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Binding of Isaac's mature German rating bumped up for blasphemy

Germany's Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (which we don't need to tell you is the software industry's self-ratings board, much like the North American ESRB) has bumped up the rating for Team Meat's The Binding of Isaac, reports designer Edward McMillen via Twitter. “Turns out Isaac is the first and only game to ever get its rating raised to 16 because of 'Blasphemy,'” tweeted McMillen, not without a hint of satisfaction: “it actually had a 12+ first."

Technically, the USK's ruling errs on the side of generosity: the new 16 rating's technically for games featuring “moderate violence (no visible blood),” and blood is probably the least disgusting bodily fluid visible throughout much of Isaac. The rating's more due to the game's appropriation of Biblical and demonological themes and imagery, and is probably actually pretty appropriate in that context. Still, pity Germany's prepubescent occultists, starved of yet another opportunity to forge lasting relationships with the lords of the underworld - and in the country that invented Faust, no less! You'll always have Pokemon.

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9 comments

  • radiodeaf - February 14, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    Make fun of Germany all you want, but we all know every "modern" country to date has abolished something silly and ignorant due to biblical reasoning. Let's blame a game with nothing close to real blood or feces except half drawn depictions.
  • Tom_Goulter - February 14, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    "Appropriate" and "generous" are terms of mockery now?
  • Rotbarsch - February 14, 2012 5:20 a.m.

    I'm afraid I have to call "Bullshit". I am from Germany and I have been watching the USK and their exploits for a while... and I can assure you, there's no way TBoI got its rating because of "occult themes". There are pretty clear rules, which kind of content justifies which rating-and "occultism" isn't even mentioned. It's clearly because of the blood and shit and disturbing creatures luring down there. Honestly, would you want your younger sibling to play TBoI? Furthermore, we saw Persona 3 here in Germany. Rating? You need to be 12 years old in order to be legally allowed to buy it. And censorship which reminds you of previous exploits? Well, at least we get to see some boobies over here... Greetings from Germany
  • Headup Games - February 14, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    In this case you are wrong. Feel free to check our FB page for the exact wording of the USK. The violence would have the game receive a 12+, but its "tendency to blasphemy" made the board raise a 16+. o pr stunt from us here :-) (And by the way, we agree with Isaac being more suitable for older kids, but out of other reason than the one mentioned...)
  • Darkhawk - February 13, 2012 3:23 p.m.

    Wow. Congratulations, Germany. This absurd and heavy-handed censorship in no way reminds the world of previous exploits.
  • majormoses117 - February 13, 2012 3:14 p.m.

    that pokemon link is f*cking crazy
  • Cyberninja - February 13, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    all i have to say to the link is if they think pokemon is evil then i cant wait until they see persona 3 where you shoot yourself in the head to summon your personas and can summon satan, and they think pokemon is made by wizards of the coast which is funny
  • angelusdlion - February 13, 2012 8:40 p.m.

    The CCG is.
  • CH3BURASHKA - February 13, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    Lol at "Blasphemy". Reminds me of USA's "obscenity laws". In fact, I'm pretty sure I read something or other about a US politician taking about bringing back obscenity laws to regulate video games. It seems ridiculous and absurd that a government would be in charge of things such as "obscenity" and religious context. What the hell do they care how I spend my time? Stop pandering to low-hanging fruit and try fixing the real problems for a change.

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