The Censorship of German Video Games: The Effects of National Sensitivity to Violence in Entertainment Content
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Germany is one of the strictest censors of violence among the world’s video game consumers. Due to its history and a cohesive national opinion, the legislature limits content severely, much more severely than the surrounding European nations. This results in international developers choosing not to market to Germany, creating censored titles specifically for the German market, or finding themselves on a list of banned titles illegal to buy or sell. However, with the proliferation of online shopping and availability of international products, the banning of violent content from German video gamers is somewhat ineffective. The anti-violence measures tailored to video games become demonstrative, essentially a stance of the German government to not endorse graphic gore in gaming without taking preventative action that may violate personal rights. My thesis provides a survey of the German video game community as well as an examination of games imported to and exported from Germany in order to demonstrate the current state of the industry and to illustrate how national sensitivity to violence effects entertainment content.