The German rating body, the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle, is a very well-oiled and strict machine which strives everyday to stop violent media from entering the country. Gears of War
and Dead Rising
(plus Manhunt 2
, obviously) have all already fallen to the German banhammer and today there is another game added to the list.
Clive Barker's Jericho
, a bloody squad-based FPS game written by the prolific horror and fantasy writer has also denied classification by the USK due to excessive amounts of gore.
The fact that Jericho
has been denied classification is hardly surprising as previews of the game have revealed it is typical of Barker's style, mixing elements of the arcane with explicit sexual themes and an extremely gory presentation. It's part of what attracts western audiences to the game.
Barker, a well known author, screenwriter and painter, worked on films such as Hellraiser
and games like Clive Barker's Undying
, a game which was a critical success but a commercial failure. Barker has also spoken out in support of games
as a legitimate artform, something which bit-tech also believes
The German USK has always been strict with violent games and monitors them closely. While Jericho
has not explicitly been banned, it has been denied classification by the board. This means it cannot be advertised or sold to under 18s in Germany, something which deters many stores from selling unclassified games as they cannot advertise properly. The game will still be legal to own for adult German gamers though, should they be determined to track down a copy.
The constant pressure against violent games in Germany is thought to be one of the reasons why adventure games
are so popular in Germany compared to the rest of the world.
Does Germany have the right idea about monitoring games or should developers be given free rein? Answers in the forums
, if you please.