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South Park: The Stick of Truth swastikas removed in Germany, Ubisoft confirms

Thursday, 27th February 2014 09:16 GMT By Dave Cook

South Park: The Stick of Truth censorship has been discussed this week, and while playing the game we noticed the appearance of Nazi swastikas in the game. We approached Ubisoft to confirm that they’ve been censored in Germany.

We’re under embargo so we can’t reveal the actual context of the swastika’s use, but the symbol appears often in the latter stages of the UK build we’re playing.

Speaking with VG247, a Ubisoft rep told us, “with regards to the German version, all Nazi symbols have been removed from the game in accordance with German law.”

It follows confirmation that a number of anal probe and abortion scenes have been censored in the UK, European and Middle Eastern versions of the game.

Stay tuned for my full South Park: The Stick of Truth write-up next week.

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22 Comments

  1. Dog4life

    Damn, i hoped at least UK version was uncensored…..

    How the heck, south park cartoon (on free tv ) is completely uncensored on german TV, with swastikas and hitler references !!!!

    How come the videogame is censored ???

    #1 7 months ago
  2. The_Red

    @Dog4life
    Because people have double standards when it comes to video games. You can have all the rape and violence in an HBO show where people will praise the project while even HINTING at the former in a video game creates a shitstorm and tons of “social justice warrior” articles on EVERY freaking site.

    #2 7 months ago
  3. Ode

    Good thing the PC version is uncensored.

    #3 7 months ago
  4. soqquatto

    removing swastikas from the german version is not your average ‘censorship’ – it’s required by law in Germany. you won’t see swastikas in Wolfenstein either. I don’t know what happens to digitally delivered titles but I bet that all german language titles don’t contain any simil-nazi imagery. if you download the EN version you should be set, however (not really sure since I’m not German and I can’t check it)

    this is a well known fact, however. a bit of research before writing the news item wouldn’t have hurt.

    #4 7 months ago
  5. Dragon

    @The_Red,
    Where were you when I was defending that? ;)
    Although I understand I was stupid in trying to reason with the mob :lol:

    And yeah, #4 is correct afaik. That is not the average kind of censorship, and I can understand that.

    #5 7 months ago
  6. YoungZer0

    @The_Red

    Word.

    #6 7 months ago
  7. Sylrissa

    @Ode Oh really?. Then why when I go to look at this game on steam, it comes up warning me that it’s the low violence version?. Sounds censored to me on PC.

    #7 7 months ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @soqquatto What? I know it’s law in Germany :/ The article says that.

    I’m so confused right now…

    #8 7 months ago
  9. silkvg247

    PC Version it is. And if it were censored on PC, it’d be over to piratebay. But it isn’t. So they can still have my money.. this time.

    #9 7 months ago
  10. DreamCleaver

    @Sylrissa: It might be censored in your region.

    #10 7 months ago
  11. polygem

    such a limited view on the swastika symbol. in fact, if you want to devalue the power it has for the racist, neo nazi movement you should embrace the swastika and it´s indian culture reference. in germany you cannot even show it if you clearly refer to that heritage. that´s reactionary and absurd. it is just plain wrong to censor it, especially in a context like this.

    #11 7 months ago
  12. cw5th

    @Dave Cook

    Ubisoft made it unnecessary hard to understand.

    For now:

    1. Only the Console-Versions of the Game are cencored in europe(+UK).
    2. The PC-Version in Europe is uncensored, just the german and austrian PC-Versions are “censored” in regards to swastikas. Nobody in teh Uk or outside of Germany/Austria have to deal with any cuts on their PC-Version.

    I can only speak for the German law, but i think the austrian law is similar.

    Nobody in Germany is trying to whitewash history or sweep the whole Nazi thing under the rug. Books, TV, Movies, educational material all have no limitations in regard to Nazi stuff whatsoever. As long as you’re not trying to denial the holocaust or try to warp their(nazis) horror into a good thing nearly everything goes.

    As for videogames…

    1. There’s no censoring in germay. It is illegal to censor and that law is a fundamental law that can’t be changed any moment you want to and hasn’t been changed since the fall of naziism. The “no censoring allowed” law is in fact a reaction to the heavy censoring done by the nazi regime.

    2. Nazi stuff isn’t allowed on “physical childrens toys”(very understandable), but regrettably due to not updated laws, videogames still are technically in the same category as “physical childrens toys” therefore any swastika or other nazi-stuff automatically demands a censoring of the used nazi-symbols.

    3. But as allways some pseudo wise guys found a way around the “no censor” law and the videogame/movie/tv-business suffers because of that(i’m a “no censor” type of guy). There’re laws to protect children from harmfull images(and other stuff) and as nobody are allowed to censor anything, they gave our TV/movie/etc. ratings organisations(USK for videogames, others for TV/etc.) the power to deny them an age-rating. But to legally sell your game here in germany it needs an Age-Rating. You can sell it without the rating but then as soon as somebody(a concerned parent/etc.) reports that to the youth/child-Services(government), your product can possibly be taken out of the retail-chain and you would loose all your business(selling this product in germany). With an age-rating from the usk nobody can take your product of the shelves and that is a big plus for any Publisher. And often the big retailers don’t even bother to sell your product if it has no USK-age-rating. And to make the matter worse, Games without an usk-age-rating are only allowed(by law) to be sold to grown ups(18+ in age) and you can’t show them in your store or make ads for them.All to save the children from harm…

    Now… to get an age rating from the usk many publishers censor their games before they send them over for the age-rating progress. Often they’re more strict(to be on the safe side) than the usk-rating-board would ever be. And don’t forget that you can get a bigger audience if your game has a 16+ sticker and not an “only 18+” sticker.

    The whole travesty with “no blood”, “no gore”, robots for people, etc. is in 99% of the time an overreaction of a publisher to play it safe. Believe me, it’s infuriating.

    The situation with denied age-ratings is getting better over the last 10 years and 95% of the time we get an uncensored version(even GTA is uncut nowaday in germany :D ). Only sensless brutality against other humans is still a hot topic for the usk… Dead Space 1 and 2 were totally uncut in Germany, only the co-op MP Mode in DS2 was altered, so that you couldn’t kill other human players(same team) anymore… Strange i know…

    tl:dr
    Germany censors nothing, it denies an age-rating in 5% of todays games. but to be on the safe side, publishers tend to self-censor their Games to get lower age-ratings(to make more money). Any legal adult has the right to import uncut games from other countries(and many stores sell them for adults).

    Nazi stuff isn’t allowed on “physical childrens toys”(very understandable), but regrettably due to not updated laws, videogames still are technically in the same category as “physical childrens toys” therefore any swastika or other nazi-stuff automatically demands a censoring of the used nazi-symbols.

    #12 7 months ago
  13. soqquatto

    Dave my bad. in the rush to criticize I didn’t read your bit properly.

    #13 7 months ago
  14. Edo

    Testing.

    #14 7 months ago
  15. Edo

    Yay,it’s working again thanks for fixing it guys :) .

    #15 7 months ago
  16. polygem

    @Edo
    an ode to joy edo!

    :)

    #16 7 months ago
  17. gameoholic007

    Lol, I don’t think Germany really likes to be reminded of their past.

    #17 7 months ago
  18. Edo

    @polygem
    He he :) .

    #18 7 months ago
  19. TheWulf

    @2

    I don’t know that that’s fair. Gaming has a problem in that it doesn’t call itself out, and I’ve tried to express this commonly, which is why people like myself feel the need to call it out.

    For example, if you had someone in a game pointing out that something was racist, or repugnant, and acted out against it then I wouldn’t feel the need to. In other forms of media, such as those you’ve mentioned, the response is going to be nausea. Other characters will find this act repugnant and act ethically against it. Whereas in video games, this doesn’t happen, instead it’s assumed that the player will have the ethics to understand why these things are bad.

    That isn’t always the case. In fact, according to my experiences, this is rarely the case. So whilst you may have this subject matter being dealt with delicately in other forms of media, it’s also clear in its expression of exactly why these acts are unacceptable. I mean, look at how “rape culture” is dominant amongst white, straight male gamers. Even Penny Arcade got called out for their shit. This is because gaming relies on us to have a sense of ethics, instead of providing a character who does.

    If, then, from a young age you have games introducing you to violent, unethical themes with no foil to counter them, the mindset becomes that these themes are okay. This is precisely what happens in games, and I think it’s both a fair observation and criticism. I don’t think it’s fair to attack those who’ve noticed this, either. As I pointed out in another article, you’ll frequently have racism in something, but very rarely will you have someone who’ll call the characters on their shit. It counts on the player to do that. To even think to do that.

    I think that this might even be spreading to other entertainment mediums because this has become so common in games. Humans are ultimately programmable creatures, I’ve made my case for this countless times, and there’s plenty of evidence out there to back it up. We’re very easily conditioned to change our base behaviours, and anyone who believes otherwise is oblivious to reality and has too much of a high opinion of themselves. We are very easily reprogrammed. That’s our nature. And if you never question this, it becomes even easier.

    We change all the time, and this change is brought on by societal and cultural interactions — our opinions change, our views change, and our thoughts change. Not always for the better. Many people will accept this form of passive reprogramming without even questioning whether it’s suitable for them, due to a lack of overall self awareness. They’re more like passive, voyeuristic sleepwalkers who want to observe the perverse reality around them but never actually speak of it, or act against it.

    So, in my opinion, if you include subject matter that’s supposed to be unethical, repugnant, and vile (and actively is so to anyone who’s managed to retain their sense of ethics under this deluge of depravity) then you need a foil to point that out. If a game doesn’t have a foil to point out what’s wrong with it, I will point it out for them. I will continue to do so.

    I mean, I recently pointed out how fantasy settings are horribly racist. There’s lots of evidence of that out there. In fact, you only have to do some basic research on fantasy racism to find out just how focused on the caucasian Aryan idea that fantasy is. It’s a genre that supports Master Race ideology, often using some fantastic race in the place of a minority ethnicity. Though sometimes a writer is ‘bold enough’ to just use a minority ethnicity without even that layer of abstraction. Very often, no one calls this out. No one says ‘hey, that’s horribly racist, and you’re subhuman monsters for being that racist.’

    So I do it.

    If a game includes anything that’s unethical and the game itself doesn’t call it out as such. I’m going to do it. Our species is still a fledgeling thing and very young, and most of us aren’t even aware enough to even be willing to understand what I’ve said here, today, let alone comprehend it.

    If, however, you’ve the mind (and you might) to understand the complaint, you may actually begin to understand people like myself. Or you could go on letting games program you to believe that rape, racism, and every other act that should be considered unethical is okay. Consider this: When did you last see racism or rape in a game where you didn’t have someone pointing out how horrendously repugnant and vile an act it was?

    It’s a fair question.

    #19 7 months ago
  20. TheWulf

    @12

    That was actually very insightful and elucidating. I now understand how that works better. Thank you! I love posts like that. Really, good show.

    #20 7 months ago
  21. TheWulf

    @5

    As I recall, you were defending gross misogyny, were you not? As in, you were completely okay with the poor treatment of women in games, objectification and all. And I was speaking out against that because no one in these games ever does. As such, you’ve been programmed to accept that this is okay.

    …you’re almost a poster boy example for my argument.

    #21 7 months ago
  22. TheWulf

    @11

    I concur. It is depressing that it’s been so diluted, but in this case it sounds like it was being used for shock value as the German version of it. I’d love to see something actually educate people on its original use, though.

    I have to merit you on actually knowing of its positive origins, so take that as you will. I do appreciate it when people are well read.

    #22 7 months ago

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