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Germany lifts ban on Nazi symbols in computer, video games

AFP  |  Berlin 

Computer and video games can include swastikas and other Nazi symbols, a German industry body said today, after a heated debate over the "Wolfenstein" franchise in which gamers battle Third Reich forces.

The game was previously deemed to have fallen foul of the German criminal code, which bars any depiction of so-called "anti-constitutional" symbols, including Nazi swastikas.

Accordingly in "II," images of were doctored to remove his moustache and the in the Nazi flag was replaced with a triangular symbol.

This sparked an uproar in the community, prompting calls for games to be treated like films.

Because movies are deemed works of art, they are exempt from the ban, similar to material used in research, historical or scientific purposes. Films set in the World War II-era, for instance, are allowed to be screened in with Nazi symbols.

The Entertainment Self-Regulation Body (USK) said video games will in future be examined as to whether they constitute such exceptions.

The industry body, which is responsible for providing age ratings on video games, made the decision after it was tasked to determine what is socially permissible in video games by Germany's

"Through the change in the interpretation of the law, games that critically look at current affairs can for the first time be given a age rating," said Elisabeth Secker,

"This has long been the case for films and with regards to the freedom of the arts, this is now rightly also the case with computer and video games," she said.

will perform its new task responsibly, she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 09 2018. 18:55 IST