It's no secret that Germany takes its dark history rooted during the Holocaust very seriously. The usage of familiar gestures, insignias, and even certain names are either frowned upon or downright banned. This includes the usage of Nazi imagery in games, though that is apparently about to change.
There are several games out there that are rooted in history, with the latest Wolfenstein title from Bethesda being the most applicable in this situation. The emblem of the Third Reich has a lot of power and because of that, has been carefully hidden away by the country's government. Even if the game in question, much like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, clearly indicates the Nazis are a vile enemy, the explicit use of the imagery from the regime has been censored out.
In the case of Wolfenstein, all swastikas were completely erased from the game's narrative, as well as any other corresponding Nazi correspondence. Hitler was also completely erased from the game as the Fuhrer and that infamous mustache was erased into oblivion, at least until now.
The Germany Ratings Board has officially announced that video games are about to be re-looked at in terms of entertainment. The country will now look at each game and carefully review them, similar to how they handle movies, to see what content can and cannot be allowed — including Nazi imagery.
According to a recent statement from the German Games Industry Association:
"Computer and videogames have been recognized as a cultural medium for many years now, and this latest decision consistently cements that recognition in terms of the use of unconstitutional symbols as well," managing director Felix Falk said. "We in the games industry are concerned about the tendencies we see towards racism, anti-semitism and discrimination. We are strongly committed to an open, inclusive society, to the values laid out in the German constitution, and to Germany’s historical responsibility."
"Many games produced by creative, dedicated developers address sensitive topics such as the Nazi era in Germany, and they do so in a responsible way that encourages reflection and critical thinking. The interactive nature of games makes them uniquely qualified to spark contemplation and debate, and they reach younger generations like no other medium can."
It is certainly a drastic change and they are completely correc. With what's going on right now in current events, it's more critical than ever before to look at what's happening with an attentive eye — even if the situation makes some uncomfortable. We can't learn from past mistakes if we simply cover them up and the GGIA making moves to use that as a teaching tool and allow others to do the same is a big first step.