Doom ban lifted in Germany

After 17 years, regulators drop objections to id Software's blockbuster first-person shooter, saying it's now "mainly of historical interest."

Last week, the iOS version of Wolfenstein 3D was pulled from Apple's Swiss and Austrian App Stores due to its depictions of swastikas. This week brings more restriction news for a seminal first-person shooter from id Software, as German regulators have lifted the 17-year-long ban on Doom and Doom II following an appeal to the ratings board.

Take that, censorship!

Bethesda announced the news on its blog and said it was working to make both games widely available in the country. At the same time, the company confirmed that next month's open-world action game Rage had been approved for release in Germany with no cuts made.

According to a BBC News report, the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprufstelle) removed Doom from the list of banned titles because it has become "mainly of historical interest" and less likely to be played by children.

However, the panel hearing the appeal was not unanimous in wanting the ban lifted, as some members voted to leave the ban in place. Additionally, the North American version of Doom II remains on the banned list, as it includes levels from Wolfenstein 3D that feature swastikas.

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120 comments
Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Frame_Dragger Actually, it seems it-s exactly as you say there. Germany is pretty scared of its past. The rest of Europe is different... you won-t have that kind of limitation problems with games in Spain, Italy, Austria, UK and the rest... @jasonlc3221 As funny as useful your comment was.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

Ya dancer! I've booked my tickets. I'm flying out to Germany next week to get my copy! Anyone want me to pick up a copy for them while I'm there?

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

Poor, poor Germany, I feel so bad for them........... They can't play decent games like wolfenstein thanks to Hitler and his so-called superior race. And for 17 years they couldn't play doom because they don't know how to either keep their kids from playing these games, or at least teach them the difference of real life vs. video games. Poor, poor Germany

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@AncientDozer When game gets indexed (not banned, it's not the same) you can appeal the "sentence" at that moment, if the appealing fails (or you don't appeal) you can try again but only 10 years later. Why ID waited 17 is something I have not idea; maybe they had no commercial interests... There is also a problem with Doom 2; It's not the fact about how the Wolfenstein levels look like; it's the fact that some of the level maps are composed by swasticas.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Frame_Dragger You're right there... guess it called my attention more than it was supposed to. Apart from that; I must say I'm glad that a good number of people here knows the origin of the swastika and it's meaning. It's refreshing to know that there is still people out there who likes to inform themselves :)

teckt87
teckt87

If I played Doom right now as opposed to playing Doom the first time when I was 7 back then, I wouldn't be able to tell if the blood is blood. I'll just go "What are these red cubes?"

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@Frame_Dragger Relative to other places? I'll concede that, yeah. But it seems very one sided. Like, 85% you. =P

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

Oh boy. A dialogue on the swastika. This surely is going somewhere meaningful. I am surprised to hear that Doom was banned up until this point. I figured they'd have lifted that ages ago.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Ton of thumbs down back there lol. Whatever people... I just speak by direct knowledge about FACTS since I live (and work) here in Germany, opinions are different stuff. But whatever you want to believe, not my problem.

cheater87
cheater87

@ Voltron9000 look up GzDoom :D Get you wads for what dooms you have and start playing hehe.

Ometh
Ometh

@stEElyDaN909 I understand perfectly. Relax bud, lol.

Marked_by_chaos
Marked_by_chaos

@neogeta8 Its actually ancient Indian. In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and means good luck and life. (Could argue that it is Japanese because of the Buddhism in Japan at the time). Hitler did know. He also turned the Swastika on its side for reasons...

edant79
edant79

Hmmm shooting demons in the bowels of Hell..... ...Yeah, with today's standards it should easily find its way in the E-for everyone category. Sprite gore can only go so far.

Evenios
Evenios

yay finally! corse if you haven't played doom at all by now your not really a gamer :-p

neogeta8
neogeta8

The swastika 'symbol' is actually from ancient Japan and was used by samurai and is a sign of peace. Whether this was known by Nazi German I don't know but has a touch of irony to it I feel. I can understand why modern Germany wants to distance itself from anything to do with the Nazi's but to still want Doom II banned because of Wolfenstein level is still a little to far for me.

gameking5000
gameking5000

@Frame_Dragger Yeah well America is predominantly Christian and Doom II is still banned there.

so_hai
so_hai

Now the portal to hell has opened. The plan has worked, and the demonic hordes will wash over Bavaria in a wave of blood.

contraigon
contraigon

Seriously? They banned billion-year-old games for a slightly ratial aspect and cause they think 8-bit blood coming out of cheesy monsters is gonna mess kids up? That's rediculous.

coop36
coop36

lol it may have just recently been un-banned but come on I know if any Germans really wanted to play it they did years ago 'somehow'. Banning something makes you just want to play it more, like Man Hunt 2.

brunorr
brunorr

@Frame_Dragger Of course EA only pulled the Taliban out because of money. What I meant is that in both countries it would be recognized one way or another that this piece of entertainment is disrespectful and shouldn't be comercialized. Germany only avoided that process. I'm not a socialist but I don't agree market should regulate everything. It would be a sad day if I had to rely on the number of sales of a piece of entertainment so other people that don't give a damn decide if it's disrespectful or not.

brunorr
brunorr

@Frame_Dragger No man, the point of banning the swastika is not to evade history. I don't think even Germany wants to evade it since you can even visit the concentration camps. And on the contrary, I believe everyone should know what happened so history doesn't repeat itself. The point here is that having fun with such a tragic episode in history is disrespectful. I have the same opinions as you regarding governments regulating entertainment and I consider games to be an artform just like music and movies so authors should have all the freedom they need. I also agree with you there are fanatics, criminals and all sort of narrow minded people trying to regulate all sorts of things but in this case I don't blame the german government. Do you know when a comedian tells a joke that offends people and then has to apologize? That means the guy used his freedom irresponsably in my book. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think Germany, as most european countries, is heavy on censorship so I think they just avoided that example (not that ID was irresponsable but in Germany particularly that game would have a different reception). And sure, any group can be offended by anything but we are talking about an episode that affects their history and probably all of their people till today, not a particular group and not political or religious convictions either.

MemberUnknown
MemberUnknown

It only took 17 years. Hmm, better late than never I say.

ThePurpleBubble
ThePurpleBubble

@Kyle_360 Yes... A German (err... Austrian, technically...) was the catalyst for WW2, and so that is why it is more offensive over there - it is a peice of history that I don't imagine they would like to be reminded of. IIRC it is punishable by law over there to own something that even resembles a Swastika.

gameking5000
gameking5000

@kyle_360 Yeah but Jews may play this game and get offended so it gets banned.

kyle_360
kyle_360

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cynicalundead
cynicalundead

@drummerdickens Okay Mr. Burns, what's your first name?

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@Frame_Dragger: lol I'd hate to be hurt real bad and waiting for you to be the one to call 911 and spend an over an hour trying to explain things before help actually arrives. You CAN convey your opinion in less than 6 paragraphs. ;) And the Caeser thing, atleast we can agree he was a dictator that took power he wasnt supposed to. Funny how people just let that kind of stuff happen. I guess as long as someone is in charge eh?

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

Frame_Dragger wich is why theres so meny petty wars in this world

brunorr
brunorr

@Frame_Dragger Actually you are right. EA chose to take it out from their game when Germany banned it upfront. BUT EA only prevented the lawsuits that would come and the bad reputation the game and company would aquire. In the end they would probably have to take it away anyway by a court decision. I know there is a difference but my point is in both sides it's recognized that there is a limit to what entertainment should offer. Imagine the people whose fathers died in Iraq having to know gamers across the street are having fun playing as a Taliban killing american soldiers... Is it necessary? Wouldn't you be offended if it happened to you? I would. In Germany the swastika is probably one of the most taboo things. I'm pretty sure germans wouldn't find it fun anyway. It's not like the government is choosing what is the correct form of entertainment for it's people, but only preventing more grief that would come anyway IMHO.

baltim123
baltim123

@RE4GreatesGame i don't really think you should ban videogames because some crazy youngsters thought shooting cars to be cool because of a game , these people probably need psychological help or are just very dumb , if it wasn't for gta IV they wouldve probably done some other dumb/bad things

The_Gaming_Baby
The_Gaming_Baby

I have played over 200 violent games and I am one of the nicest people you'd ever meet. Seriously, come around my house and I'll make you a coffee and we can have a pleasant conversation about the weather.

mAniaCinBLACK
mAniaCinBLACK

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

brunorr
brunorr

This is exactly the same thing as when EA removed Taliban from Medal of Honour, so this is not a german issue as some are saying. I'm generally against censorship but sometimes we have to think if it's reasonable for people to have fun with moments that caused so much grief to others. Germans will carry the 2nd world War burden forever, so I don't think that ban (for their country) was such a big deal.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Germans. Games do not turn children into killers. If anything they just get hyper for a moment. Also, pretending something didn't happen doesn't mean it didn't happen. Swastikas and all that Nazi propaganda should be unbanned in Media. Of course, banning the NAZI Swastika in real life reduces Neo-Nazism, but at the same time the standard Swastika, a symbol of luck, should be unbanned.

pidow
pidow

I must say, the clock ticks there!.

jhpeter
jhpeter

Maybe in year 3000 they will let Harvester (PC Cdrom) to enter too.

Shatilov
Shatilov

after 17 years they are still banning this game. !!!

Outer_Raven
Outer_Raven

violent games do not make kids go on a killing spree. If it did, then we would all be dead because of all those pre-puberty kids that play CoD. Then again, I bet all they would do is camp in the corner. :P

Outer_Raven
Outer_Raven

@iiuu I have no idea what you just said, and I'm pretty sure that last part's from MW2.

jhpeter
jhpeter

To live is not need, but to play Doom is.

SabCadab
SabCadab

finally they discovered the turbo button :p :D

iiuu
iiuu

Blah blah blah... capital part all of this "historical" and you know who write the history, don't you?! Yes, The Winners , so who are "zee" best commies (which carved up half of Europe, and what the hell whole world) and who are "zee" bad, nazies... and etc etc etc... and blah blah blah... again something about nothing... Winners my dear readers write the history, and they can put in there whatever they want.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@weggierie: lol a "minor difference"? Really man, are you serious? The Roman Empire conquered and enslaved entire civilizations. They threw christians and eithnic slaves in the arena with lions, tigers and enslaved gladiators and killed them by the thousands for nothing but pure entertainment. Hitler took power and corrupted an entire nation based on racial hate to exterminate, only not for entertainment....Caesar took power during wartime by law and kept it passed his allowance to dictate further. Hitler just took his power during wartime.....You tell me how thats a minor difference.................................................................................... @Frame_Dragger: seriously man, you need to shorten your comments down so-as it doesn't look like a friggen masters thesis or disertation. Cripes man, write a book or something. Way too much time on your hands bro...

waZelda
waZelda

People need to realize that it is with violent games as it is with violent television. People who are affected by them are people who choose to be affected by them. A game will never turn someone with perfect mental health into a serial killer. In fact, a large meta-study showed that videogames, whether violent or not leads to a decrease in crime: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1804959 (The link leads you to a page with the conclusion of the study, to read the whole thing, click "One-Click Download")

kristaps194
kristaps194

I play Doom everyday - on my Sansa Clip :D

Dawg9000
Dawg9000

@zidan4000 when i go down south i will wear a balaclava in the middle of the night and see if no one is around and i will pain the union flag every friggin where , what are they gonna do about it? it is not like it is going to revive slavery or something.

EiRoGGe
EiRoGGe

Guys, please realize that the "ban" here spoken of just means retailers are not allowed to sell the games to minors nor are the publishers allowed to advertise the game. It doesn't mean you are not allowed to buy it, own it or talk about it. The effect this kind of "ban" has is that the publishers don't even publish the affected games in Germany, but you can still get them from another country without breaking any law. These regulations seem outdated, but remember they were created not many years after WW2, so the zeitgeist of that time lives in them.

NightFox313
NightFox313

You know, seeing new things brings new imagination! :)