Re: [stella] Banned games

Subject: Re: [stella] Banned games
From: "Eckhard Stolberg" <Eckhard_Stolberg@xxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2001 14:26:10 +0200
from Thomas Jentzsch:
> I think they banned Wolfenstein for two reasons: excessive violence (like
Doom) and nazi-symbols, which are not allowed to be displayed anywhere here
in Germany (except in arts and for educational reasons).
> There was then/is now no general aproach against exposing war themes to
kids, as long as it's not "abused" just as background for extreme violence.
And I'm quite sure, german kids learned much more about WWII than the
average grown ups of all other involved countries.

Actually I think there was a problem with war themed games in the
beginning. One of the reasons for having something banned is
gloryfying war. This is a reaction to the time when the nazis
where brainwashing children with ideas about dieing a hero's
death for the fuehrer, and then sending them as cannon fodder
into useless battles towards the end of WW2.

The early guidelines of the BPjS saw this rule violated when
you could just 'play war'. I think this is how games like
River Raid and Battle Zone got on the list. But then there
was the Microprose case, who sued to have Silent Service and
F15 removed from the list. They could prove that they were giving
proper historical background in the manuals and that they therefore
weren't 'gloryfying war'. Since then the guidelines of the BPjS
have changed a bit, but neither Activision nor Atari cared to
have their games removed from the list as well.

from Manuel Polik:
> Ariolasoft was the german distributer of Activision titles.
> At least for C64 titles, I'm not sure about VCS Carts.
> But the banning includes all ports anyway...

Ariola also distributed Activision's early VCS games in Germany.
I'm not sure if they were already called Ariolasoft at that
time though.

And I think the ban only affects one specific version. If
you release the game on a different system, or rerelease it
with some small changes on the same system, the game has to
be reviewed again before this version can be banned too.
However the bureaucratic hurdles for banning a game that is
(almost) identical to a game that is alreaddy banned are much

This is why the PC emulator packs from Activision and Atari
with River Raid and Battlezone on them can be sold here without
a problem, since the standard for banning games has shifted a
bit since the early 80s, while the Atari Party Pack still got
banned pretty quickly, because Smash TV is still considered too

Ciao, Eckhard Stolberg

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