Contents page 1 — “children not to be Nazis, if you see a swastika” page 2 — “Shooter with Nazi symbols will have in the future is difficult” On a page

swastikas, SS-runes and the Nazi salute were in computer games to date banned: A Game, the Constitution, showed the enemy’s symbols, could not obtain a rating from the entertainment software self-regulation body (USK). Last week, the group has cancelled this scheme. He justified his decision on the fact that in video time play critical could be processed. TIME ONLINE has spoken with the media scholar Lisa Gotto, a Professor at the Cologne Game Lab of the Technical University of Cologne, about the possible consequences.

Zeit ONLINE: Ms. Gotto, for years the Games discussed play-scene anti-constitutional symbols in the computer. Why has not evaluated the USK such games so far in the first place?

Lisa Gotto: computer games are relatively new media. And always, if there are new representation forms, ignites a debate about how a society should deal with it. In the case of computer games, for example, there is the worry that they affect us differently than books or movies.

Lisa Gotto is a Professor of Media and Game Studies at the University of Cologne. © TH Cologne

Zeit ONLINE: How is that?

Gotto: A movie is linear, it is for each viewer the same, we take him to be passive. A computer, however, is a bit of play for each is different, it is interactive: The players involved in the action, you can control it and shape it. Some experts say that anti-constitutional symbols had to be in such an environment is dangerous.


Gotto, Who is constantly surrounded by SS-runes and swastikas, you might not perceive at some point more than problematic. The habituation effect is a main argument as to why anti-constitutional symbols are banned because they could be the norm.

Zeit ONLINE: isn’t that a legitimate concern? Children and adolescents are not yet able to reflect on what you see.

Gotto: That’s true. But the discussion whether it is permissible to show such symbols or not, there used to be in other media. The film theorist Siegfried Kracauer, for example, was of the view that films could hypnotize the audience and unconsciously influence. When a new Medium is used by a wide mass, it creates a feeling of uncertainty in society, how to deal with it. Children are exploited in the debate: content to be always dangerous for you. Earlier it has been said, the television make you stupid. Now computer games are allegedly criminals out of them.

TIME ONLINE: And what about the habituation effect that you have mentioned?

Gotto: children are not automatically Nazis, if you see an anti-constitutional Symbol. It depends on the context in which a swastika or SS-Rune shows up. The USK will continue to examine each game individually to see whether it is suitable for children and young people. In other media, Nazi symbols are not mapped Yes inflationary, just because one can show theoretically.