These games virtually always involve violent game concepts and frequently generate a dark and threatening atmosphere. This makes them suitable for adults only. The genres in this categorisation include First-person Shooters, Action Adventures and Open World games. The background of the respective story has its basis in such elements as war conflicts or brutal fights between rival gangs.
This category is for games which are generally not approved for those aged under 18 due to the fact that they are considered detrimental to young persons. The aim is to protect the under 18’s from the vehemence of the images and the violent concepts and from any possible identification with game characters whose actions may run contrary to ethical and moral norms. The atmospheric intensity and authenticity of game play make it difficult for players to distance themselves from the depicted events. The nature of such games and the way in which they are realised require a degree of social maturity and distance not generally found in 16 to 17-year olds. The categorisation “Not suitable for young persons aged under 18” does, however, exclude the following:
- game contents which legitimise acts of violence in everyday life and suggest parallels with reality;
- the imparting of the idea that vigilante justice is an acceptable method of achieving justice;
- the predominance within game play of drastically staged and graphically detailed acts of violence against humanlike game characters;
- the domination of violent game tasks over all other game elements;
- the concept that the game can only be brought to a successful conclusion if game characters not presented as opponents are eliminated;
- the imparting of war fervour and the explicit trivialisation of the consequences of violence.
Computer games rated as “Not suitable for young persons aged under 18” further do not include any content which is prohibited by law in Germany (e.g. excessive representations of violence, racism, warmongering and pornography). If after examining a game the Classification Committee at the USK believes that the indexing criteria of the Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPjM) have been fulfilled, an age rating symbol will be refused by the Supreme Youth Protection Authorities of the Federal States (OLJB).