Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Germany Finally Accepts Doom...Well Kinda

Back in 1994, when I was just a lil 7 year old gamer (playing Super Mario mostly), I used to sit by my brother or sister, while they played the graphical, gameplaying marvel that is Doom (and of Course Doom II – Hell on Earth). Such was my innocence, that I actually confused a couple of very different words…”Oh no Lisa” for my Sister’s name is Lisa, “Oh no, look out for that lesbian!”

That’s right, I confused Lesbians and Zombies. I’m not saying that I still get confused with flesh and brain eating, undead corpses and ladies who are all about the clunge, that’s just not my style baby. That’s not how I roll.

Anyway, what you may or may not have realised, is that in Germany, the game by iD was put on an index of controlled titles back on release, and was only allowed to be sold in adult only stores. You can just picture it now, some square jawed Dieter walking into a dingy little shop in downtown Hamburg, walking through the beaded curtain towards the back of the store, and asking some tattooed hulk of a man “Ja, haff you got any of ze good stuff? I’m looking for ze shooty game wiz ze imps unt der lesbians” You get the jist.

This was because at the time in post-Cold War Germany, they felt that the game was too violent for teenagers and youths of the country, and that it was actually “deemed likely to harm youth.”

I suppose some cynics out there would argue that they had a slight point, the school shootings at Columbine High School in the US of A, many pointed at Doom and Marilyn Manson as 2 of the main reasons that those 2 lads went in and shot up a load of people. When of course, it couldn’t possibly be that they were just 2 psychos? I’m sure that if a game like GTA was out when Bonnie and Clyde were plying their trade across America, that it would have been pointed out as the main and only reason why 2 people would do what they did too. But of course, back then they didn’t have computer games to chastise whenever someone did something horrible. Probably blamed electric lightbulbs or something. “It’s that artificial electric light, it’s the light from Satan’s hell fires!!!”

The ban itself was put in place until 31st August 2011, with no chance of appeal until then. However, since the original on the PC was banned, it has not only been almost freely available on the internet to anyone with a spare 30mb of hard disk space, but also was available in Germany on other formats such as the Game Boy Advance and SNES.

If it does start to sell in shops, it would only be available to over-16’s, which again is a tad anomalous since I would happily let my 10 year old boy play this, in fact, he’d probably scare the game more than the other way around.

However, there is still a ban on the American version of the game, which includes 2 bonus levels of Wolfenstein 3D (the mother of all FPS games) which depicts Nazis and Swastikas. Fair one I suppose, they’re a little sensitive about all that silly World War 2 business!

Well there you have it. If you find yourself in Germany with your laptop and a bit of spare time to play some games, (and as long as you’re over 16) make your way to a game store, and pick up a German copy of Doom, newly out, 17 years after originally being published. That or I would imagine that you can download a copy for a lot less time and money that it would take for you to find a game store in Germany. And it would be an English/American version with all those tasty Nazis to blow up with your Rocket Launcher or BFG 3000.

Have fun out there.