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

Faustian pacts deemed inappropriate for pre-teens

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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