Germany: Extra Age Warning Labels on Mature Games?

In the aftermath of this month’s horrific Winnenden school shooting, criticism of violent video games in Germany has hit a fever pitch.

Although there are no details on the origin of this photo, it appears to show an extra age warning label slapped onto Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Germany’s official USK label can be seen at lower left.

Are German retailers doubling up on age warnings?

Via: GoNintendo

Thanks to: Sharp-eyed GamePolitics correspondent Andrew Eisen

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  1. Fadobo says:

    Actually these Stickers where around BEFORE the USK-Logo was enlarged. I think its a voluntary thing, and maybe to inform their employees to not sell the game to people under 18.

    They are not only on Videogames by the way. The same stickers can be found on DVDs for example. I dont mind them at all. Most of the time they are outside of the shrink-wrap or can be easily removed.

  2. cpu64 says:

    School shootings huh?

    Do they not see the real problem is that kids are getting their hands on guns?

    Videogames DON’T make people kill people. Because most kids in afghanistan who own AK-47s, don’t even know what a videogame is. And they kill like its a game.

  3. Doom90885 says:

    My friend you hit the nail right on the head. If people can’t read a label that sticks out like a sore thumb then yeah you shouldn’t be allowed into the store to begin with. People complain about governments all the time saying they interfer with their affairs etc but then they don’t wanna think for themselves and make their own decisions so they can’t blame themselves when shit hits the fan. IMO we need to make it harder to survive in this world to hopefully weed out the ignorant and stupid who ruin things for all.


    In Scapegoats We Trust

  4. JustChris says:

    And that’s why medical insurance costs are an issue in the US, because frivolous civil suits scare doctors into raising their prices.


  5. JustChris says:

    Didn’t things work out better when game publishers gave themselves their own ratings, and people were fine with that? Adult games would have "ADULT game cartridge" printed on the box.


  6. RedKing says:

    In the end it all boils down to the parent: they buy the game, they live with the consequences.


    "What seest thou else In the dark backward and abysm of time?"


  7. sqlrob says:

    Sorry, that lawsuit was completely and totally justified.

    A reasonable person expects to get burned if they spill coffee.

    A reasonable person does NOT expect to get third degree burns that require skin grafts if they spill coffee.

    The original request, denied by McDonalds was simply for medical bills. That "huge" award she got wasn’t termed in millions of dollars it was "One day of revenue from coffee" – not that big to McD’s now, was it?


  8. Chamale says:

    I hate the knee-jerk reaction that that was a "stupid" lawsuit. The coffee was served boiling hot, literally, and gave the plaintiff burns over 22% of her body – including extensive third degree burns. She was in hospital for 2 years.

    This is a signature virus. Please copy and paste into your signature to help it propagate.

  9. Ashkihyena says:

    You can blame that on a stupid lawsuit here in the states, where the judge ruled in favor of the person who got burned.  >.>;;;  My brain just hurts thinking about it.

  10. Afirejar says:

    This looks familiar – the local Saturn (big electronics retail chain) uses these.
    I know it sounds sad, but it’s actually a step up. They used to have games above a 16 rating in transparent plastic boxes. The yellow ones for 16+ were only mildly annoying, but the dark red ones for 18+ really made you wonder, what genius came up with the idea to lock products into unmarked boxes that make it next to impossible to see what’s in them. (This is probably the reason, why they don’t use these boxes anymore.)

    Saturn is the only retailer that uses the extra stickers though, I guess it’s safe to assume, that the depicted box was one sold by them. Also, they really are ridiculously redundant.

  11. Roh02 says:

    how about one huge sticker on the stores front door saying "warning if your too stupid to read the lables dont eneter this store … you moron"

  12. Erik says:

    If people can’t read the stickers which are already in place then I don’t think more stickers are the answer.  Adult literacy programs are the answer.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  13. Arell says:

    You know, we can’t make fun of them too much.  Go buy a cup of coffee at McDonalds:

    "WARNING – Coffee is hot."

  14. Roh02 says:

    yknow if they ever end up with these big stickers you just know their gonna blame everyone but themselves when they start complaining that they cant read the title and so didnt know it was "THAT" game and bought it for their kid

  15. State says:

    So what game is under all of those stickers?

    Don’t know about the USK logo, but the other seems to be removable, so it’s not too bad. I know the BBFC ratings in the UK have increased in size due to pressure from someone, and someone requested that they increase further in size to that of the USK logo here.

  16. Bennett Beeny says:

    The labels aren’t all that big when you consider that this game ‘box’ is just a CD case.  However, the notion that two stickers will be more effective than one is kinda ludicrous.  On the other hand, who knows how the second sticker got there – could be a mistake, could simply be an overzealous store owner with a pile of free warning stickers.  When I see stuff like this it just makes me think it’s another slow news day for GP.

  17. tacc says:

    There have been some extra warnings in some stores for years. But it looks like there is no system behind this. Not even within the same store.

    Sometimes there are even extra boxes where they put the games in. Deep red for 18 and yellow for 16.

  18. Roh02 says:

    a typical dumb parent: what game is that? "and heft auto chinat war"? sounds like a great game Ill just ignore that weird 18 red thing like I allways do especialy since this game is not "grand theft auto" it must be ok since its only about hefting cars probably out of the way of the disabled or the elderly

  19. Cheater87 says:

    Or maybe it will be a warning label as the cover art with the name of the game put on it. 😛

  20. Vash-HT says:

    I don’t see how this is going to do anything, parents already ignore the huge rating sticker that was there before. It’s kinda sad to see a parent who buys a game like this for their kid come back and say they had no idea it wasn’t for kids when there is obviously a huge ass sticker on the box saying it isn’t.

  21. Ashkihyena says:

    Wow, as if that big triangle wasn’t taking up enough of the box, they have to slap another sticker on it.

  22. sqlrob says:

    How the heck can you miss the one on the lower left? If you miss that, how is the other going to help?


  23. beemoh says:

     Oh, that’s just silly. The sooner the games industry simply pulls out of Germany altogether, the better.



  24. HarmlessBunny says:

    I can’t see the image, but Germany really has one heck of a label that takes 1/5 to 1/4 of the game cover…like they need anymore. Sorry Deutscheland, you are wasting your time 😀

    Truly it is just another knee jerk reaction to the school shooting. Society didn’t fold over and ban everything because of Columbine or V-Tech. Instead we opted to learn (well…most of us) rather than to damn a form of media.

    Video-games are getting the brunt…I’m curious what will be next if they start putting bans up. (actually the bans won’t work, most people will rely on imports and pirating)

  25. Chaplain99 says:

    Funny, but I can’t seem to get the image of the game to come up.  Sounds controversial, though.  😉

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

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