Non-Violence versions for the German market

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by Frelus, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Frelus

    Frelus Member

    Hi obedient servants of the Gaslamp regime,
    I want to talk about what qualifications a game must have to get a non-violence version in Germany.
    The thing is, momentarily I am playing Borderlands and, when I am bored, Prototype 2.
    Borderlands is a non-violence version here.
    Prototype 2, not.
    I will just post 2 videos from the respective games here, so you can see the difference in violence of the 2 uncut versions:

    Prototype 2:

    I mean, wtf is wrong with these people censoring the splashes of blood in one game while letting the rivers of blood flow in the other one?
    Not that I say any of these games should be censored, I mean, they are for people old enough to handle the violence, so I do not know why our sooo nice government says "But if kids get these, they see the blood" while they are only allowed to be sold to people 18 or older. That's just.... dumb.
    So, can anyone explain to me why
    a) We in Germany here get violence censored even in games 18+
    and b) Why the hell someone would censor violence in Borderlands why leaving Prototype 2 uncut, if censoring would be justified at all.
  2. Warlock

    Warlock Member

    I played Doom when I was 5 years old. Admittedly, I wasn't very good at it then, but I still played a 'violent' game at an impressionable age and have no mental or physical consequences to show for it. Same goes for Wolfenstein, which I played at age 6.

    People forget that in the end, all of this is pixels on a screen, no matter what you'd think. Just because the pixel is red doesn't mean that people will specifically be affected by it. The video game censor boards in Germany are nuts anyway since I think they're carrying the anti-nazi apologism too far. B.J. Blazkowicz may have been the son of Polish immigrants, but you don't see Poland complaining that a fellow national is portrayed as committing mass murder, yes?

    And also, as you've mentioned, they're doing this for one simple reason: they want to control the media people are exposed to, and games expose you to a lot of things, like blood, death, and dying horribly. GF. People don't like what they don't understand and often hate it as a result. My dad had a problem with me "wasting time" on games, and was outright displeased at me playing games like Doom at a young age. Now he doesn't but that's another story.

    The censor boards are slightly dumb as well, if not outright retarded. Your TL;DR explanation, if you will. Columbine was the only incident of video-game related violence, and those kids were psychos anyway. Your choice if you want to be influenced by pixels on a screen. It's like converting to another religion because of televangelism. Both of which are stupid. (no offense to those who converted because they really felt a good influence.)
  3. klaymen_sk

    klaymen_sk Member

    I was gonna explain it to you, but then I got high....

    Now on a more serious note. You are trying to find common sense and that is bad. Contrary to its name, common sense is not so common. When you want to know 'why?', then look for the most moronic answer and you've probably hit the spot. I know it from the company where I work (coincidentally it is a German company) - you wouldn't believe that you will see so much idiocy and lack of common sense in one place.

    Killing Nazis is universally considered a good thing, isn't it? (in a way of eliminating the evil and stuff) Otherwise you can even consider Rambo a mass murderer, but you wouldn't (who would cry for a hordes of dead evil communist Vietnamese soldiers anyways). Now, if Blazkowicz was a German soldier killing US, British (or whatever allied nationality) soldiers, then there would be a shitstorm of epic proportions. Have you ever seen German (or Japan or terrorist, when counting the newer games) campaign in the Call of Duty games? No? Well, you know why it is so.

    Disclaimer: I did not want to say that killing some nationality is good or such, but merely point out a fact that there are some 'accepted' ethnicities to be killed in movies and games. In humanistic point of view is it wrong, of course.
    Aegho and Warlock like this.
  4. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    The reasons for that are actually pretty simple, Frelus.

    First of all, not every game is checked to the same degree; if the game's creator can provide a testing version that does not show the gruesomeness of the game at its finest but rather in a more subtle manner, they might make a "mistake" and let in be released without censoring it.
    And second of all, some game companies are more adept at making them compromise than the other companies. If you sent them a version of the translation rewrite that has a little bit more brutality than the original, and get lucky enough so that they hadn't played the original, the "downplayed" version (which is really the normal one) might get released as a sort of compromise; if you add some over-the-top gory things, and they didn't know those weren't in the game to begin with, they might be willing to let you release the normal version where there is gore, but not nearly as much of it as in the version they saw at first.
    mining likes this.
  5. Warlock

    Warlock Member

    The whole point. You hit the nail right on the head.
  6. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    Note that there's also different censorship in North America with games from say... Japan, often related to nudity in games. One character might have boobs out in Japan and they'd be covered up in the NA version, etc.
  7. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    First of all, I watched both of the examples that were posted, and both looked extremely violent. The main difference is that in the first one, you had primarily gun violence, and in the second, you had primarily fantasy violence. I don't know how truly significant that is, but it may have been a consideration.

    Second, it's probably not a single person that is doing the censoring, so your results will invariably vary (I can't believe I just wrote that).

    As a personal note, gore does not add anything positive to a game for me, but I do know that others disagree. Violence, for me, is only worthwhile to the degree that it adds drama to a story. For too many video games, imho, violence is itself the goal, and I see that as a bad thing. I don't support censorship except for very specific circumstances (primarily only to protect the innocent -- cases of exploitation, for example, incitement to violence, fraud, etc). I also would rather see actual consequences for violence, which is something that too much media (including some video games), simply ignore.

    Then again, I'm an older person and I know people who've been directly affected by violence. Heck, I've nearly been a victim myself (I had a knife pulled on me in High School but managed to get away by attracting a lot of attention). It's a lot easier to pretend that it's all fun and games when you haven't been affected by it.
  8. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Even within cultures there are confusing messages. I visited Taiwan years ago (have family by marriage there now). And while the Chinese/Taiwanese people there seem to be much more conservative as a people, there's at the same time, a lot of openly-displayed pornographic art and magazines, prostitution, etc. (Interesting story: when I was there, I mentioned to my brother that I kept seeing these barber poles all around and I asked him if they were barber shops. He said, "Yes, they are 'full service' barber shops" -- in other words, the barber poles were how the houses of prostitution advertised.

    On the other hand, at my brother's wedding, the Chinese couples (for the most part) would not dance together.

    Also, almost no society really is mono-cultural -- there's going to be variations by generation as well as cultural roots. Taiwan is primarily made up of 3 cultures -- Native Taiwanese (who are generally polynesian), Native Chinese, and Mandarin Chinese (those who came when the Chinese Nationalists fled there). So that also may add to the confusion.

    So there are always taboos and mores such that, if you are not closely familiar with the culture, they may not make any sense to you.
  9. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    The US is typically sex-censored (to some degree).
    Germany and Australia are violence-censored.
    The UK brought you Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto and Carmageddon.

  10. Wolg

    Wolg Member

    Australia? I'd say our classification system was more ill-defined than violence-focused -- the result of the top rating being 15+ (unlike movies, which have an 18+ above that). It was pretty silly what managed to sneak under versus what got RC (refused classification, i.e. "banned"). I still shake my head at L4D2 getting made LV-only while Dead Island was unmodified; LV L4D2 is impacted in play by not being able to easily tell in a melee if a zombie is on fire (and thus already neutralised).

    (I say "was" because an 18+ category for games will be permitted by federal law from start of next year, though it's up to the states to legislate the implementation(s) of classification-slash-censorship. Case in point there, the ACT -- a little pseudostate pocket where our federal government is based -- has a movies-only classification beyond 18+, sometimes colloquially referred to as "brown paper bag".)
  11. Loswaith

    Loswaith Member

    Id have to agree that the Australian censorship is a bit screwey but happy we finally have some semblance of an 18+ rating. Atleast it will make for more uniform games that do get rated MA15+.
  12. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    Well, Australia gets violence censored (from what I know) more often than the other kinds - although I do know Risen was censored somewhat.

    It's good your ratings board has changed, though. That'll be awesome.
  13. Wolg

    Wolg Member

    The fastest way to get a RC wasn't violence or sex, but combining the two. (I don't see that changing.)
  14. Createx

    Createx Member

    The annoying thing about the violence censored versions is the censorship itself tbh. For example, I have a censored version of Fallout 3 and the uncensored one of New Vegas. I spent about 5 minutes trying to remove limbs in funny ways, then I got bored.
    No, what pisses me of are other things:
    The hypocrisy (awesome word btw, we have no word for it in Germany!) of it all. We are allowed to destroy our liver and brains from age 16 onwards, sex is omnipresent and I don't think there has ever been a proven link between violence on screen and in RL. We also get all the violent movies like John Rambo just fine. Games on the other hand...
    Then, the inconsequence of it all, in games and in comparison to other media. Some qualifications are just ridiculous. The problem is that the people doing the ratings are all 70+ and haven't really played a game ever. They don't get the humour and the exaggeration and they react quite strongly to some content.
    Third, it prevents us from playing with other people. I was trying to start a game of Saints Row Third with a friend from overseas. Turns out you can't, since they had to turn violence against bystanders down and you get prosecuted a lot faster for harming civilians. Which explains that I felt the wanted levels are kind of unbalanced. As a German, you can only play with other Germans.
    To make matters more ridiculous, you can simply order the games from Austria, they don't censor there. Language version is the same. I'll just do that from now on ;)
  15. Frelus

    Frelus Member

    The worst thing about the low violence versions, as I just remembered from your mentioning of Fallout 3, is that (at least F3) was only available in German.
    Man, I like to play games in their original language, if possible!
    Why couldn't they have done the low-violence in English?
  16. Createx

    Createx Member

    Hmm, I usually don't care much about voice acting in games... I'm too fast a reader to be bothered to listen to them talk :p
  17. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    That includes text too, not only voice acting.
  18. Createx

    Createx Member

    Hmm, don't think that the text is much of a problem, I was always able to change the language in my games iirc.
  19. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    It depends on the game and on the language, Createx. Some translated versions don't have that option.
  20. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    And some games, if you change the language, it changes the voice AND subtitles.