Better late than never... actually, maybe not. Image: id Software/Bethesda.
When it comes to videogame censorship, Germany has always been one of the world’s most stringent markets, always quick to come down hard on titles containing extremely violent, contentious, or potentially damaging content.
That being said, it would appear the censors attached to the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprufstelle) are finally showing a willingness to soften their stance somewhat. Well… not really.
Specifically, id Software’s classic first-person shooters DOOM and DOOM II have this week been shunted off Germany’s list of banned videogames, albeit some 17 years after the original sci-fi epic was first released on PC.
According to an official explanation regarding the game’s belated classification, Germany now views DOOM as a series that carries mainly “historical importance” insofar as it offers far less gore and realism than modern releases and is unlikely to appeal to today’s consumers.
Although the censors should be applauded for relaxing boundaries where DOOM and DOOM II: Hell on Earth are concerned, both pixel-heavy lessons in Martian slaughter remain out of reach for anyone under the age of 16 (USK 16).
It’s also worth noting that the American version of DOOM II is still on the German index of banned software due to its in-game portrayal of Nazi symbolism.