why Jason was very clear about this in the past. So don't hold your breath.

 

Not deleted, was moved to Free Subject, still active

 

Cheers, Dakpilot 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Legioneod said:

Seems like they could have solved this problem wit different default skins for different countries. Countries that dont ban swastikas could have default skins with them on and vice versa, this way if you are in a country that bans them you will only see the non swastika version even if fighting a person with the swastika version.

 

That is not a solution. That’s a recipe for disaster. One of the main reasons that this game runs so smoothly is, that there exists one version of it and only one. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Finkeren said:

 

That is not a solution. That’s a recipe for disaster. One of the main reasons that this game runs so smoothly is, that there exists one version of it and only one. 

I don't see how it would be that difficult or really cause problems, it's not much different from having user made skins being shown as default when other players dont have that skin.

The game itself wouldn't change at all, there would just be different default skins based off of where you live.

Edited by Legioneod

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16 minutes ago, Legioneod said:

I don't see how it would be that difficult or really cause problems, it's not much different from having user made skins being shown as default when other players dont have that skin.

The game itself wouldn't change at all, there would just be different default skins based off of where you live.

 

Having different regional versions of the game is a problem in itself. It doesn’t matter how insignificant the differences are. It is still a logistical problem.

 

An extremely small issue such as having full swastikas on German aircraft is simply not worth the hassle.

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Posted (edited)

Guys, I explained in the other thread, what is different now is that a game now *can* get assessed by USK (PEGI, sort of) to get a rating and be advertised and sold to minors. Before, if there were nazi symbols of any kind, it wouldn‘t be assessed and in consequence you couldn‘t openly advertise it (biggest problem) and you couldn‘t sell it to minors.

 

Games are handled like movies now. This is the difference. „Inglorious Bastards“ features heaps of nazi symbols and it got a rating as well. It even got state funding for production.

 

This has nothing to do whether the „swastika is legal“ or not.That remains unchanged.

 

EDit: I strongly doubt that Jason would go through the hoops getting a rating. It still remains a touchy issue of having such symbols because there are always idiots that like their meaning. This can bring lots of problems. Leting you skin your aircraft to your discretion is helpful enough I think.

Edited by ZachariasX
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Free speech. Bought in blood. Just sayin'.

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5 minutes ago, Lensman said:

Free speech. Bought in blood. Just sayin'.

You still can say what you want. But you can‘t *endorse* what you want. Big difference. Even in Germany, the law is about the endorsing part, not the „artwork“ per se.

 

There are limits to free speach for good reason. This is why ordering a hitman to get rid of you is not free speach, it‘s rather a reason to get in prison for extended time and you are happy for that.

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4 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

You still can say what you want. But you can‘t *endorse* what you want. Big difference. Even in Germany, the law is about the endorsing part, not the „artwork“ per se.

 

There are limits to free speach for good reason. This is why ordering a hitman to get rid of you is not free speach, it‘s rather a reason to get in prison for extended time and you are happy for that.

 

A Russian 'game' allowing Russian people to fly WWII Soviet aircraft and defeat the NSDAP all over again is hard to label as endorsement of Nazi ideology. 

My real concern (now mitigated by the recent news) is that the very nation my country defeated in WWII, allowing us to retain our free speech (sort of), prevented me (legally) from purchasing a flight simulation with the historically accurate insignia. There's an irony there.

Also, in terms of 'endorsement' why are WWII German aircraft allowed in the 'game' at all then? There are various aircraft present that only flew during the era of the NSDAP and surely anyone flying the virtual aircraft MUST be endorsing that ideology?! 

See, it's nuts.

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