Computer games will now comprise of imagery such as the swastika of Hitler’s Nazi Party after a major ruling in Germany.
Until now, such symbols have been banned. That has left games largely using disguised versions of the same imagery, for fear of running afoul of laws in Germany’s constitution.
But the country’s game organization body has changed the way it will assess such games, allowing them to include historically accurate images – with some strict restrictions.
A section in the criminal code that allows such symbols to be used in a “socially adequate” way will now be applied to games just as it is to films, the German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK) said on Thursday.
“In this context socially adequate means that symbols of unconstitutional organisations can be used in a title if it serves an artistic or scientific purpose or helps depict current events or history,” USK Managing Director Elisabeth Secker said.
All computer games sold on storage media in Germany have to be checked by the USK, which issues age ratings, but until now producers whose games contained banned symbols could not even hand them in for assessment, Secker said.
Now they will be able to hand them in – as long as they point out that they contain unconstitutional symbols – and the USK’s independent classification committees will then decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow the games to go on sale.
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