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USK redirects here. For the Usinsk airport, see Usinsk Airport.
The USK's official logo.

Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (German Self-Monitoring of Entertainment Software) or USK, is Germany's software rating organization.

Contents

Ratings

Without age restrictions
Freigegeben ohne Altersbeschränkung gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Without age restrictions)
There are no restrictions on the basis of the Jugendschutzgesetz on the sale of this game. The suitability for children, however, only relates to violent or sexual content - the difficulty or complexity of the game may still be unsuited to younger children.
Restricted for those below the age of 6
Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 6)
Games with this rating may be of an abstract or comical nature, may have a darker theme or may be too involving for children under the age of 6. This may include games like Point Blank, the Mario Kart series, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and Super Mario Galaxy.
Restricted for those below the age of 12
Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 12)
Games with this rating may place a focus on wars or fighting of some description, or contain mild lyrics and suggestive themes. The fighting should be in a historical or science fiction context and the violence should be kept to a minimum. This may include games like Ninja Assault, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, 3 games of the Need for Speed series (Most Wanted, Carbon, Undercover) Midnight Club: Los Angeles and Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust.
Restricted for those below the age of 16
Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 16)
Games featuring frequent one-on-one gunfights and moderate violence (no visible blood) will receive this rating. The game may cover adult themes. This include games like Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption,Fahrenheit and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
Restricted for those below the age of 18
Freigegeben ab 18 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG or Keine Jugendfreigabe gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 18)
These games may contain scenes of brutal, moderately bloody violence, and they may glorify war or violation of human rights. This may include games like Halo 3, Doom 3, Hitman: Blood Money and Bayonetta.

The rating for specific games may refer to localised versions, in which some elements of the game are changed in order to achieve a lower rating, or to ensure that the game may be legally sold at all. For example, the German versions of the Grand Theft Auto series Parts III,Vice City & San Andreas has been edited in various parts, while the North American and PAL versions received no rating at all (and may therefore only be sold to adults). The German version of GTA III received an "USK 18" rating, although it was the censored version. The uncensored versions of GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas are banned ("indiziert", see below). The German versions feature no headshots and are less gory, as well as having some weapons or their special effects removed. Additionally, civilians do not drop money when being killed and some missions are missing. Grand Theft Auto IV however, has not been edited and received an "USK 18" rating.

This is a very common practice, especially for games that would usually receive a "USK 18" rating. A potential problem of this "self-censorship" is that the original ambience of a game may get lost. In some cases, the whole plot of a game had to be changed to qualify for a lower USK rating.

The Index

Games that are refused classification are referred to the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (Federal Verification Office for Youth-Endangering Media) and can be placed on the Index (a process known in German as Indizierung - therefore 'indexed'), upon which the titles may only be sold on request to adults over the age of 18, and are not to be advertised in retail stores or any other media. It is permitted to use these titles in private but not to supply them to minors.

Censoring and blacklisting

Until 2003 it was still possible for USK-rated games to be blacklisted in Germany, but as of 2003, USK-rated entertainment software can not be put on the so-called Index anymore. Games with a USK 18 rating are not necessarily uncut, due to distributors striving for a rating. An unrated game may be released and sold until further notice, but is forbidden to be sold to minors below 18 years old, even if it is clearly targeted at kids. The USK can reject a rating if they find parts of it to be unlawful, glorify war or show suffering people in violation of human dignity. Then the BPjM can test whether to put the game on the Index or not. Microsoft, for instance, chose not to sell any games that the USK rejected a rating for in Germany at all, as was the case with Dead Rising, Ninja Gaiden II and Gears of War to avoid public disapproval.

The ban on endorsing Nazism or displaying swastikas outside of a historical context applies to all titles. To avoid legal issues, many developers remove the reference to swastikas altogether, replacing it with the symbol of the 3rd Reich's Army, a version of the Iron Cross. On the other hand, it is permitted to feature a function in which one can assume the role of the German army in World War II as in games such as Sudden Strike and Axis & Allies, although this is a subject of controversy.

See also

External links


This article is about the town in Monmouthshire. For the similarly named river which runs through the town, see River Usk. For the hamlet in British Columbia, see Usk, British Columbia. For the German software rating organization, see Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle.
Coordinates: 51°42′13″N 2°54′07″W / 51.7035°N 2.9019°W / 51.7035; -2.9019
Usk
Welsh: Brynbuga


Usk shown within Wales
Population 2,318
OS grid reference SO375005
Principal area Monmouthshire
Ceremonial county Gwent
Constituent country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town USK
Postcode district NP15
Dialling code 01291
Police Gwent
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
European Parliament Wales
UK Parliament Monmouth
List of places: UKWalesMonmouthshire

Usk (Welsh: Brynbuga) is a small town in Monmouthshire, Wales, situated 10 miles northeast of Newport.

Usk is noted[citation needed] for its rural setting, tranquil lifestyle and quality of life. It feels more like a village than a town. The River Usk [1] flows through the town and is spanned by an ancient, arched stone bridge [2] at the western entrance to the town. A castle above the town overlooks the ancient Anglo-Welsh border crossing - the river can usually be crossed on foot in summer even today. Usk won the Large Village award in the 2005 Britain in Bloom awards [3].

Contents

Amenities

The current population is less than 2,500[citation needed] and the town is known for its pubs, restaurants and antique shops. The narrow main street (the A472), has a collection of old houses, restaurants, pubs, shops and businesses, with some premises dating back to the 15th century[citation needed]. The road passes a large and tranquil town square [4].

"Usk Island" is a park named after the small island in the middle of the river. The park is mostly laid to grass, with surrounding woodland. It also has a substantial adventure playground.

The South Wales Gliding Club is located near Gwernesney, about three miles east of the town. Usk Tennis Club is currently Tennis Wales "Club of the Year".

History

Roman times

Usk was founded about AD 55[citation needed] as the Roman legionary fortress of Burrium, the earliest legionary fortress in Wales. Although the site was constricted by hills, subject to flooding, and not on a navigable river, it offered good communications inland up the River Usk. However, by around AD 75 its disadvantages had become apparent and the Romans relocated their military base south to Caerleon. The Roman remains at Usk are buried on the southern side of the town.[1]

Norman times

After the fortress was abandoned, it continued to be occupied as a civilian settlement, with evidence of iron working. The Normans also realised Usk's geographical and military importance within the region, and the powerful de Clare family built Usk Castle as part of their plans for controlling the area's resources and people. The castle[2], whilst hidden from view by surrounding trees planted in the early 20th century, is one of the few castles still privately owned and occupied.

Charters

A Benedictine priory was founded around 1170, and part of the building is retained in the church of St. Mary. The town was incorporated by charters granted by Edmund de Mortimer, King Edward II, Edward IV, and succeeding monarchs[3]. Its location meant that it was inevitably frequently caught up in the border disputes between the English and the Welsh in this section of the Welsh Marches.

The Welsh Revolt

Usk was the birthplace of Adam of Usk. His chronicle records the 'Welsh Revolt', in 1403, when Owain Glyndŵr burned Usk to the ground while gaining control of South Wales from the English under King Henry IV and his son, later to become King Henry V. The important Battle of Pwll Melyn (Usk) in 1405 occurred when English forces routed their Welsh opponents causing much loss of life, including the execution of three hundred Welshmen in front of Usk castle when taken prisoner. Owain's brother Tudur was killed in this battle. In 2005, the 600th anniversary of the battle of Pwll Melyn was commemorated by a son-et-lumiere show.

Notable people

In 1679 Usk was the site of the martyrdom of St David Lewis, who was hanged for his alleged part in the bogus Popish Plot of Titus Oates.

In 1823 Llanbadoc, just across the river from Usk, was the birthplace of Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of evolution.

Industry

From the late 18th century, Usk became well known for the quality of its Japanware, a process of decorating metals by applying a lacquer to tinplate. The process, known as Pontypool japan, was first developed in the west by Thomas Allgood of nearby Pontypool and was taken on in Usk by his grandsons Thomas and Edward Allgood[4].

English and Welsh names

Usk was a thriving market town through Victorian times. It takes its English name from the River Usk - a name derived from an ancient Brythonic word for river which may also mean "abounding in fish". The name resembles many others in Britain (e.g. Exe, Esk), and is related to Scottish uisge ("water"), and therefore to "whisky". During the latter 20th century the town was officially allocated the Welsh name Brynbuga, meaning "Buga's hill" and first recorded for the town in the 15th century.[5] The Welsh speaking population locally is very low.

Prison

HM Prison Usk is situated close to the centre of the town, being of Victorian 'rotunda' design. The sister establishment of HM Prison Usk is HM Prison Prescoed, which is located 3 miles to the south of the town near Pontypool. HM Prison Usk is a 250-bed establishment that accommodates vulnerable prisoners, but mainly sex offenders.

Twin town

Usk was twinned with the German town Graben-Neudorf in Baden-Württemberg in 1980 and over the past few years there have been numerous visits between the two towns, with the Usk Youth Brass Band making its most recent visit in autumn 2006. In 2006 the colour scheme of Usk in Bloom was based on those within the crests of both Usk and Graben-Neudorf.

See also

References

  1. ^ John Newman, The Buildings of Wales: Gwent/Monmouthshire, 2000, ISBN 0-14-071053-1
  2. ^ Usk Castle - Official Website
  3. ^ GENUKI: Usk, Monmouthshire - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
  4. ^ Japanware.org - Pontypool and Usk rivalry
  5. ^ Hywel Wyn Owen, The Place-names of Wales, 1998, ISBN 0-7083-1458-9

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (German Voluntary Monitoring Organisation of Entertainment Software) or USK, is Germany's software rating organisation. Since the modification of the Jugendschutzgesetz (Youth Protection Law) in 2003, it is now compulsory for all titles that are to be sold to the wider public to carry a USK mark.

Contents

Ratings

Software can receive one of the following ratings:

Without age restrictions
Freigegeben ohne Altersbeschränkung gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Without age restrictions)

There are no restrictions on the basis of the Jugendschutzgesetz on the sale of this game. The suitability for children, however, only relates to violent or sexual content - the difficulty or complexity of the game may still be unsuited to younger children.

Restricted to those below the age of 6
Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted to those below the age of 6)

Games with this rating may be of an abstract or comical nature, may have a darker theme or may be too involving for children under the age of 6.

Restricted to those below the age of 12
Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted to those below the age of 12)

Games with this rating may place a focus on wars or fighting of some description. The fighting should be in a historical or science fiction context and the violence should be kept to a minimum.

Restricted to those below the age of 16
Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted to those below the age of 16)

Games featuring frequent one-on-one gunplay and moderate violence will receive this rating. The game may cover adult themes.

Restricted to those below the age of 18
Freigegeben ab 18 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG or Keine Jugendfreigabe gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted to those below the age of 18)

These games may contain scenes of brutal, moderately bloody violence, and they may glamorise war or violation of human rights.

The Index

Games that are refused classification are referred to the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (Federal Verification Office for Youth-Endangering Media) and can be placed on the Index (a process known in German as Indizierung), upon which the titles may only be sold on request to adults over the age of 18, and are not to be advertised in retail stores or other media. It is permitted to use these titles in private but not to supply them to minors. Games that are on the index are marked with JK/SPIO-Gutachten.

Censoring and banning

Games with a USK 18 rating or those placed on the index are not necessarily uncut, although as a general rule they are, with a number of exceptions. It is still possible for games to be banned in Germany - as is the case with titles such as Manhunt (violence) and the English version of Wolfenstein 3D (Nazi symbolism), which are not even available "under the counter" per the Index.

The ban on endorsing Nazism or displaying swastikas outside of a historical context applies to all titles. To avoid legal issues, many developers remove the reference to swastikas altogether, although the symbol of the 3rd Reich' s Army is still permitted. It is also permitted to feature a function in which one can assume the role of the German army in World War II as in games such as Sudden Strike and Axis and Allies, although this is a subject of controversy.

External link


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

The Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle system (USK for short) is the video game rating system used in Germany.

Software is either classified into one of five ratings, or refused classification. The five ratings are listed below.

Contents

Ratings

The rating for specific games may refer to localised versions, in which some elements of the game are changed in order to achieve a lower rating, or to ensure that the game may be legally sold at all. For example, the German version of Grand Theft Auto (since part three) has been edited in various parts, while the US-version of Grand Theft Auto received no rating at all (and may therefore only be sold to adults). The German, "USK 16" version features no headshots, and is less gory, as well as having some weapons or their special effects removed. Additionally, civilians don't drop money when being killed and some missions are missing.

This is a very common practice, especially for games that would usually receive a "USK 18" rating. A potential problem of this "self-censorship" is that the original ambience of a game may get lost. In some cases, the whole plot of a game had to be changed to qualify for a lower USK rating.

All (Without Restriction)

Image:USK_none.png Games with this rating Freigegeben ohne Altersbeschränkung gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Without age restrictions)(USK: All) are deemed appropriate for all ages and may be sold without restriction. There are no restrictions on the basis of the Jugendschutzgesetz on the sale of this game. The suitability for children, however, only relates to violent or sexual content - the difficulty or complexity of the game may still be unsuited to younger children.

Restricted for those below the age of 6

Image:USK_6.png Games with this rating Freigegeben ab 6 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 6)(USK: 6+) may be unsuitable for children under the age of 6. Games with this rating may be of an abstract or comical nature, may have a darker theme or may be too involving for children under the age of 6.

Restricted for those below the age of 12

Image:USK_12.png Games with this rating Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 12)(USK: 12+) may be unsuitable for children under the age of 12. Games with this rating may place a focus on wars or fighting of some description. The fighting should be in a historical or science fiction context and the violence should be kept to a minimum

Restricted for those below the age of 16

Image:USK_16.png Games with this rating Freigegeben ab 16 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 16)(USK: 16+) may be unsuitable for children under the age of 16. Games featuring frequent one-on-one gunfights and moderate violence will receive this rating. The game may cover adult themes.

Restricted for those below the age of 18

Image:USK_18.png Games with this rating Freigegeben ab 18 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG or Keine Jugendfreigabe gemäß § 14 JuSchG (Restricted for those below the age of 18)(USK: 18+ may be unsuitable for children under the age of 18. These games may contain scenes of brutal, moderately bloody violence, and they may glorify war or violation of human rights.

The Index

Games that are refused classification are referred to the Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien (Federal Verification Office for Youth-Endangering Media) and can be placed on the Index (a process known in German as Indizierung), upon which the titles may only be sold on request to adults over the age of 18, and are not to be advertised in retail stores or other media. It is permitted to use these titles in private but not to supply them to minors.

Banning and Censoring

Games with a USK 18 rating or those placed on the index are not necessarily uncut, although as a general rule they are, with a number of exceptions. It is still possible for games to be banned in Germany—as is the case with titles such as Manhunt (violence) and the English version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Nazi symbolism), which are not even available "under the counter" per the Index.

As of 2003, entertainment software sold in Germany does not have to be USK-rated but without the rating it is automatically forbidden to be sold to minors below 18 years old. Microsoft, for instance, chose not to sell Gears of War in Germany as the USK rejected to give it an official rating, which means the same as the rating 18+ but also gives the BPjM the right to test whether to put the game on the Index or not—which they did shortly after.

The ban on endorsing Nazism or displaying swastikas outside of a historical context applies to all titles. To avoid legal issues, many developers remove the reference to swastikas altogether, although the symbol of the 3rd Reich' s Army is still permitted. It is also permitted to feature a function in which one can assume the role of the German army in World War II as in games such as Sudden Strike and Axis and Allies, although this is a subject of controversy.

References

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Wikia Gaming, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 (unported) license.



Game Rating
Americas
ESRB (United States/Canada)
Europe
PEGI (most of Europe) • BBFC (UK) • ELSPA (UK, retired) • USK (Germany) • VET (Finland)
Asia
CERO (Japan, console) • EOCS (Japan, PC)
Australia/New Zealand
OFLC (Australia)OFLC (New Zealand)

External Links

  • USK

This article uses material from the "Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.







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