Apparently the German game rating system still sucks

It appears that the new game from the Polish studio Techland – Dead Island: Riptide will not be released in Germany, just like it happened with the first part of the game. However, the reasons behind this are of course confusing and seem somewhat illogical.

According to what Sebastian Reichert, one of the game developers, told PCGamesN the studio is not working on a censored version so it most likely will not be released on the German market. He noted:

There are laws that prohibit violence against human-like characters. It doesn’t matter what [the enemies] are, as long as they’re human-like then you have a problem. For Dead Island in particular it was a problem that you could attack the zombies when they are dead, because that’s mutilation of corpses.

As questionable as it may be, it’s also understandable that this is how the law is over there but if that’s exactly how it’s phrased then I’d say it’s quite ambiguous and open to interpretation. So that’s the confusing part. What about the lack of logic mentioned above? Well, it becomes evident when Reichert starts questioning the rationale behind the rating system:

At the moment I’m really confused that you can buy Gears of War 3 in stores in Germany, but not Dead Island. Because where’s the difference? I mean, [the enemies in Gears of War] are human-like, and they things you do to them… ah, they really have nice finishers!

Hence, judging from that perspective it really seems that there are no rules to the German USK rating system… Is the decision itself surprising though? I don’t think so. After all, Germany is already quite famous for imposing changes on game developers many times in the past, so if Techland (for whatever reason) did not produce a censored version adapted to the German laws, such outcome was inevitable.

Personally? I’m not surprised. I treat video games as an art form and I think developers should have the freedom to create whatever they want to. They shouldn’t be forced to make changes just because one or two countries (e.g. Australia) have strict censorship policies in place. I consider it sort of like approaching a relatively famous painter and telling him ‘listen, the trees in your paintings MUST be blue because we only allow blue trees to be portrayed in our country, change it or else you can’t sell your paintings here”.

Apart from that, censored games are often of a questionable quality and look inferior when compared with their normal versions. Here are a few videos showing some of the censored games.

Let’s start off with a classic – a German censored version of Counter-Strike: Source – because it’s natural for a Special Air Service operator to casually lie down on the ground and put his hands on the back of his head, especially after a headshot.

Next up, a German version of Team Fortress 2 – where after a player is ripped apart by explosives his bloody guts do not fall out, but instead – presents, hamburgers, rubber ducks and other more ‘appropriate’ things.

Last but not least, a video of Command & Conquer: Generals – because obviously Germany thinks people at war aren’t cool. But cyborgs totally are.

So? What do you think? Do you think Germany is right in trying to curb down video game violence even if it takes banning some games? Or maybe you think over the years they only made some games look awful and it’s time they finally stopped? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Sources:

Dead Island: Riptide dev: “You can buy Gears of War in Germany, but not Dead Island. What’s the difference?” [PCGamesN.com]

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