Nazi imagery appears in game in Germany for first time in 20 years

Nazi imagery appears in game in Germany for first time in 20 years

German prosecutors have decided to not pursue legal action against a game featuring Nazi iconography.

The title in question is Bundesfighter II Turbo, a browser fighter game that starred members of the German political scene. This was made by public broadcasting firm Funk Media, whose goal was encouraging voters in the Street Fighter II spoof.

One playable character was Alexander Gauland, leader for the far right Alternative for Germany party, who turns his body into the shape of a swastika as a special move.

Since 1998, using Nazi imagery in video games has been illegal following a German High Court ruling over their inclusion in Wolfenstein 3D. No game attempting to be rated by the German USK body will get one.

This set a legal precedent, something that might be occurring with the Bundesfighter II Turbo decision. The title is a web game, meaning it likely doesn't have to obtain an age rating, however, so it's likely we will not see any games featuring Nazi imagery launching in Germany any time soon.

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Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.