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It took Germany 20 years to make it a possibility, but local players are finally able to play the uncensored version of the original Half-Life. German players can download a free update from Steam that replaces the original censored version with the uncensored version.

Half-Life has been rated for mature audiences only, leading to its subsequent adding to the board’s list because of the game’s violent content. Half Life‘s German version changes all human enemies with robots, swapping out blood for oil. The German version was . . . a little weird because of it.

Getting the updated, uncensored, version of the game won’t invalidate your saves, but updating to the uncensored version of Half Life means you’ll lose access to the censored version. This cannot be undone.

Germany has been noticeably strict with allowing violent video games to be sold uncensored. What can and won’t be condoned is decided by the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (English: Federal Review Board for Media Harmful to Minors), who decides what media can be approved and what has to be censored. Media that gets added to the board’s blacklist are not allowed to be sold to anyone under 18, and public advertising for these censored products is completely prohibited.

The blacklist also includes the likes of South Park: The Stick of Truth, and a version of Wolfenstein: The New Order. The latter can be sold in Germany, but this version of the game strips away the swastikas from the game’s levels, and the enemy faction got changed from Nazis to ‘The Regime’. Similarly, Team Fortress 2 features android versions of the game’s cast instead of their regular human versions the rest of the world gets.

What do you think of the Federal Board’s decision to take Half-Life off the list? Let us know in the comment section down below!


Chris Anderson

Staff Writer

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk, and I never really stopped playing them. When I'm not fulfilling my duties as senior staff writer and tech reviewer, I'm either working on music, producing one of two podcasts or doing freelance work.


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