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  1. #1
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    Dec 2014
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    Default Is it Legal to Display a Swastika in a Video Game

    There is a video game that is played by many people online all around the World and they have a hidden Swastika within the game on the soldiers belt to be exact. I know that in Germany it is illegal to display the swastika.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strafge...ch_section_86a

    Now I know this only applies to Germany but is it illegal to have the swastika displayed in a video game that is played in multiple countries around the world? I believe there is no law in the United States that prohibit it but I know that in Europe it's a very delicate subject. I'm very curious as it seems they purposely put this in the game but in a hidden way and since people all over the World including Germany play this game I think that is why they hide it.

    If anyone could chime in that would help. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Swastika in Video Game Played World Wide Legal or Illegal

    Even in Germany, the legality or illegality of a display of the swastika depends on the context. The same symbol (the differences are so subtle that even if you know what you're looking for you might miss them) is a religious symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, so I think you can rest assured that it is not illegal.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2013
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    Default Re: Swastika in Video Game Played World Wide Legal or Illegal

    As CBG stated, the symbol has deep roots in many religions, it has been around in various forms since the neolithic era. Would be vry difficult to prohibit a symbol that is older than any current government.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Swastika in Video Game Played World Wide Legal or Illegal

    Funny story. I went to a doctor who was Indian and he had all of his certificates and diplomas. As I'm sitting in his office waiting for him, I take notice that every document he has displayed has a "swastika" somewhere on it. The symbol has existed since about 10,000 B.C. Unfortunately, the Nazis took the symbol and bastardized it. Aside form the Nazis, as cbg points out, the symbol is very meaningful in Hinduism and Buddhism. Video game programmers throw all kinds of "easter eggs" into their games. That is all this is. Additionally, many major video games are released in country-specific markets, so while the U.S. version of the game might include that easter egg, the European versions of the game probably do not.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Swastika in Video Game Played World Wide Legal or Illegal

    Hey, this thread actually makes me beam a little.

    It's really fantastic to come across others who have done their research and refuse to be placated by those who think we're all daft.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Swastika in Video Game Played World Wide Legal or Illegal

    There are dozens of video games out there where swastikas are everywhere. Pretty much every WWII game has them featured prominently. I am not sure why you are getting worked up over one on a belt that you have to look closely to see.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Is it Legal to Display a Swastika in a Video Game

    Quote Quoting uncle_sam
    View Post
    Now I know this only applies to Germany but is it illegal to have the swastika displayed in a video game that is played in multiple countries around the world? I believe there is no law in the United States that prohibit it but I know that in Europe it's a very delicate subject.
    Each country has its own laws relating to freedom of speech and expression, whether protecting those rights or putting restrictions on them. “International law” is the law between nations; that is, the commitments they make among themselves by treaty or international convention. It largely focuses on how nations interact with each other. It does not deal much with regulating the acts of individuals or private entities. As it applies to your question, there are no treaties or conventions that address the use of the swastika symbol. It doesn't matter whether the game is marketed internationally. All that matters for the game publisher is what the law is in each country that it wishes to market the game. Where there are restrictions, game publishers may tweak the content of the game to specfically meet the demands of a particular country with the result that what players see on, say, a game marketed in the U.S. may not be exactly the same as what players in other countries with more regulation of speech would see.

    Just for one fun example. Some years ago, the game World of Warcraft was seeking approval for the game in China and the regulators there thought, among other things, that the game seemed too violent. So, among other changes, when a character died in the Chinese version, the game would show a tidy little grave where the player fell instead of the dead body that you see in the U.S. version.

    Few, if any, countries other than Germany specifically prohibit displays of Nazi symbolism. Israel’s parliament earlier this year had a bill pending that would ban Nazi symbolism, but to my knowledge that has not yet passed. The game publisher of the game you mentioned may well not have that symbol in any games it markets in Germany. It would not be difficult to make that change for games destined for that market.

    It’s worth noting that the Nazi regime used a lot of symbols that had connections to other cultures. The one that is probably most interesting to me is that the Nazi straight arm salute was apparently adopted from the United States. Prior to World War II, a very similar salute, sometimes known in the U.S. as the “flag salute” was a fairly common salute that was given when the pledge of allegience was recited. When the Nazis adopted it as their salute, this caused (not surprisingly) discomfort in this country and in 1942 Congress enacted a bill that officially adopted the gesture used when saluting the flag to the now familiar hand over heart. It is sometimes said that the salute was derived from the old Roman empire, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that Rome used it as a salute (though movies and theater productions about ancient Rome in the mid 20th century show that as a Roman salute).

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