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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany 625

Posted by Soulskill
from the ach-mein-leben dept.
D1gital_Prob3 tips news that Activision's recently-released shooter, Wolfenstein, is being recalled in Germany due to the appearance of swastikas in the game. Such symbols are banned in Germany, and the German version of the game went through heavy editing to remove them. Apparently, they missed some. Activision said, "Although it is not a conspicuous element in the normal game ... we have decided to take this game immediately from the German market." Reader eldavojohn points out a review that has screenshot comparisons between the two versions of the game.
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Wolfenstein Being Recalled In Germany

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:25AM (#29515943) Journal

    Here's a huge list of screenshots of differences between uncensored and german version [schnittberichte.com]

    Some of the changes I found a little fun too, like the hand [schnittberichte.com].

    It's also interesting that the game is 18+ and germans are still not allowed to see any blood.

    Here's the texture they apparently forgot to modify [schnittberichte.com].

    Seeing how many changes to the game and to the textures they've had to do, I'm not that surprised something that small slipped in.

    The interesting thing now is if they're gonna remove that texture, remaster, repackage and send the new ones to all stores again, even more so because the game is over an month old now and the best sales are already gone.

  • by Schnoogs (1087081) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:40AM (#29516237)
    someone mod this guy troll. Spare us the clichéd rant against Bush. You'd have to be pretty ignorant of history to label Bush a fascist compared to guys like Hitler. Spare us the kool aid induced hyperbole. The guy is no longer in office. Take the 20 bumper stickers of your car and give it a rest already.
  • Re:censorship (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:41AM (#29516247)

    the rationale for this type of censorship ... is to expand government in terms of both power and revenue. Same as the rationale for every other type of censorship.

    You're not in the business of government, are you?

  • Re:so long ago (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:46AM (#29516335) Journal

    Your reasons for denying the existence of history are over now.

    German denial of history has nothing on the Japanese. Bataan death march, what? Rape of Nanking, what? Death railway, what? Those weren't in my history books......

  • Re:Hey Germany (Score:3, Informative)

    by Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) * on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:51AM (#29516405) Journal

    The Swastika didn't kill anyone.
    A bunch of jackasses did. Why don't you just outlaw people planning to kill other people?

    Do you think not having a Swastika will prevent a dictator or demagogue from choosing a different symbol to hide behind?

    Especially since it's a historically sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Mithraism. Actually, reading about the Swastika [wikipedia.org] here and how popular of a symbol it was before the rise and all of the Nazi Party, I'm shocked that you don't see it more often in Western nations.

  • Re:Trotskydoom (Score:3, Informative)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @11:57AM (#29516509) Homepage

    Not true:

    Freedom Fighters, originally titled Freedom: The Battle For Liberty Island, is a 2003 third-person shooter video game available for the Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and Microsoft Windows that is set in an alternate history. The player takes the role of Christopher Stone, a plumber-turned American Resistance movement leader who fights against the Red Army that invades and occupies New York City.

  • Re:censorship (Score:5, Informative)

    by DarkDust (239124) <marc@darkdust.net> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:01PM (#29516575) Homepage
    The law was done by the Allied Control Council and was then taken over into our "Grundgesetz" (constitution). So you can blame your politicians for our censorship, in a sense ;-) Still, most of us Germans regard the law to be a non-issue. It's meant to keep right-winged people from glorifying the Nazis. Normally, it's only an issue if you're right-winged or a game maker placing your game in WWII.
  • Re:Trotskydoom (Score:3, Informative)

    by arethuza (737069) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:21PM (#29516931)
    Yet there is a chain on cafe bars in the UK called "Cafe Mao" and yes, it does appear to be *that* Mao. I've always thought that was a bit odd - a "Bar Stalin" would be unlikely and a "Bar Hitler" would be impossible but Mao was responsible for more deaths than the other two.
  • by psyeye (883344) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:26PM (#29516997)
    It clearly shows that you have absolutely no clue of what you're talking about.

    Being from Germany I can assure you that Nazi symbols are not banned from any history book or documentation or whatever. But presenting Nazi symbols in another context than education (or similar) is not allowed.

    This ban helps keeping Nazis under control - you have a simple thing in your hands to kick their butts with this law and others. Additionally, regarding the well known history of Germany there is NO REASON to show, wear or use Nazi symbols other than for a) education (allowed) or b) propaganda for forces against the German democracy (disallowed).
  • by Dayze!Confused (717774) <slashdot.org@ohyonghao . c om> on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:34PM (#29517145) Homepage Journal

    Umm, I live in Taiwan and I can let you know that they still use a reversed swastika. I see it on every Buddhist temple (which is quite a lot) and on some of the more traditional residences. It's only a religious symbol to them here, most people don't even know that the Nazi party used it.
        Of course, these are the same people that think the word playboy means rabbit and have no idea of the brand's link to the porn industry. Gotta love Asian culture.

  • Re:Deja Vu (Score:3, Informative)

    by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:48PM (#29517423)

    This has happened to pretty much every iteration of Wolfenstein *ever*. Almost every WWII game made has run afoul of various German laws in some form or another. Between their banhammer laws on anything remotely resembling Nazi iconography and the way they ratchet up the prohibition of pixelated violence every time they have an American-style school shooting, it's really a wonder that you can buy a single game over there that's any more graphic than cartoon bears throwing marshmallows at each other and then apologizing afterwards.

  • Re:I gotta ask... (Score:3, Informative)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @12:50PM (#29517453)

    For example: the good Indiana Jones movies have a lot of Nazis and swastikas in them. Did they have to be editted for this ban?

    If you intend that your movie makes money on the German market, you plan ahead: The mirror image of the swastika is allowed, and most Americans wouldn't notice the difference, so you can use it freely and generously.

  • by KingMotley (944240) * on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:11PM (#29517847) Journal

    Sorry, I should have mentioned that I am of German descent. A large portion of my family still resides in Germany, and I have spent significant time there, starting from childhood, albeit I haven't been there in many years. Some of Germany's civil laws are pretty silly, or at least were. Being able to drink pretty much as soon as you can ask for it, but it's illegal to play pinball or video games in public at least until you turn 18. You can't have minors in movie theaters in the evening, even if accompanied by their parents, watching PG movies?

    Odd, but I don't necessarily disagree, I also saw a large 4-5 story building with a mural of a naked/bare chested lady. Naked/bare chested women on public tv during the evening. I remember watching (sorry, my german is pretty poor, so my cousin was translating some), about some plot to make bras that secretly blow up like balloons. A rather silly plot line, but plenty of gratuitous nudity during prime time. Personally, I find that fine as well, but I find it odd that as open minded as that is, the great lengths the country has gone to hide it's own history.

    Just some of the absurdities I encountered while there.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:42PM (#29518389) Journal

    My argument is simpler:

    If my neighbors' decision to join the Nazi Party, or smoke weed, or have sex with 20 men, does not physically harm me than I don't really care what they do. I think you're weird but if that's how you enjoy spending your life, then go to it. That's what liberty means.

  • by burni2 (1643061) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @01:45PM (#29518475)

    Now having heard that social progressives are more into censorship .. than others etc..

    I want to state some facts about germany and the background, and in the end my own opinion:

    The swastika, also the posing in the public
    doing the "Nazi salute", and public saying of "Heil Hitler" with a non-documentary or historic background are prohibitted.

    If you do a historic documentation about the NAZIs the use of the Swastika is allowed.

    But also building up organizitions and naming them
    after their Nazi counterparts is prohibitted,

    like
    - "NSDAP" the Party also known as the "NAZI"-party
    - "HJ" (Young Hitlericans(male))
    - "BDM" (Young Hitlericans(female)
    - "SS" (Sturm Staffel)

    or stating that the holocaust never happend,
    also known as "Holocaust Luege" - holocaust lie.

    b.) Are there Nazis still in Germany active ?

    Yes, they are. In Germany, we have two (bigger) extreme right wing parties:

    - NPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands)
    (nationaldemocratic party germany)
    - REP (Republikaner :: Republicans)

    The NPD has some MPs in east german non-federal parliaments. Some days ago they also managed to reenter one of the parliaments in a row.

    That's a premiere because anytime else they entered a parliament they were out on the next election. Mostly because their members had stolen
    computers, office equipment and embezzled money for themselves(it was meant for covering expenses due to political work).

    Funny isn't it, for a party which stands for law and order, more order than law I guess.

    So these people mostly turn out to be total boneheads, the elitebrain leaders within those parties are few.

    But they are connected and involved to non-offical/underground/forbidden organizations like the "Freie Kameradschaften"

    sometimes those organizations gather weapons
    and explosives, for terrorist acts.

    The members of these "gangs" are often young and violent, they gather in flashmobs and have
    hobbies like beating up foreigners, just for being foreign, sometimes they kill, or
    hunt their prey in such a threatening way that the hunted people try to get into a safehouse by kicking in a glass window, accidently cutting themselves and bleeding to death.

    If you have black, dark skin or look like a gipsy
    you can end up as their prey, but sometimes because you look funny or do not speak german.

    And if you are jewish they demolish your property or paint graffities like "SS" or "Jude verrecke"
    (this means Jew die, in an extreme unpleasant way)
    onto your property, synagogues and graveyards.

    And all this, happens in germany still, mostly
    in eastern germany - there are dangerous hotspots
    where this happens, outside of these hotspots
    it's mostly safe.

    The prohibitions are instated to battle those
    extreme right parties.

    Please keep this in mind, when discussing
    those NAZI-topics.

    To get things into the right perspective, for germany those violent acts are _not_ common,
    most foreign visitors describe germany as a
    "clean and friendly country", and to be clear most of my fellow citizens are no NAZIs and won't do any harm.

    But recent studies suggest 10 percent of the allowed voters can imagine themselves to vote
    for extreme right parties.

    So most of us try that those new Nazis will not ever rise up again, as it happend in '33.

    My personal opinion about this topic is:

    I think it's wrong that the holocaust-lie is prosecuted by law, because I want to know what
    idiot I face from the beginning.

    Perhaps after my lines below you can imagine why this is a very sensitive spot in our history even today.

    Six Million people dead - selected to live or to die, after they left the train on the basis of their condition. Those who could do work, or were technically skilled were forced to work very low on food, with no medical support, so it was death by work. Those who were weak - children, elderly

  • Re:censorship (Score:5, Informative)

    by dunkelfalke (91624) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @04:16PM (#29521025)

    It doesn't even go that far. Nazi symbols are only forbidden when they aren't shown in a historical context.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @05:02PM (#29521869)

    For example, you can burn a swastika flag without trouble, or you can wear an anti-nazi shirt with a red bar across the swastika.

    Actually, you can get in trouble for that, too. The ban on the display of nazi or counter-constitutional symbols does not make an explicit exception for showing the symbols in a non-educational but anti-nazi context. Therefore, it depends on the interpretation of the public prosecutor and the judge.

    The Bundesgerichtshof (supreme civil and penal court) even held that using a swastika to mark a high-rank politician violates the law, the given reason being this: If someone claims that he is a nazi, some people abroad might think that nazi ideas are still accepted in Germany. That must not be allowed, even if it might be true. (Well, you can say or write that someone is a nazi but expressing the same idea in a picture is verboten.)

    Only showing the swastika in a clearly anti-nazi content is allowed. This includes a stricken swastika [wikimedia.org] or throwing it into a trash bin. However, this just means that you have a good chance of eventually being acquitted but it does not protect you from a search of your home and other investigative measures if the public prosecutor does not like you. It does not help if you're leftish or bordering on left-wing extremism.

    Yes, many anti-fascists have actually been prosecuted and convicted for using nazi symbols!

    However, if you're a multi-million American movie studio, you can usually get away with showing it in an artistic context and in films like the Indy series or Inglourious Basterds. No prosecutor would dare seizing your film.

    It's a bit different if you're making a video game, especially one of the so-called "killerspiele" (killing games) such as Far Cry, Counterstrike, World of Warcraft or the Sims (all of these have been mentioned by politicians). Then you're not an artist but one of the bastards responsible for school shootings.

  • Re:Swastika (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jesus_666 (702802) on Wednesday September 23, 2009 @05:41PM (#29522497)
    Given that German history class (mandatory after elementary school) is about 50% history of WW2, Nazi Germany and everything concerning it, "it didn't happen" is as much the German opinion on the Third Reich as "we wish we were British" is the American opinion on their history.
  • by flewp (458359) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @12:56AM (#29525497)
    Yeah, the Civil War only became a war to "free the blacks" after support for the war was wavering. Lincoln saw an opportunity to take the "moral high ground" and used it as a way to try and boost support for the war. As you said, the North wanted control, and as the war dragged on, people started questioning whether it was worth it. Lincoln then tried turning it into a war to free the slaves to garner more public support, and to re-purpose the war with a more worthy and lofty cause. While slavery was part of the issue for the start of the war, the South seceded because they wanted more say over the way things were run, which while that included slavery, it wasn't the main or only cause.

    As for the economic collapse theory, like I said, I have no idea if it could have worked. I think you're absolutely correct about them not grovelling and coming back to the union though. I obviously wasn't alive at the time, so I can't say, but it does seem the North underestimated the South's resolve and stubbornness. I think that as you say, they might have lived out a life as an "underdeveloped country" for awhile, but I'd have to imagine that after awhile, they'd rebuild their infrastructure to better support their country.

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