Australia may get the press
for censoring games
, but Germany's been doing it for a while and it's a relatively common practice required to release most violent games in the country. At GDC Europe
, the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbskontrolle (USK), gave a very detailed explanation on how the organization goes about rating (and banning) games.
As the rules are government-enforced under criteria determined by the BPjM (German Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons), any game that is judged by a panel to have extremely gross depiction of violence against human-life enemies, "autotelic
" violence, complete lack of non-violent gameplay elements, unsanctioned killing or serious injury of innocent bystanders or children automatically gets the non-rating banhammer.
The USK representatives themselves clearly recognized the system isn't perfect, but noted that they have to follow the government rules; therefore, before ponying up the couple thousand Euro submission fee, many publishers preemptively provide an edited version of their games to the board. To check out the list of edited games yourself, go to USK.de
, click on the last option in "Alterskennzeichen" and type "dt. version" under Titel.