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DeathWolf1982

what is the worst censorship in doom

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Green blood in GBA Doom.

 

And the Hitler with the shaved mustache and bootleg Nazi logo in the unity port.

 

the green cross on health packs and med kits in the unity ports.

 

The red pill logo on heath packs in the Xbox 360 BFG Edition of Doom 3's Doom and Doom II ports.

 

which is the worst censorship of Doom.

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Just now, ElmStreetSlasher1984 said:

Same with Germany Censoring Wolfenstein 3D stuff in Doom II.

Arguably, the "Worst" would be when the BFG edition swapped the SS enemies from the console ports to Zombiemen in the Wolf Levels despite cross play with the unchanged XBLA Port being possible.

 

This caused massive desynchronization in co-operative play, this change actually affected the game in a negative way.

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none because they do nothing to affect the atmosphere in any way. Although I thought the Red Cross getting upset at Doom 64 was, um, quite out of touch

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5 minutes ago, mrthejoshmon said:

Arguably, the "Worst" would be when the BFG edition swapped the SS enemies from the console ports to Zombiemen in the Wolf Levels despite cross play with the unchanged XBLA Port being possible.

 

This caused massive desynchronization in co-operative play, this change actually affected the game in a negative way.

In the Doom II unity port, the wolf level had a painting of a bootleg hitler.

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5 minutes ago, LadyMistDragon said:

none because they do nothing to affect the atmosphere in any way. Although I thought the Red Cross getting upset at Doom 64 was, um, quite out of touch

 

Come on, even if you don't care about the changes you can't say they don't affect the atmosphere of the Wolfenstein-themed levels.

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Just now, dasho said:

 

Come on, even if you don't care about the changes you can't say they don't affect the atmosphere of the Wolfenstein-themed levels.

You're not wrong necessarily, but they felt out of place in Doom to begin with. Why reference a game that's only 2 years old when Doom II was originally released? It just seems weird.

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Just now, LadyMistDragon said:

You're not wrong necessarily, but they felt out of place in Doom to begin with. Why reference a game that's only 2 years old when Doom II was originally released? It just seems weird.

 

It's a secret and a callback to one of their other titles. This is pretty not-weird in video games.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, LadyMistDragon said:

none because they do nothing to affect the atmosphere in any way. Although I thought the Red Cross getting upset at Doom 64 was, um, quite out of touch

 

I don't particularly agree with this because IMO the pill/green cross looks quite different from the red cross and really sticks out like a sore thumb for me.

 

I think the nazi censorship in particular is pretty silly. While it's not Doom, the censorship in the German version of Wolfenstein II was particularly farcical because, while technically not having nazi iconography it was incredibly obvious what everything was supposed to be. It's IMO not a coincidence that Germany's laws regarding censorship of depictions of nazi imagery were expanded to include video games under their "artistic depictions" exemption not a year after the release of the game.

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seeing the heart instead of cross on health pickups in more recent pwads kinda makes me wish it was like that to begin with.


doom 64's reworked cross was less obnoxious than the green one but makes it a bit harder to tell that there's a health pickup, especially in darkness or at distance.

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While it's totally understandable to avoid the red cross symbol itself the real issue is that the concept of "first aid" is intrinsically linked to such an icon, so much so that other icons (a Rod of Asclepius, a pill, crosses of other colors, etc.) very obviously feel like stand-ins.

 

The best alternative I can think of is what Bungie did when Halo ran afoul of the Red Cross: they changed it out for a red "H," at once keeping the red/white color scheme well-understood to stand for first aid while also being a good stand in for healthy things; the "H" can stand for "Health" or "Hospital" or "Healing."

 

image.png.5b4969b59f65c0aa9450a3d52849d7ff.png

 

Perhaps id didn't do this out of fears that the red H would be too similar to the red cross?

Bit of a tangent: I've heard a lot of noise about how the Red Cross is copyright and not allowed for use in commercial video games... but no such noise about its use in movies or television. Does anyone know if there's similar issues there?

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10 minutes ago, segfault said:

 

I don't particularly agree with this because IMO the pill/green cross looks quite different from the red cross and really sticks out like a sore thumb for me.

 

 

 

You're not wrong, but it still seems like  a minor detail to me. It probably helps that Doom 64 is such a dark game to begin with, although I suppose green still would stick out from the aesthetic, it probably doesn't help I've never played the XBLA version. Although I'm not sure the brightness is really any different in that version either.

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21 minutes ago, segfault said:

While it's totally understandable to avoid the red cross symbol itself the real issue is that the concept of "first aid" is intrinsically linked to such an icon, so much so that other icons (a Rod of Asclepius, a pill, crosses of other colors, etc.) very obviously feel like stand-ins.

 

The best alternative I can think of is what Bungie did when Halo ran afoul of the Red Cross: they changed it out for a red "H," at once keeping the red/white color scheme well-understood to stand for first aid while also being a good stand in for healthy things; the "H" can stand for "Health" or "Hospital" or "Healing."

 

Perhaps id didn't do this out of fears that the red H would be too similar to the red cross?

Bit of a tangent: I've heard a lot of noise about how the Red Cross is copyright and not allowed for use in commercial video games... but no such noise about its use in movies or television. Does anyone know if there's similar issues there?

 

Can the Red Cross organization sue you for that? I did not know. I thought the pills were for shits and giggles.

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"They are all absolutely horrible, each one a form of disgrace inflicted upon us by sick communists who wish to destroy our family values and discredit the teachings of our savior Jesus Christ" is the answer I think you're waiting to hear, but personally I think the green blood affects the game the most. Not that anyone still plays GBA DOOM anyway. id should have changed the Red Cross logo to a swastika and used the Red Cross logo on the Wolf3D maps.

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1 hour ago, ElmStreetSlasher1984 said:

the green cross on health packs and med kits in the unity ports.

 

The red pill logo on heath packs

I actually think they look good. But hey, that's just me

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In the BFG Edition they removed the cheats. Outrageous.

(You can still input cheats through the console if you create a shortcut)

 

Also the swastika in e1m4.

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Why do have so few people played Wolfenstein 3d and Doom on their GBAs? It plays really good on my pink pearlescent one for that extra 1 fps. Pink and green is better than pink and red, I'm glad they changed the blood.

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5 hours ago, mrthejoshmon said:

Arguably, the "Worst" would be when the BFG edition swapped the SS enemies from the console ports to Zombiemen in the Wolf Levels

 

AND changed the level names.

AND changed the music in both.

 

I get that the levels needed to be censored for the German market, but the extent to which that censorship went was very unnecessary if you ask me. Just doing away with the Nazi imagery would've been adequate.

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Posted (edited)

I think that DOOM was banned in Germany (in German: indiziert), was very bad. I couldn't buy DOOM on Steam, until a Russian Steam friend bought it for me in the end of 2012. Yeah at this time there was the DOOM 3 BFG Edition around, but I wanted the real deal. I played the BFG Editon only for NRFTL. But anyway ended up to hunt later the achievements in DOOM 1 and 2, when I was not aware yet, which issues the BFG Editon port had.

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the Nazi imagery thing always irritated me, for the same reasons as the "satanic" imagery in Doom, or any Id game. you're always killing objectively bad people/things in these games, dude. no one's playing Wolf-3D because "thuh nat-zees wuhr gud".

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On 8/17/2022 at 8:41 PM, LadyMistDragon said:

none because they do nothing to affect the atmosphere in any way. Although I thought the Red Cross getting upset at Doom 64 was, um, quite out of touch

 

It's time once again to post the

 

Red Cross Medikits FAQ

Some background 

The Geneva Conventions are a series of international treaties signed by most countries which establish international law for humanitarian treatment during times of war. One detail of these conventions is the establishment of the red cross as a common symbol for neutrality on the battlefield; along with the red crescent, red crystal and red lion and sun, the symbol is used to identify non-combatants such as battlefield medics who should never be targeted for attacks.

 

Because of the importance of these symbols as symbols of neutrality, most countries have laws restricting the use of them to members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and related societies. Using these symbols without permission can be a crime; see Title 18, subsection 706 of the US federal code, the Geneva Conventions Act in the UK, and the Canadian Trade-marks act (section "prohibited symbols") for examples.

 

Many games, including Doom, have historically used the red cross on in-game powerups items to indicate that the item provides a health boost. Often this is inaccurate since real life health kits do not usually use a red cross; ISO 7010 E003 defines a white cross on a green background as the symbol for health. In 2006 the Canadian Red Cross began to actively campaign against the misuse of the red cross symbol in video games:

 

<http://www.redcross.ca/about-us/about-the-canadian-red-cross/red-cross-emblem/it-may-just-be-a-game-to-you-but--it-means-the-world-to-us>

 

The 2012 release of Doom 3: BFG Edition included a re-relase of the classic Doom games, with the medikits changed to replace the red cross with a red and white pill symbol. This WAD contains these modified sprites so that they can be used independently with any version of Doom by anyone who so wishes.

 

Frequently asked questions

 

Q1. How can the red cross claim copyright or a trademark over such a simple, abstract symbol?

A1. The red cross symbol is not a copyright or a trademark; it is actually explicitly protected by international law (the Geneva Conventions). This is reflected by individual laws in many countries. If you used a trademark (eg. Coca-Cola logo) without permission you could be sued; in the case of the red cross, in many countries you could actually face criminal sanctions.

 

Q2. This sucks - the red cross is a symbol of healing and a pill isn't!

A2. That's not actually true. Firstly, the red cross is a symbol of neutrality, not healing - it is also used by battlefield chaplains for example. Secondly, the standard (ie. ISO 7010) symbol for healing used on real life medikits is a white cross on a green background, not the red cross. So the red cross used on the original medikit sprites is not even accurate or correct.

 

Q3. Plenty of other games use the red cross. The red cross is a standard symbol of healing in video games and this should continue.

A3. Lot of other games do use the red cross, but many other games are now making efforts to eliminate usage of it. For example, the 2010 iPhone re-release of Wolfenstein 3D replaced the red cross with a heart instead. The red cross is a pretty important symbol in terms of international law and deserves to be protected. Video games have traditionally used all kinds of symbols to indicate health - hearts, the letter "H", soda cans and turkey meals, to just name a few. The idea that the red cross has some special importance is pretty silly. If it's really essential, the white cross on a green background can still easily be used for the same result.

 

Q4. You're some kind of medikit symbol nazi! Why are you telling me to replace my medikit sprites?

A4. First of all, Nazi Germany was actually a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, so if you don't respect the red cross symbol, in some sense you're actually worse than the Nazis. But I'm not actually telling you to do anything.  I mostly just find it interesting that the BFG Edition of Doom changed the medikit sprites, and there is a lot of confusion every time this subject comes up, so I wrote this FAQ.

 

Q5. The original berserk pack has a red cross but it is on a black background instead of a white one. Was this still illegal, and if not why have you replaced it?

A5. It may indeed have been okay for the berserk pack. The US law protecting the red cross symbol (US code title 18 subsection 706) references "the Greek red cross on a white ground" as the symbol that is protected. I'm not sure if this is the case in all countries though. Regardless, the BFG Edition replaced the red cross on the berserk pack too.

 

Q6. Why is this such a big deal? It's just a stupid cross. It's only a few pixels on a sprite.

A6. Why indeed? Respecting the red cross symbol is the right thing to do. For some reason a lot of people seem very upset about how id changed the medikit sprites in the BFG Edition re-release. As you said, it's only a few pixels and really a rather inconsequential change to do the right thing.

 

Q7: Isn't this "censorship"?

A7. I don't think so, and I think complaining it is is pretty silly. Although the red cross is not a trademark (see Q1 above), you can make an analogy between the red cross and a trademark; it would be silly to think that game developers are being "censored" because they can't use the McDonalds or Coca-Cola symbols in their games without permission, for example. id made this choice of their own volition to comply with international law; as far as I know, no game developers have ever faced actual prosecution or lawsuits for using the red cross symbol. Even if you still believe this is somehow "censorship", it's still probably not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

 

Q8. I'm actually searching for WADs which violate the Geneva Conventions. Can you help?

A8. Apart from the obvious answer of "the original doom.wad or doom2.wad", you might want to check out redcres.wad (in /graphics in the idgames archive), which changes the medikits to use the Red Crescent symbol used in middle eastern countries.

 

Q9. I am for some reason fascinated by this entire subject. Where can I read more about it? A9. An introduction, from Wikipedia: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emblems_of_the_International_Red_Cross_and_Red_Crescent_Movement> The ICRC's pages on the red cross symbol: <https://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/emblem-history.htm> Red Cross of Canada: "It may just be a game to you but, it means the world to us": <http://www.redcross.ca/about-us/about-the-canadian-red-cross/red-cross-emblem/it-may-just-be-a-game-to-you-but--it-means-the-world-to-us> Past discussions within the Doom community: <https://www.doomworld.com/vb/doom-general/62584-does-the-red-cross/> <https://www.doomworld.com/vb/doom-general/90083-red-cross-changes/> <https://www.doomworld.com/vb/freedoom/54863-medikits-shouldnt-use/> 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, LadyMistDragon said:

Although I thought the Red Cross getting upset at Doom 64 was, um, quite out of touch

This is an extraordinary claim for something that's never been reported. You pretty much just made this up.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, fraggle said:

Q6. Why is this such a big deal? It's just a stupid cross. It's only a few pixels on a sprite.

A6. Why indeed? Respecting the red cross symbol is the right thing to do.

 

I think you can explain the reason it's illegal to use that symbol nowadays and not defend the very obviously unfair and nonsensical application of a law never intended to affect videogames to, well, affect videogames. I don't even think it takes a lawyer to tell you that legal precedents matter a lot, and "why do you care so much about it?" is the last reasonable thing that you could say about it.

Edited by MattFright

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I did a little digging and found this page regarding the use of the Red Cross in movies and television. It appears that for movies and television, the hard restriction just doesn't seem to exist. In fact, the Red Cross is even willing to work with producers in order to provide authentic Red Cross equipment like tents, rolling stock, etc.

 

I haven't done a huge deep dive but when searching for objections to the depiction of the Red Cross in movies and television, most of what I found was actually about video games. I did, however, find this article from 1987 concerning a "protest" the Red Cross made against a James Bond film with scenes where opium was being smuggled in sacks bearing the Red Cross, along with a man being kidnapped from a helicopter bearing the same. Despite the "protest," however, no legal action was taken, and the only thing that happened was that a disclaimer got put in the beginning of the movie on some home releases. Even so, the difference of attitude here is staggering; the Red Cross protests any depiction of their symbol in video games, even purely positive ones, but for movies it takes a distinct subversion of said symbol in order to elicit even a half-hearted response.

 

The disparity of treatment between television/film and video games is pretty interesting here. Why is it that such censorship (and yes, it is censorship; being compelled to amend or silence expression under threat of legal action is de facto censorship) is applied to heavily to video games, while the Red Cross seeks to actively work with television and film? It IMO ties back to the "legitimacy ghetto" that certain forms of art like video games and animation are stuck in, at least in Western spheres.

 

It's the same reason why video games didn't fall under the category of artistic expression for the purposes of Germany's laws against depicting nazi symbols; it took Wolfenstein II making a complete farce of said discrepancy while also providing a narrative that was completely unquestionably anti-nazi to get them to even reconsider. For a lot of people, particularly older generations, video games aren't artistic expression but are mere toys. Perhaps in time the Red Cross will soften its stance against the depiction of its symbol in video games and will one day even provide game developers with high-quality models of tents and rolling stock.

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The worst censorship is obviously the Nazi imagery and SS in Doom 2. Completely killed the whole easter egg honestly. Yes, it's still Wolfenstein. But it's inarguably ruined.

 

The red cross thing is really dumb to me. Yes I know why it's removed. Still dumb. Thank God for the classic release WAD versions.

 

I'm not really bothered by Green blood.

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Posted (edited)

Banning Doom and Doom 2 in Germany because it's too violent. Ooo red paint of course I'm going to replicate what I'm seeing in a pixelated as heck video game.

 

Fun fact: To this very day, you still cannot get the PC version of Doom 2 and Wolfenstein 3D on any Platform (like Steam) in Germany, although the ban on both games have been lifted some time ago. You can't even get the PC Unity version of Doom 2 which replaces Nazi imagery. And no, sounds of the SS are just a bit scuffed. They ain't saying Schutzkämpfer like some believe.

 

Yes, dear wiki readers, I know there were German versions of Doom 2 which just removed Map31 and Map32, the game was banned anyways.

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the removal of the swastika in e1m4...i cry myself to sleep every single night over it, howling "WHY, ROMERO, WHY?!" into the darkness until i eventually pass out

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