Germany No Longer Considers Doom "Harmful" to Youths, Removes 17-Year Ban

Paul Lilly

Gamers living in Germany are finally able to purchase (legally) Doom and Doom II, a pair of software titles previously placed in an index of banned titles by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprufstelle), the same index reserved for pornography.

Pete Hines, VP of PR and Marketing for Betheseda Software, the publisher whose parent company scooped up id Software in 2009, explained to Joystiq.com that index appeals are permissible after 10 years. Both Doom (released in 1993) and Doom II (released in 1994) were placed in the index in 1994.

"We are obviously very pleased with their decision," Hines told Joystiq.com. "Can't give you details yet on when they will be available in Germany. We'll let everyone know as soon as we know."

Doom's graphics are no longer cutting edge like they were almost two decades ago, but according to a BBC report , the decision to remove both titles from the index wasn't based on graphic quality alone. As explained to the BBC, the panel looks for "drastic portrayals of violence directed against human or human-like beings. If the game does not contain any real alternative scenes which might on the whole 'neutralize' the violent parts, then the game is likely to be found to have a harmful effect on minors."

That's still an issue with Doom and Doom II, but the panel now considers those games "of historical interest" and less likely to fall into the hands of children, partially because it will only be available to gamers at least 16 years old.

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