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Default German USK Publishes Leading Criteria for Age Ratings

August 4th, 2011, 22:35
This newsbit could be quite interesting for the developers and publishers among our readers. If you're considering to add green blood or other such nonsense to your game, you may want to find a way to consume this German document.
The German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body USK (links: English, German) made their current leading criteria (German: Leitkriterien) for age classification (link to the German overview page) available to the general public. GamesMarkt.de writes (transl.):
The leading criteria are the result of the current law, the USK's general policy (Engl.) , scientific findings and the experience from 30.000 USK ratings over 16 years. [Unfortunately there's no precise English word for the legal term "Spruchpraxis". Interpret this in the context of legal consistency. - ed.] They have been written by a gremium of experts and put into force by the advisory council.
So this document is the real thing. Not just a summary, the document the USK uses internally and which has the full support of the involved parties.
According to managing director Felix Falk the USK publishes the Leitlinien as useful information for both users and developers, and to make the USK rating process more transparent and optimized.
On 20 pages in plain text game related topics like violence, war, drugs, sexuality, discrimination, realism, gameplay, atmosphere, etc. put in the context of their impact on a young user and a potential danger for children and adolescents. Legal paragraphs are only mentioned in the footnotes.
As mentioned before, the document is in German. 3 out of 4 related articles have been translated into English, though. So a future translation is not unlikely.
More information.
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August 4th, 2011, 22:35
You silly Europeans. We Americans developed a much simpler system like 60 years ago for use in all media. I don't have access to the official document, but I'm 99% sure it goes like this:

Regular Old Violence, any amount: Approved for all ages.

Gore and Dismemberment: Approved for ages twelve and up.

Boobies: Approved for mature gamers only.

More than Boobies: Go to jail for producing or distributing the material.

When will your people stop putting all that misguided faith in "Science" and evolve along with us? When will you embrace civilization? We're waiting for you, brothers.
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August 4th, 2011, 23:04
A very well written provocation, thumbs up !
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 6th, 2011, 03:55
Wait, so if I eat this document it will make my blood turn green, just like Mr. Spock? I want!!! If only I had a printer….
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