Landmark Court Decision – Wolfenstein 3D Finally Unbanned In Germany


Some big news has recently happened over in
Germany in relation to the iconic FPS Wolfenstein 3D. Wolfenstein 3D is regarded as the grandfather
of 3D shooters and would also lead to developers id Software going on to create the also highly
influential Doom series. Like the channel has reported on numerous
occasions, including with 2017’s Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, the Wolfenstein series
has a long history of censorship in Germany. Wolfenstein 3D is where the series’ troubles
all began, but that’s far from all. Wolfenstein 3D is actually where all of Germany’s
censorship issues relating to Nazi iconography began. It was due to a pivotal court case in 1998
that all future games containing this iconography have had to be either changed for the German
versions or not released at all. The court case saw a High District Frankfurt
Court rule that Wolfenstein 3D was in violation of laws regarding the promotion of unconstitutional
symbols and that, because games attracted younger audiences, “this could lead to them
growing up with these symbols and insignias and thereby becoming used to them, which again
could make them more vulnerable for ideological manipulation by national socialist ideas.” And so, ever since this now infamous court
case, wherever you can remember seeing this type of iconography in games, the German versions
would have had to be very different. However all of that started to change in 2018,
following the release of none other than Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Due to the mass attention that the censorship
of the German version received, with the channel’s video on the matter gaining nearly 3 million
views for instance and being featured on most news websites around the world, a discussion
began to arise in the country over whether this censorship was really right. Germany has an exception to the previously
mentioned law that allows these symbols for reasons such as educational and artistic purposes. This means that movies for instance can show
them without the troubles that have plagued the gaming industry for over twenty years. Most non-gamers in Germany though weren’t
even aware of these issues and when the situation with Wolfenstein II was brought to light,
the powers that be in Germany finally had a shift in attitude and announced that games
would no longer automatically be blacklisted in the country and instead they would be treated
more like movies and have aspects such as their artistic value taken into account. Thus a few months ago saw the latest game
in the Wolfenstein series, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, being the first ever game in the series to
be allowed to be released in Germany 100% uncut. And now the German courts have finally decided
to remove Wolfenstein 3D, the game that kicked all of this off, from the German censorship
index, meaning it’s no longer banned and should soon be made available to purchase
for German gamers on platforms such as Steam. What do you think about this decision and
the way the industry is changing over in Germany? As always, please let us know your thoughts
in the comments below and make sure to subscribe to see more videos on regional differences
in games. Until next time, thank you for watching.

86 comments

  1. I bet you it'll likely be a censored version. Hell when they re-released Half Life 1, they still had a major amount of things changed from the US version. And how the fuck do they think it can "radicalize" people if you're killing the thing that they are banning it for?

  2. So basically Censored Gaming's video about Wolfenstein II was one of the causes that had lead to this recent change of Germany's censorship about Nazi in games… you sir need a medal to honor!

  3. yeah…. that old court ruling held little water since the people you were killing were Nazis. i mean, if it was to influence kids to join the movement…. it done a really poor job because… you know…. you were killing them. if you sympathize with the characters, they would have killed you.

  4. The fight in Germany to recognize videogames as not just kids' toys but as art has been going on for over a decade now. But indeed, Wolfenstein finally pushed it over the line, together with the massive amounts of news the (rather artsy and indy) game "Attentat 1942" made, after it won game awards in Germany, but not being allowed to be openly being sold because of Nazi symbols.

    It's annoying that it took this long, but like everything in politics, it comes down to money and prestige.

  5. 'bout damn time this happened. censoring Nazi iconography used by fictional villains who are Nazis always sounded more pro-Nazi than anti-Nazi to me.

  6. Surprisingly good news, I am happy for Germany. Reduction of censorship and more freedom of choice is a good thing no matter what country it is in.

  7. I get Germany's and Europe's post war ideals and laws on keeping kids uninfluenced by the sins of the past. But free speech rules over all feelings and ideals. Humans can not reach higher levels of understanding if we are kept from saying the worst things possible. I honestly believe anti nazi sentiment would have easily still quelled germany's post war youth if they allowed Nazi iconography. But that's my faith in free speech talking.

  8. The only good nazis are dead nazis. Especially the Nazis that infest america under the name of republicans 😛

  9. Wow that's great now if only a certain game didn't have to be censored at all coming to the switch and it's not Nintendo's fault but the Japanese gamer's fault and Atlus

  10. I'm glad to hear that this finally happened, as much as I can understand the German people's desire to not see a revival of Nazis and all of the horrors that it represents, its not like the Nazis have ever been portrayed as the "good guys" in any Wolfienstien game. Just about the only game that I can think of where Nazis were portrayed as the "good guys" is that disgusting Ethnic Cleansing game and that thing was made by actual Nazis and there practically isn't a single major retailer here in the US that would carry that monstrosity, in spite of the fact that it was never banned here. Just about the only places you can get it are white supremacist websites, since no reputable video game retailer would be caught dead with that abomination on their shelves. Its also supposed to be a really bad game from what I understand, in addition to being just plain offensive.

  11. Look I'm Iraqi and I played games about invading Iraq when I was a kid like conflict desert storm 1 and 2 and I have no problem with it

  12. The thing I don't get with Germany's now former stance against displaying nazi iconography in games is that in 99.99% of all games that feature Hitler or the Swastika, those games are anti nazi.

    If you were playing some game as a nazi and it was all about the glorification of nazi idology, then I could understand German law being against it even if there is an issue of the suppression of free speech. But that's not what's going on with any of the Wolfenstein games.

  13. What Germany fails to understand that if it censors, it becomes more attractive. So edgy people flips off the establishment to be cool and they sometimes end up actually subscribing to the ideology to everyone's detriment.

  14. damn! what a time to be alive here in germany 😀 movies that were confiscated for over 30 years get their ban lifted and now that. LATE, but it happens
    like evil dead (1981 version) was a prime example for "these evil evil horror movies with their excessive violence!!", even though the movie wasn't even uncut back then. uncut with a 16 rating now

  15. Really ground breaking news to me, I am from Germany.

    With a German IP address you can't download wolfenstein uncut on steam, xbox and psn. That must change now.

    Wolfenstein Youngblood was the first title released uncut with swastika symbols in Germany. Titles like wolfenstein 2009 are still banned. There is a lot to do further on.

  16. I commend Germany for banning that symbol of hate, of which their country spawned, but these games weren’t promoting the awful ideologies behind the symbol, they were condemning them. I’m glad they realized that.

  17. I wager in 50 years after the EU has hopefully either collapsed or been overthrown, the true story about the emergence of the [email protected] party will be mainstream in Germany.
    The fact that the party was not only funded by industrialists Ford and Krupps, but was an opposition/necessary justification to Wall st/Rothchilds plan for global finance/governance, and War is always a foil.

    Wall st not only funded the overthrow of the remaining monarchs and industrial rivals of the Russian/Austro-hungarian empires which forbade usury, but that another part of the plan was to capture Jerusalem away from the Vatican by making the Zionist elites control that most volatile and religiously important part of the world.

    The reported numbers of deaths from concentration camps was less than 1 million up to as late as the early 70's, mostly from poor nutrition/disease, the ADL had the numbers massaged upto 6 million, a number that is significant in gematria, numerology in Kabbalah/Talmud basically H0l0caustus in Greek means burnt offering/sacrifice.

    One only has to see how the Israeli government treats it's ultra-orthodox citizens who wont do national service or work hi-tech jobs, to see Israel as a purported "homeland for the J3ws" was complete propaganda, the majority of J3ws in Europe especially those that were religious had no desire to return to Israel as they are forbade from in the Torah, but the Zionists used Talmudic Rabbi's to distort Judaism into disobeying the Torah.

  18. I don't want to be "That guy," but NordVPN had a massive data leak, and I don't think you should be shilling to NordVPN anymore, because that will ruin your reputation and your credibility as a channel. I still love your content, by the way.

  19. TBH, as much as I vehemently despise censorship, Germany censoring Nazi iconography, IMO, is understandable. Think re-opening old wounds.

  20. Let's hope they get good versions of games i remember how they changed half life in Germany it's so stupidly funny and Carmageddon robots are you serious? UK at least get zombies oh boy.

  21. I don't know why but looking at these old school FPS games makes me sick. I bought Wolfenstein years ago, tried to play and got super sick. Not sure why, but I hate I can't play these classics.

  22. I feel like the rise of story driven indie games had a lot to do with it, too. It's easier to convince someone that something has artistic value if it's a visual novel about life in the occupied Netherlands than it is with FPS games.

  23. It is nice that it finally feels like we have a voice. Makes you really want to continue to riot about censorship with a victory this good. Of course, we all know TMS will still be garbage once it is out on Switch. Everywhere in the world.

    Also, welcome back, Censored Gaming. Been a boring month without videos from the channel. Look forward to more as always.

  24. I looked into this a while back but my understanding, and the information from people far more knowledgeable than I, was that many games weren't explicitly banned and would be allowed in the way movies were however the game developers and publishers chose not to risk losing that case if it came to it and self-censored to avoid the issue altogether.

  25. Did Israel really ever ban a "Wolfenstein" title, or were they just not released there?
    As far as I know the game has not been released in Germany. It's three weeks now.

    They may do so on Steam, because no-one will notice anyhow, but we know that major German retailers didn't want to sell an uncensored "Wolfenstein" and therefore I highly doubt Bethesda/Zenimax will stop producing those massive German workarounds for a potential new "Wolfenstein 3".
    And I guess they won't release "Wolfenstein 3D" on console either. The by far most popular console these days is the PS4. And as far as I know there's at least no stand-alone version of the game on it.
    In this day and age it's not necessarily a question of court decisions or youth production, but what big publishers actually want by reaching into the public sphere.

  26. I'm amazed that i lived to see this day.
    My very first PC games that i got, from my dad and my uncle no less, were Wolfenstein 3D, Cmdr. Keen and Duke Nukem 3D (pirated copies of course)… when i was 9.

  27. It's a good decision, as video games are now being recognized as an art form, but I hope it doesn't lead to the law regarding nazi iconography to being repealed.

  28. Fun fact: Since, in Germany, games were officially recognized as art several years ago, any company could have simply published a game including these symbols and gone to court should the government lift a hand against them, this would be an act of censorship and unconstitutional. But strangely, no publisher wanted to be the one to end up in a high profile case about normalising nationalsocialism since that would have been bad PR. Or at least, nobody wanted to be the first one.

  29. so now we can depict shooting nazis in the face with blood, vicera, and the perfect color correction for the gray matter on the floor, but we still can't get publishers to publish AO games to the point where they are commercially viable? smh there's still work to be done.

  30. LMAO!!!! Y’all are still taking sponsorships from Nord VPN?? Censored Gaming has no chill 😂
    I can see you guys catching flack for this. I liked Nord too but damn, gotta call it quits on em guys.

  31. 1:47 & 2:11
    ……………….
    Seriously sounds like you're saying "Autistic" instead of "Artistic".
    Just pointing that out.

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