Score one for progressive public freedoms! Doom finally cleared for general release in Germany

Ladies and gentlemen, we stand together on a momentous day. Truly, it is one that will go down as a landmark in the history of human freedom and man's progressive attitude towards art, his fellow man,  and in fact pretty much every aspect of everything relating to human existence ever. Because today, I am delighted to be able to report, is the day that Doom and Doom II have finally been cleared for general release by the German ratings board.

Share in this victory people, for in a way, we have all taken our first step towards a new, more enlightened state of being this day.

Why so long? Well given Germany's notoriously puritanical attitude towards media censorship, both games had previously been indexed by the ominously-named Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons, meaning that were categorised as being in the same division as porn and under heavy retail and advertising restrictions. And the best bit? An appeal on indexed material can only occur after ten years.

Having bought Doom Developer id Software in 2009, Bethesda obviously figured "Why the hell not?" and has succeeded in having the decision over-turned. Technically the appeal could have been put into action in 2003, but presumably John Carmack has been too busy since then making Jurassic Park quality CG dinosaurs render out on pocket calculator. You know, just for fun. 

Sadly though, still no reprieve for Wolfenstein 3D. Mecha-Hitler weeps with impotent jealousy.

September 1, 2011


  • KidKatana - September 2, 2011 1:28 a.m.

    @ soramineforever Point taken, but it's the principle that's important - Germany's censors board is notorious for mollycoddling its gamers. I mean look at the name of that government body: the "Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons". How unspecific is that?! What's the cutoff point for a 'young person' - 18? 21? 30? Is every 'old person' in the country voluntarily relinquishing their right to play a certain game just so that the 'young people' have no chance of being exposed to it and therefore harmed by it? Anyway, sorry to rant, but it's about time Germany's censors got with the times and started respecting their citizens and allowing them to make responsible, adult decisions.
  • Neoprenanzug - September 2, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    The cutoff point is at the age of 18. >Anyway, sorry to rant, but it's about time Germany's censors got with the times and started respecting their citizens and allowing them to make responsible, adult decisions. They did, sort of. Doom was banned 20 years ago, the reglementations were different back then than they are now. Today, as soon as a game gets an age ratification, it cannot be banned anymore. However, it is (and ever was) possible for people aged 18 or older to buy banned games. To be more precise, we got two steps of banishment here in Germany. The common one is about age resctiction - violence, gore etc. These are the ones you can buy still as an adult, but they are not allowed to be advertised or to be sold in the public (as opposed to games with an official aged-18-rating). The second step is an impoundment (correct vocabulary?) and refers to material which violates the german constitution, mostly Nazi stuff. This kind of media is totally forbidden, even for people aged 18 or more. That's why the international version of Doom II is still banned, cause it contains swastikas from Wolfenstein 3D. We got a special german version of Doom II without those symbols. (Ironically, swastikas in the Indiana Jones movies are no problem at all. Duh...)
  • Neoprenanzug - September 2, 2011 8:35 a.m.

    Sorry 'bout the bad formatting. Quoting did't work as expected.
  • DirkSteele1 - September 2, 2011 12:44 a.m.

    "presumably John Carmack has been too busy since then making Jurassic Park quality CG dinosaurs render out on pocket calculator. You know, just for fun" Made me chuckle, especially as it is probably true. Score one for the games industry in Germany.
  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - September 1, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    Even though both games are almost 20 years old, they are still some of the best games ever(also with a great soundtrack). I'm currently replaying Doom II right now, and finally bought Doom 3 from Being mostly German, this makes me very happy indeed. I never knew things were so bad in Australia though, that sucks for them.
  • Viklandian - September 1, 2011 11 p.m.

    One step at a time. Germany's 'situation' is probably worse than Australia's from an objective standpoint. I mean, really? A ten-year wait for an appeal? Also nice to see Bethesda cares enough to lodge the appeal - even if it was just a piece of paper they sent in two years ago and forgot about.
  • suicidali - September 1, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    MK9 for Austrailians! 2021! Seriously though, it's kind of a minor victory, seeing as it's not really a relevant game anymore. Good, but irrelevant.
  • taokaka - September 2, 2011 2:18 a.m.

    or how about mortal kombat sometime later this year or next when we finally get an R rating?
  • soranamineforever - September 1, 2011 12:25 p.m.

    I can feel... no one buying this. Seriously, at this point in time, these games have been pirated to hell. Do you really expect people to pay attention NOW?!
  • azureguy - September 1, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    I am German, and I agree that this is a huge step forward for "German standards". Even thought the current situation is still not flawless, I've seen more mature games being released in Germany uncut this year than ever before. Hell, even Gears of War 3 is gonna be released in Germany uncut, and the two former games were banned! The only thing left is to make Steam a better place for German customers. Speaking of Doom, I wanted to buy Doom 3 recently, but couldn't because the game is not even available in English language for me. It's even uncut, but still not English... If Steam is ever gonna get an age authentification system, Germany can finally be considered normal. Now then, time to improve things in Australia.
  • Tymiegie - September 1, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    I can feel a new enlightenment coming on...
  • Mezolitik - September 1, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    Man, pixels used to be huge! But seriously, we took one step forward for video gaming, only for Deus Ex to ruin everything by being racist...

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