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Old 10.04.2007, 11:37
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Censorship in Switzerland

My question is more to do with video games, but I'm interested generaly.

It seems some games here are subjected to the German censorship rules, mostly cuts for violence (GTA series has various things missing). Is this just because the games have been made for the German market? Or does Switzerland have it's own censorship laws?

Are films also cut?

Does anyone know which titles are affected?
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Old 10.04.2007, 14:04
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

Generally, what happens is the German speaking countries (GAS - Germany, Austria, Switzerland) have one set of merchandise created - and they follow the strictest rules (which would be the German laws).

There are several websites out there which will list info on banned/restricted merchandise (mostly movies and music). One is zensur.org

A couple of years ago, I was at a death metal show in Pratteln (at the hellish club Z-7). The venue did not allow one band to play, saying their content was "too violent" - yet Cannibal Corpse (one of the bands mentioned on zensur.org) was the headlining act and played without incident.

Films are cut, magazines are edited, album covers are changed....

Last edited by evilshell; 10.04.2007 at 14:04. Reason: forgot a sentence
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Old 10.04.2007, 14:21
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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Generally, what happens is the German speaking countries (GAS - Germany, Austria, Switzerland) have one set of merchandise created - and they follow the strictest rules (which would be the German laws).

There are several websites out there which will list info on banned/restricted merchandise (mostly movies and music). One is zensur.org

A couple of years ago, I was at a death metal show in Pratteln (at the hellish club Z-7). The venue did not allow one band to play, saying their content was "too violent" - yet Cannibal Corpse (one of the bands mentioned on zensur.org) was the headlining act and played without incident.

Films are cut, magazines are edited, album covers are changed....
Crikey, is that link SFW?
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Old 10.04.2007, 15:17
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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Crikey, is that link SFW?
Yes, it should be It has more with violence than anything else - not sure why the porn-looking chick is at the top. The text and bild archive is probably not so work safe, though.
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Old 10.04.2007, 15:43
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

I had no idea there was so much censorship in the German speaking part...I do remember reading about some movies having troubles in conservative catholic cantons like Valais but none at all in Geneva but nothing like that kind of systematic censorship...
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  #6  
Old 10.04.2007, 15:53
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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I had no idea there was so much censorship in the German speaking part...I do remember reading about some movies having troubles in conservative catholic cantons like Valais but none at all in Geneva but nothing like that kind of systematic censorship...
Doesn't seem too fair either, as the Swiss are being subjected to German censorship.

Last edited by cyrus; 10.04.2007 at 17:01. Reason: gah typo
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Old 13.04.2007, 10:56
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

Further to this, I'll presume Amazon.de will deal only with chopped versions of films/games, are there online retailers for the French/Italian regions who are not restricted by the German market? (Preferably French, as I can read/speak it).

BTW, I'm not looking for anything nasty here, just like to see the stuff as it's intended.
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  #8  
Old 13.04.2007, 11:12
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

I'd try amazon.co.uk - but I'm not sure they'd be allowed to deliver certain things. Perhaps someone else might know...

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Further to this, I'll presume Amazon.de will deal only with chopped versions of films/games, are there online retailers for the French/Italian regions who are not restricted by the German market? (Preferably French, as I can read/speak it).

BTW, I'm not looking for anything nasty here, just like to see the stuff as it's intended.
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Old 13.04.2007, 11:21
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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I'd try amazon.co.uk - but I'm not sure they'd be allowed to deliver certain things. Perhaps someone else might know...
Cyrus, Shell,

I order online pretty much exclusively from Amazon in the UK. Have never had problems with customs & the stuff is always spot on. No censorship here (as far as I am aware)

Trick with customs is to arrange for your treats to be parcelled in packages of worth less than 200chf. I receive 3 or 4 deliveries a month & have never had any issues in the last 3 years. Hope this helps.
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  #10  
Old 13.04.2007, 11:37
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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Cyrus, Shell,

I order online pretty much exclusively from Amazon in the UK. Have never had problems with customs & the stuff is always spot on. No censorship here (as far as I am aware)

Trick with customs is to arrange for your treats to be parcelled in packages of worth less than 200chf. I receive 3 or 4 deliveries a month & have never had any issues in the last 3 years. Hope this helps.
I'd done this in the past too, but on my last order I got an additionall bill from the Post Office here. I'm not sure if it was for customs, or for extra shipping on a huge german/english dictionary. Stupidly I didn't use my brand new dictionary to try to find out what the bill was just paid it and threw it away.
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  #11  
Old 08.09.2008, 13:27
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

I see the new "Dead Space" game has been banned in Germany. As it's an EA game I'll be ordering it from the UK anyway, for the language, but I'm going to check to see if you can buy it in the shops here.
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  #12  
Old 08.09.2008, 15:44
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

It shouldn't be difficult to buy Dead Space in Switzerland. A brief search results in offers from all important webshops and stores. The question is if EA will bother to release a German version for the Austrian and Swiss market.

At the moment there's a self-regulating system in place in Switzerland. The game industry and retailers act according to the PEGI guidelines (and Swiss law rather than governmental institutions).

But this spring, exponents from virtually all Swiss parties except the FDP/PRD tried to promote governmental intervention in one form or the other. Most public attention was scored by this Social Democrat who sued and lost against the director of a Media Markt shop for the distribution of "killer games".
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Old 08.09.2008, 15:45
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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My question is more to do with video games, but I'm interested generaly.

It seems some games here are subjected to the German censorship rules, mostly cuts for violence (GTA series has various things missing). Is this just because the games have been made for the German market? Or does Switzerland have it's own censorship laws?

Are films also cut?

Does anyone know which titles are affected?

what is missing in that game?
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  #14  
Old 08.09.2008, 15:49
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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what is missing in that game?
GTA IV missed cuts this time round. Previous iterations had the "Rampage" mini game removed, I heard there were some other changes, but never found a page that detailed the changes.
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Old 08.09.2008, 15:55
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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It shouldn't be difficult to buy Dead Space in Switzerland. A brief search results in offers from all important webshops and stores. The question is if EA will bother to release a German version for the Austrian and Swiss market.
Actually, that's pretty much what I was wondering, if EA don't make a German version, will it mean it won't be sold here? Or if it's not banned but if EA make blanket changes to the game for the German market, the Swiss get the censored version.
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Old 08.09.2008, 15:56
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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Are films also cut?

Does anyone know which titles are affected?


I knew i had not gone crazy just yet!!!


I bought a new copy of Mr & Mrs Smith as the one i had was buggered and i could of sworn it had a scene or 2 missing.


cheers
SC
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Old 08.09.2008, 16:24
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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GTA IV missed cuts this time round. Previous iterations had the "Rampage" mini game removed, I heard there were some other changes, but never found a page that detailed the changes.

this is funny. i mean, what can be more "cruel" beyond head shots, battering, sex scenes, heavy swearing? the whole game is an offense in it itself...this is pointless...will try n check this.
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Old 08.09.2008, 16:29
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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this is funny. i mean, what can be more "cruel" beyond head shots, battering, sex scenes, heavy swearing? the whole game is an offense in it itself...this is pointless...will try n check this.
All this takes part within the story of the game. at least that's what I think the general argument is.

In rampages, you earnt tons of money by murdering as many people as possible with a certain weapon, I think some people considered this a step too far. Although it's possible to engage in random violence when you want in GTA, you don't get extra cash for it, at least not in IV anyway.
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Old 08.09.2008, 17:13
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

ok, did not knew thats the rampage concept. but imagine doing rampage with an 1200 amo uzi...loads of cash!
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Old 08.09.2008, 21:43
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Re: Censorship in Switzerland

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I'd done this in the past too, but on my last order I got an additionall bill from the Post Office here. I'm not sure if it was for customs, or for extra shipping on a huge german/english dictionary. Stupidly I didn't use my brand new dictionary to try to find out what the bill was just paid it and threw it away.
Can't say much about censorship, but can comment on customs duty etc..

I order lots of books for the kids and DVDs for me via amazon UK and for our commune at least (in Valais) it seems to work that under about CHF80 value, they just pop the goods in the letter box. Over about that value they knock and ask for payment of VAT and a customs clearance charge of CHF10.

If you order/package things under the value that triggers the import bill, there will be no customs clearance charge or VAT. Above it, it seems a bit random, but we get hit for it maybe 50% of the time. (Obviously more smaller packages means more postage costs though)

In any case, the UK vat has come off (if it was vat-able) when it was ordered for delivery to Switzerland, so that is a 17.5% saving, so adding back CHF10 + 7.6% still means in many cases it is still cheaper than buying it in the UK and paying the UK VAT. ie goods of £100 + UK VAT would be (at the moment) about CHF200 + CHF 15.20 VAT + CHF 10. (ie about CHF225, which is still a bit less than £117.5 - at todays rubbish exchange rate!

I find Amazon very reasonable with postage to Switzerland - hardly any different from the UK.

Also the Swiss customs do seem to be sensitive to the Vatable nature of the goods, so if it is zero rated items like books, then they don't charge the VAT, but will still charge the CHF10 clearance fee.
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