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a open letter from the german wargamers

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a open letter from the german wargamers - 5/21/2000 11:30:00 PM   

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An open letter from the german wargamer community to the makers of Steel Panthers World at War Version 1.0. Why the game is full of national-socialistic symbols? This way its impossible that Steel Panthers World at War could enter the german market. Not only that these symbols are forbidden in Germany, they are as well useless for the game. Not one german website could mention something about this game or write about it, without breaking the german laws and taking all these uncomfortable consequences, like going to jail and so on.... It seems to be that this game was only made for the people in the U.S.A. and not for other ones. I just was thinking that Matrixgames was on the way to reach such wargaming companies like SSI or Talonsoft, but with such politics - not thinking about what´s going on in Europe - Matrixgames would stay as another local US company. I just talked to Mr. Heath from Matrixgames and hope that the first update would resolve the problem. Anyway, I wish all US players much fun with SP WaW. Vorsteher The german wargamer


Post #: 1
- 5/21/2000 11:53:00 PM   


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From: Hamburg, Germany
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Nun aber mal langsam, Vorsteher! I see your point, but I'm absolutely sure, that it was not the intention of Matrix Games to exclude german wargamers. It was just an oversight that will be easily fixed with the next patch. There is no reason to attack Matrix for not knowing local german laws; this game is for FREE! And I do NOT hope, that Matrix will convert to a "mainstream" company like SSI or Talonsoft but stay an independent company for the grognard wargamers out there. Fred


"I got signals, I got readings in front and behind" - PFC Hudson, LV-426 mission

(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 2
- 5/22/2000 12:04:00 AM   


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From: Trabuco Canyon, Ca....USA
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Thank you for your post. I am glad you brought up the legal problems that occur. I hope the next official patch goes back to the old SP style iron cross. Now before anybody starts to flame me as anti-historical, oversensitive, or whatever, please be assured that somebody will make an un- official patch to fix the flag back. The CM forum had a long, loud discussion over this matter. The original Beta demo of CM shows the Swastika. The the recent release of the "gold demo" uses a generic iron cross symbol. That's the way the game will be sold. In my SP1 days I dl'd a flag patch so I could be historically correct. A very cool Swastika, it was! My wife noticed it one day and came un-glued! You see she is Jewish...The pain that symbol caused her was and is real. It's that way for many people. Obviously I took it right off. But also I began to think...Do I really need it. For me the answer is no. If the answer is yes for somebaody else... No problem. Just fix it the way you like.


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 3
- 5/22/2000 12:38:00 AM   
Wild Bill


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From: Smyrna, Ga, 30080
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While I can't speak officially, my personal statement is that I was ignorant of the situation. In no way did we intend to offend the German people or their government. War is offensive in and of itself. But we try to recreate it to have fun and a challenge electronically. We are not political, nor do we ever intend to be. So my personal apologies to Vorsteher or any other of our German colleagues. I appreciate the update and take it very much to heart. Don't worry Mark, we are gamers. We will stay gamers That is our intention. Wild Bill ------------------ Wild Bill Wilder Coordinator, Scenario Design Matrix Games


In Arduis Fidelis
Wild Bill Wilder
Independent Game Consultant

(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 4
- 5/22/2000 1:47:00 AM   


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From: france
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Hi, Here in France, it's the same situation, but i think you'll understand it, not for the same reasons than in Germany cheers


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 5
- 5/22/2000 2:20:00 AM   


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From: Poznan, Poland
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Well i have a quite different point here. You see, a very important thing is to make clear that Nazi Germany has nothing to do with nowadays Germany. It may sound weird, but browsing Holocaust page i've seen a guestbook entry from India asking whay are the Nazis ruling the Germany so long. It's amazing how many people are undereducated on that matter. Same goes for Soviet Union - one could make a point that using red star imagery insults them. I think that Hackenkreuz should stay. It reminds us all that the are separated from today Germans. I'm from Poland, yet i'm not offended by those symbols. I know the intentions of their usage. Our law doesn't forbid swatika imagery, because it means printing Finnish swastika (which has completly different origin) and Hindu swastika (symbol of sun) would be forbidden. So, i think, there should be an install option "use historical imagery". With annotations that using it breaks the law of FRG. Cheers all


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 6
- 5/22/2000 2:28:00 AM   
Desert Fox


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From: Ohio, that is all I can say.
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Well, it sounds to me like you guys are getting your rights trampled on. I don't know, but I really think its not for a government to say what game you can and cannot play. There is no reason those symbols should be outlawed unless the government really wants to keep the people ignorant. No I am not a Nazi or anything like that, but I think you folks have a right to wave whatever banner you believe in, and even more importantly to learn about you history. Banning these symbols does not in any way make life easier for anyone. Democracy or hypocracy? Its your choice. Knowledge is the only way to keep history from repeating itself. As I understand it, it is very difficult to learn all about the history of WW2 in some European countries. I hope maybe times will change without repeating WW2 just because a government wanted to forget the horrors. In the end, the fact is that if you forget the horrors, you are doomed to repeat them. But yeah, in the interests of German wargamers, I really don't have a problem if Matrix changes the flag.


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 7
- 5/22/2000 2:36:00 AM   


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From: Oley, PA, USA
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I think the German government is nuts (genutzen). This is a game. No one who plays it owns a gas chamber in their basement. They need to change the law. Regardless of what the symbol may have stood for, it is an indelible part of Germanic (and world) history and should not be removed from sight at the insistance of a wealthy minority of people intent on running the world based on their preferences. The game is meant to be a historical represtentation of World War II combat....swastikas were used on German vehicles, and they are displayed in such a military context. Don't forget, we have to look at the hammer and sickle too. I view it as a trade off. Too much exposure to Chancellor Kohl and Socialism, I would say. Just my 2 marks. A.


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 8
- 5/22/2000 2:59:00 AM   


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From: Finland
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I have a different opinion. I think it's important that flags, sounds, OOBs etc. are correct. Players should have right atmosphere or feel of history while playing a war game. Why others should suffer if Germans have ridiculous laws? I know it's difficult questions for Germans and Austrians, but trying to forget nazi-history doesn't help. I hope to see a seperate swastika patch for others, if Matrixgames replace swastika with cross.


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 9
- 5/22/2000 5:07:00 AM   


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For players in Germany by all means give the option of a flag acceptable in their country but I think that the default flag should be historically correct. We are not condoning Stalinism by using the Hammer and Sickle nor Nazism by using the Swastika. You don't learn from the past by covering it up nor do keep extremists at bay by overinflating the danger they represent today.


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 10
- 5/22/2000 5:09:00 AM   


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From: Finland
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I agree that the game should be made available for germans to play legally, though I think their law is ridiculous (How is bannning symbols going to stop an ideology?) But if Matrix decides to change the flag, there should most definetly be a patch made to change it back (Why couldn't they make a patch for Germans?) I always found the flag with the military cross rather silly and a spoiler of atmosphere.


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 11
- 5/22/2000 5:20:00 AM   

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From: Birdsboro, PA, USA
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Hello all, well regardless of what happens, if you want to keep the swastika, just don't cover up Batbut.shp, icon0016, or icon0061.shp, these are the ones that contain the flags. Hope this helps. Warhorse ------------------ Mike Amos Meine Ehre Heisst Treue


Mike Amos

Meine Ehre heißt Treue

(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 12
- 5/22/2000 6:47:00 AM   
Paul Vebber

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The point is the law exists and Matrix will do its best to comply... I'm going to close this thread down now... [This message has been edited by Paul Vebber (edited 05-21-2000).]


(in reply to Vorsteher)
Post #: 13
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