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Censorship First Person Shooters (Games) Games

German Ban On Doom Finally Lifted 176

Posted by Soulskill
from the that-was-fast dept.
An anonymous reader writes "18 years after its debut, Doom, the game that almost single-handedly popularized the FPS genre (remember when we just called them Doom clones?) is finally seeing the light of legality in the nation of Germany. The lifting of the ban also applies to the beloved sequel Doom II. A release date has yet to be set. I recommend that Germans who have not found some way to play this game over the last 18 years, please do so upon its release. Despite its age, it's still fun as hell. (Pun very much intended.)"
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German Ban On Doom Finally Lifted

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  • by Lanteran (1883836) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @06:42PM (#37269876) Homepage Journal

    I can see wolfenstein (well actually I can't) but doom?

    • Re:Er- why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @06:49PM (#37269954)

      Play a bit harder and you'll find out, or idclev31 and idclev32 if you're impatient.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Play a bit harder and you'll find out, or idclev31 and idclev32 if you're impatient.

        Or for the truly impatient [youtube.com]

        • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @08:42PM (#37270810)

          Play a bit harder and you'll find out, or idclev31 and idclev32 if you're impatient.

          Or for the truly impatient [youtube.com]

          Truly impatient? If I didn't find a secret level almost 20 years ago, I think you can safely bet I gave up looking.

          • Re:Er- why? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:17AM (#37272738) Journal

            But that still doesn't really explain why Germans try to erase history by banning it. Do they think that will make Nazism magically disappear? This is why I think the American way is better, let them act like asses in the open so you don't let hatred fester and instead can confront it directly. i know from first hand experience that this method WORKS.

            When I lived in Dallas several years ago I ran across some Neo Nazis trying to spread their hate literature so I went to a little hobby shop around the corner and made up my own little sign. it simply read "Ask me about the camps" and when people would stop I would tell them of my grandfather's experience liberating a camp, of the bodies so starved they couldn't tell male from female, of seeing cattle cars filled with corpses, of having to relay instructions to his men NOT to feed the starving no matter how much it ate at them, because they had been mistreated and starved for so damned long that rich GI food would throw their frail little bodies into shock.

            Needless to say the little Hitlers were none to happy about this, one even tried to get a cop to make me go away. The cop laughed and I heard him say 'Free speech pal, he can speak too" so they packed up and went away. It is ALWAYS better to confront hate with truth than it is to hide it under the rug. Hidden in the dark it just festers and grows. if the Germans would quit trying to pretend it didn't exist and instead confront it with truth I think they'd find they'd be a lot better off.

            Maybe TFA will be the start of that, but I doubt it, too many prefer to pretend bad things don't exist than confront them with the truth. I personally will always confront Nazis with the truth in honor of my grandfather, whom I promised to never forget what he had seen that day.

            • Re:Er- why? (Score:4, Informative)

              by ge7 (2194648) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:54AM (#37272890)
              It was the allies, including Americans, that put those bans in place. So much for "the American way".
            • Re:Er- why? (Score:5, Informative)

              by dunkelfalke (91624) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:58AM (#37272902)

              The law was actually imposed by Americans together with the rest of the Allies after the occupation of Germany.

              • by Ihmhi (1206036)

                It was just us making sure the enemy we put down stayed down. It's the same reason Japan still only has a "Self-Defense Force" to this day.

                Sure it's un-American, but as years of extraordinary rendition and black camps show, you don't have shit for rights if you're not an American citizen (and even then, not really if you're a "security threat").

            • Re:Er- why? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by g4b (956118) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @06:32AM (#37273456) Homepage

              while your point is right (truth is better), your view on germany is clouded by your patriotism.

              first off, banning nazism is a law made by the allieds. as mentioned in replies.

              second, most germans know what you are talking about and would share the same views. they do a lot of work to support minorities, try to keep radical politics down, base their strength on economy. every german is educated in school about the nazi regime. even without laws it would feel awkward to raise a swastika. it feels awkward for us europeans, that people in the states still do that.
              germany migrated a western and an eastern world into one, while other ex-east-block countries still suffer, even the richer ones, like poland or hungary.

              you see, hate is not a german problem. it's a human problem. and hate is only a medium how you get to people. its always power and wealth. greedy people in a system where power is unequally distributed tend to get exceptionally inhumane. atm. i would look closer at the states, where democracy is falling apart, and learn from germanies past, how fast that can lead into becoming eaten by the dark side. hate is just one of many tools of how people can be used by others. there were (and are) also camps in other countries, where hate had/has nothing to do with it.

            • by dkleinsc (563838)

              It's worth noting the German government sometimes allows Nazi imagery to be used, so long as it's clearly not pro-Nazi. For instance, a couple of years ago, there was a production of The Producers [spiegel.de] in a theater in Berlin that Adolf Hitler used to frequent.

              • by Dutch Gun (899105)

                "Downfall" was also excellent. It's a shame if the only footage of it you've seen is in the many youtube parodies everyone here has undoubtedly seen.

            • by Certhas (2310124)
              It is clear that you have no clue about the German culture in the context of which these laws exist. It's not about erasing history. The history is taught openly and extensively in high school, and denying it is a crime. It's quite the opposite of trying to pretend it didn't exist. There is a giant Holocaust memorial not very far from the German parliament. I'll let Avi Primor, former Israeli Embassador to Germany speak of it: "Where in the world has one ever seen a nation that erects memorials to immortal
      • Re:Er- why? (Score:5, Informative)

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @07:28PM (#37270250)
        That's Doom 2, not Doom.
      • by Lanteran (1883836)

        So.... a wolfenstein crossover? Still not seeing it as it seems to have been a secret level.

    • Wolfenstein actually had a German release. Stripped all the nazi references and everything (I think the enemies are zombies or something now).
      • by h0dg3s (1225512)

        Wolfenstein actually had a German release. Stripped all the nazi references and everything (I think the enemies are zombies or something now).

        You're thinking of the SNES release.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Congrats Germany! And if you guys enjoy Doom, just wait for Quake & Duke Nukem 3D!!!

  • No (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    It was never "banned". It was not allowed to sell it to a person under the age of 18 (which was enough to discourage publishers from even trying). This was now reduced to 16. Apparently id filed a request to reexamine the old rating.

    Captcha: massacre. How fitting.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Which is really odd since I've seen a copy of some Doom collection (1&2) with an USK 16 sticker on it a few years ago. Only saw it once though.

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @06:49PM (#37269950) Homepage
    Doom was on the index of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Department_for_Media_Harmful_to_Young_Persons [wikipedia.org]. When something is on the index is can be bought and sold but cannot be sold to a minor and cannot be sold in a shop that frequently has minors. This sort of law was originally intended to apply to porn but as a matter of implementation is a bit more difficult for videogames since minors are likely to go to videogame stores. Similarly, restrictions on how indexed media can be advertised make it difficult to advertise videogames. So the de facto result is that very few copies of games on the index are sold. But saying that the game was banned is incorrect. Prior to this appeal it was legal to buy and sell copies of Doom.
    • Another important point of being on the index, is the prevention of advertisements. With Doom and Wolfenstein being shareware games, a ban from shops would not have hit them hard. Neither did a ban for regular advertisements for that matter, because being put on the index can be quite an ad in itself. Taking Doom 1 and 2 from the index was long overdue anyway, for the laws had changed in the meantime which is the reason Doom 3 never even got on the index
      • by grumbel (592662)

        It is however important to note that "advertisement" has an extremely broad definition when it comes to indexed works, it doesn't just include your regular commercial advertisment, but essentially everything that makes the game look interesting. This means that game magazines are forbidden to write about the game, they can't even mention it's name in a regular discussion.

        So while the OP is technically correct in that it isn't a complete "ban", it's really not far of at all, as being put on the index essenti

    • by Trepidity (597)

      One additional thing that inconveniences adults is that indexed works can't be imported (even by adults), but only purchased at German shops. So it makes it illegal to order them from, for example, a British or French online retailer.

      I have no idea how well that's enforced, though.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        What is an indexed work? Can't say I've ever seen that before, and as search terms go they lead to fairly useless results.

  • ...the German economy is the last stable, and largest, economy in Europe: they haven't been introduced to the FPS yet. They'll be eating Cheetos and shitting in bed pans while screaming "M-M-M-M-Monster Kill!!!!!!" before you know it now.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @06:52PM (#37269992)

    They had to change the paddle graphics in the German version. It was said the straight lines were too similar to the branches of a swastika, so they had to change them to parentheses.

  • Oh wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by kakyoin01 (2040114) on Wednesday August 31, 2011 @07:00PM (#37270042)
    I did nazi that coming!
  • Coming to a server near you. Anyone for retro?
  • BFG-9000 was perfect in every way. Powerful enough to kill everything in the general direction you point it, but so little ammo on any level that you almost never got the chance to use it... But when you did. :)
    • by Greyfox (87712)
      Nothing like rounding a corner and seeing that big green glowing ball heading right for you! Despite all that the weapon was really balanced quite nicely.

      Quake and Tribes 2 are still my overall favorite FPSes. Not least because you could actually run them on Linux. I actually shelled out for the Loki port of Tribes 2, back in the day.

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      It specifically worked by killing everything in the direction it was pointed in, AFAIK it does line of sight calculations from the player and projectile to determine what to hurt, it's not simply a distance-to-impact thing. On the other hand that means you can avoid it by breaking LOS to the shooter before the ball impacts.

    • by Malc (1751)

      Boooring! Certainly worth a giggle the first few times, the chainsaw against the demons gets dull after a while... they just run on to it. The shotgun remains my favourite... it's slow, and best close up and person. Makes for an adrenaline rush :D

  • Nazis (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192)

    This is a good move, but the fact that it was banned at all still tells me that the Germans have a problem with authoritarianism.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      They do in certain areas. As do we in the US in certain areas. It's just that those areas aren't really aligned,nor do they necessarily always make sense rationally.

      Many of their magazines would get me sued for sexual harassment if I was caught reading on the job.

    • I went to Germany recently and found out that you can drink alcohol pretty much anywhere you like. On the street, on the train, whatever.

      I'd trade that freedom for Doom any day.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        one of my memories of germany is that you can buy jägermeister at gas stations next to racks of porn. chilled jägermeister in a box that came with shot glasses.

        I'm sure doom1 would've been okay if they had replaced red with green. with carmageddon it was fairly ridiculous worldwide, just replace one color and the ped's become zombies! for few markets they altered the sprites a bit too, so they were robots.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        Eastern European trains (used to) have bottle openers fixed under the window tables. Very convenient. I've used them frequently while traveling in that area.

        Dutch trains were even better. Until about 10 years ago it was allowed to smoke on the train (in dedicated smoking compartments). And, as long as you didn't disturb other passengers, smoking weed was also allowed.

        So once with a foreign friend I had a late train out of Amsterdam back home - smoking a joint and drinking a beer on the way back home, no p

      • by Syberz (1170343)
        You can also have a beer with your lunch at the office and that's perfectly alright.
      • I went to Germany recently and found out that you can drink alcohol pretty much anywhere you like. On the street, on the train, whatever.

        Yepp. But that's generally true for Europe, not just for Germany, if I'm not mistaken.

        That's why that "rebel" thing in american movies, were the "cool guys" drink alcohol on the street without hiding it in that ugly brown bag, never worked the way here it works in the U.S.A.

    • by Rhywden (1940872)
      Sigh. Not banned. It was not allowed to be on public display or advertised for. You were still allowed to possess or purchase it, given that you were at least 18 years of age.
    • by Dr. Hok (702268)

      This is a good move, but the fact that it was banned at all still tells me that the Germans have a problem with authoritarianism.

      Yeah right. May I remind you that we (ze Germans) didn't ban The Life of Brian. And we don't collectively faint if Janet Jackson flashes her nipple for a split second.

      I guess our fear of violence (and the negative effect it may have on minors) is sufficiently balanced by the US's fear of sex and blasphemy.

      BTW, as others mentioned, Doom wasn't entirely banned, only not sold to minors. I played it a lot back then. I especially liked the Simpsons wad.

  • by Boigaz (789379)
    > "Despite its age, it's still fun as hell. (Pun very much intended.)" - i don't get it. where's the pun?
    • by gknoy (899301)

      On the slim chance that you're NOT joking, the entire premise of Doom is that you're fighting enemies that get ported in from Hell. In Doom2, I believe your character actually goes there. So, in effect, he was saying that "despite its age, playing Doom is as fun as playing Doom". ;)

  • Because they still are Doom clones. I haven't seen anything meaningful introduced in the last decade+ worth of Doom clones that wasn't already done in Doom.
    • by kat_skan (5219)

      Yeah Thief for example was really little more than MAP13 with all the guns taken out.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      That's a little bit of an exaggeration. I'd personally say Quake rather than Doom as Quake implemented a few necessities like rooms being stacked and enemies that were sector based.

      The biggest thing to happen since then is the implementation of levels that aren't just head for the exit switch.

      • That's a little bit of an exaggeration. I'd personally say Quake rather than Doom as Quake implemented a few necessities like rooms being stacked and enemies that were sector based.

        The biggest thing to happen since then is the implementation of levels that aren't just head for the exit switch.

        I don't know about the sector based enemies, but System Shock had stacked/multi-level levels way before Quake did.

        • by jandrese (485)
          Heck Rise of the Triad had stacked levels before even that. Ironically its engine was even more primitive than Doom's despite having that feature.
        • by wildstoo (835450)
          Quake's biggest contribution was the client-server model. Quake was a better multiplayer game than Doom because of it.
    • by Lanteran (1883836)

      Nah, I think they've become worse than doom, stripped out the good bits. For instance, FPS maps now are usually straight lines with cutscenes as opposed to the somewhat maze-like doom levels, plus have you ever noticed how slowly you go in those games? Doom guy must be running at at least 50 miles per hour.

      • I've said for years that pretty much all FPS games are just Doom with better graphics. For that reason I really don't play them much.

        The only ones I actually like are ones with a much larger open world that you can explore however you want, without a "you have to get to this point within this time limit or you lose the objective" like a lot of war simulations are. This type of world doesn't really bother me whether it's broken up into levels or not.
        The other thing that can get me to play one is a theme th

        • by Hatta (162192)

          I've said for years that pretty much all FPS games are just Doom with better graphics

          And worse everything else.

    • by Ken_g6 (775014)

      Because they still are Doom clones. I haven't seen anything meaningful introduced in the last decade+ worth of Doom clones that wasn't already done in Doom.

      Vehicles?

    • by Renegrade (698801)

      Nothing meaningful? How about full 3D?

      But then again, Quake gave us that.

      I call 'em "Quake clones".

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      But... but... Descent!

      • by xenobyte (446878)

        Descent II was good! - Much better 3D than Doom II which was the concurrent 3D game out there at that time!

        You can actually find a modern engine (D2X-XL) that allow you to play Decent II on modern hardware, but in order to play the official levels you need to own the game or at least have the data files (DESCENT2.HOG etc.) handy.

        About 2 years ago I did just that - re-played the entire Descent II game and it was still fun as hell (no pun intended).

    • by Jonner (189691)

      Because they still are Doom clones. I haven't seen anything meaningful introduced in the last decade+ worth of Doom clones that wasn't already done in Doom.

      Well, why not call them Wolf3D clones? Wolf3D introduced the genre. Seriously, any FPS today, regardless of how great the graphics, would be a waste of time if it were no more than a Doom clone. The best example is Half-Life, which vastly improved on its iD inspirations.

      • Because they still are Doom clones. I haven't seen anything meaningful introduced in the last decade+ worth of Doom clones that wasn't already done in Doom.

        Well, why not call them Wolf3D clones? Wolf3D introduced the genre.

        The last meaningful thing added to the FPS genre was multiplayer, which Doom had and Wolf3d did not. Everything added since Doom was just window dressing.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      Because they still are Doom clones. I haven't seen anything meaningful introduced in the last decade+ worth of Doom clones that wasn't already done in Doom.

      Depends on what you call meaningful. Most FPS still follow the "put crosshair over enemy, pull trigger" mechanic, but the surrounding gameplay has changed quite a bit. The movement is now much slower and more realistic, circle strafing is rarely practical and the levels are generally driven by a whole bunch of scripted events, not just monster placement and AI.

      And of course the biggest change is probably the introduction of the third-person cover-based shooter, which is now an extremely popular way to do sh

  • idspipopd?
  • Is the length of the waiting period to be allowed to ask for an appeal or reconsideration of the indexing. 10 years seems to be a little excessive. IMHO, a period of 2-5 years seems more appropriate.

    Should the games have been indexed in the first place? Maybe. Maybe not. I think that question is best left to parents in Germany who were raising their children circa 1993-1994 and later.
  • As a Yank having spent the last 10 years (and possible y the rest) of my life in Germany I really don't care. I have never thought that that game was banned here but never really cared to try it. I order *alll* boxed video games I play out of the UK and pay with my American credit card to download them from US Server when possible.

    Who needs German censorship? (meh)
  • Many city Doom as the first FPS, when Wolfenstein 3D clearly predated it. And Ultima Underworld was released before either of them, with a more advanced engine than ran on even weaker hardware (including its RPG elements).

    Doom was more popular and for many people, it was the first they played, so it is seen as the first overall. Just the same as many people have said Goldeneye 64 or Halo was the first time they ever played a FPS game in multiplayer, so thusly that inherently makes it the greatest game of al

    • The first conventional 3D first person shooter (in modern sense) was Catacomb 3D [wikipedia.org] - also courtesy of id and Mr Carmack personally - which predated Ultima Underworld by several months.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)
      Doom is to FPSes as the iPhone is to smart phones. It's not the first one to be released, but the first one to be really popular (at least partly because technology has caught up with the demands of the idea) and the one that all others are compared to.
  • There never was a ban on Doom ...

    If at all it was "rated" over 18 or over 16 ... sigh in what stupid world do you live that you believe we had "banning" of anything in germany?

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