Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Censorship Rollback on Half-Life

This might seem trite, but it's kind of a big deal and a score for gamers and game developers. Half-Life has been given the green light to go uncensored in Germany. Nineteen years later, the classification board is allowing the game to be sold in it's original form in the country.

Germany, like Australia and China, has some silly rules regarding censorship of video games. It's not nearly as bad as others, but the changes that were made to Half-Life just to get it onto store shelves is, notoriously funny. Human enemies were replaced with bulky robot soldiers. Much of the blood and the tiny bit of gore was removed. Alien enemies that are killed would fall over and vanish a few seconds later. And if you shot at an innocent NPC, you wouldn't see any visible harm to them. Instead they sit on the floor and start shaking their head in shame. It's weird.

Valve has not commented on if they will re-release the game in Germany in it's original form, but they'd have a willing audience to buy if they did. The uncensored version has long been a sought-after commodity, and easily purchased from other regions. But it's nice to know that Germans now they have the option to buy the original without hassle from their government. Score one against censorship laws!

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