April 15, 2024

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This is how right-wing extremists abuse games and gaming platforms

This is how right-wing extremists abuse games and gaming platforms

The legal situation looks like this: In principle, the display and distribution of unconstitutional symbols such as swastikas is prohibited. But there are exceptions: for example, a swastika may be displayed in an educational context or if it serves as a historical representation, such as in films or games.

There are no anti-constitutional symbols to be seen in Through the Darkest Times. In the second game from the game studio Paintbucket Games called “The darkest files“, which is expected to be published in April 2024, the swastika can be seen – both in the context of learning and for the purpose of historical representation. However, the gaming platform Steam initially did not allow Jörg Friedrich and his team to upload the game “The Darkest Files” to Steam. So there appears to be a mechanism that checks what content ends up on Steam. At the same time, far-right groups, forum posts and Hitler usernames may exist there. MDR SACHSEN-ANHALT wanted to talk to Steam about this, but the platform did not respond despite numerous requests.

Jörg Friedrich was then able to explain to Steam that the above exceptions applied to his game, which is why Steam later allowed this. According to Friedrich, Steam told him before clearing up the misunderstanding that it could have published its game anywhere except Germany, where different rules regarding National Socialism applied. Steam itself is headquartered in the USA.