scroll down

Games Like Wolfenstein 2 To Get USK Ratings In Germany, Nazi Symbol Ban Is Lifted

Over the past years, video games containing footage of Nazi-related symbols like the swastika, were getting cut out of the games in Germany and replaces with other, more neutral. Now, the USK committee will lift the ban on “anti-constitutional” symbols being used in video games, giving them USK ratings and further investigate if the symbols have to be removed or not.

According to German source Games Wirtschaft,  video games may show – after examination of the individual case and after the USK age rating – swastikas, SS runes or Hitler pictures. This means that there’s is no immediate action of removing elements of the game without knowing what it is about.

The debate over “anti-constitutional” symbols started with the release of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. The game is strongly connected to the Third Reich, even including Adolf Hitler as a character at some point. Due to USK decision, all swastikas have been replaced by other similar symbols and even the iconic character of Hitler had his mustache removed, making him look like a helpless old guy.

Up until now, video games were not rated the same way that films did. The gaming community asked for this to happen, to favor realism and the committee actually gave them that chance. While video games set in World War 2 won’t be allowed to be screened with no investigation, it’s a positive sign for players in Germany to know that there might be a day that video games will be treated like films.

“Through the change in the interpretation of the law, games that critically look at current affairs can for the first time be given a USK rating,” said Elisabeth Secker, USK managing director.

“This has long been the case for films and with regards to the freedom of the arts, this is now rightly also the case with computer and video games”
“Attentat 1942”, which was developed in the Czech Republic and uses eyewitness videos and drawn illustrations is one of the games being reconsidered. Its case was complicated: the game designers were honored at a festival in Berlin, but were not allowed to play the game in public. Argumentation: no USK ratings release. The game was considered a potential candidate for legal clarification to set a precedent.