In recent times, Germany has become Ground Zero in the debate over video game violence.
Consider that the German Parliament is expected to consider a total ban on the production and distribution of violent games next month. Meanwhile, top-tier developer Crytek (Far Cry, Crysis) has threatened to relocate out of the country if the ban becomes law.
In the latest development, EA exec Gerhard Florin (left) has called for Germany to drop its USK content rating system in favor of the PEGI system, which is widely in use in other European nations. Said Florin:
What we’re doing here [with USK rating] is censorship. And no one complains. When we talk about games here it’s about violence or their alleged addictiveness, and not about their cultural status. The few good studios are asking themselves why they should stay here anyway.
USK boss Marek Brunner took issue with Florin’s criticism:
It’s hard when half-truths are being used. They say the USK does this wrong, the USK does that bad and why doesn’t this get a rating?
Brunner noted that other government bodies influence the type of game content which can be sold, including the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons and the criminal courts.