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February 13th, 2008, 22:01
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post

The big problem I'm having with this is simply that the USK slaps an 18+ on the game, which means that it can only be sold to people over the age or 18 or older in Germany. And then they remove some content in the game that the creators of the game originally had envisioned to be i the game - out of fear that children might see this content when the game should only be bought by people over 18 in the first place…

Something's don't compute right, me thinks…
That's not quite right… the USK does not remove anything from games. It's usually the developers themselves that remove certain content for the German release because they fear that they might not get a rating from the USK at all. The USK can in fact do that if they think that the game might violate German law.

The "it's not intended to be played by children" dilemma is a pretty old one. I admit that there is some hypocrisy involved, but it really concerns both sides. It's true that the label "streng jugendgefährdend" doesn't make much sense since you got the possibility to just give the game a 18+ rating. On the other hand it should be fairly clear that it almost impossible to avoid that stuff like that will fall into the hands of children.

Overall the laws in Germany concerning violence in video games are pretty hard… no doubt about it. I'm not a big fan of them myself. But to be fair one has mention that there are very few games that are actually banned. Most games that are labeled as "streng jugendgefährdend" will be set on an some kind of black list which means that they can neither be advertised nor openly sold in Germany. If you want the game you have to go to a store and ask for the game, but you won't find it on a shelf. For most publishers that means that they just won't publish the game in Germany, because it's just not very profitable (at least that's what they are saying)… or they will change the game so that the USK will give them a rating.
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