Australian classification verdict: It's all junk!

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Per, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    Australian Gamer has managed to get hold of the board report that resulted in Fallout 3 being refused classification by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. It turns out that the drugs in the game are, as speculated, what's behind the decision. From the report:<blockquote>The game contains the option to take a variety of "chems" using a device which is connected to the character's arm. Upon selection of the device a menu selection screen is displayed. Upon this screen is a list of "chems" that the player can take, by means of selection. These "chems" have positive effects and some negative effects (lowering of intelligence, or the character may become addicted to the "chem"). The positive effects include increase in strength, stamina, resistance to damage, agility and hit points. Corresponding with the list of various "chems" are small visual representation of the drugs, these include syringes, tablets, pill bottles, a crack-type pipe and blister packs. In the Board's view these realistic visual representations of drugs and their delivery method bring the "science-fiction" drugs in line with "real-world" drugs.

    The Guidelines also state that "Material promoting or encouraging proscibed [sic] drug use" is Refused Classification.

    The player can also select and use "Morphine" (a proscribed drug) which has the positive effect of enabling the character to ignore limb pain when the character's extremities are targeted by the enemy.

    The Authorised Assessor's report also states that "chems are an essential part of Fallout 3, and the player will likely use a variety of them throughout the game".

    In the Board's view the drug use in particular the use of a proscribed drug, via means of selection from a menu, is related to incentives and rewards as the incentive to take the drug is to progress through the game more easily and the reward is an increase in the character's abilities and as such is Refused Classification.


    The Board notes that the violence throughout the game could be accommodated at an MA 15+ level of classification.</blockquote>I learned something today: the Classification Board really don't like you to select things, especially not from a selection. Of course, news sites such as Kotaku have not been slow in pointing out the gross inconsistency in the verdict.

    Link: Fallout 3 - OFLC documents @ Australian Gamer
    Link: OFLC Report: Why Fallout 3 Was Banned In Australia @ Kotaku
  2. frosty_theaussie

    frosty_theaussie Still Mildly Glowing

    Nov 22, 2003
    Oh, so it's the drugs and not the dismemberment this time. It's not like Deus Ex, Boiling Point or Haze had you taking drugs either. Oh, and sticking things into your arms? Were Plasmids a suppository or something? Why don't they target real drug dealers instead of a video game. Dandenong sure could use the cleanup and I'm even more sure that all the people in the last year who were murdered in their sleep by junkies would appreciate it, I'm also quite doubtful that said junkies got their first fix from a vial of Zyme.

    This is like going up to Bethesda and saying "I want a scotch and coke" but they reply "we only serve bacardi breezers", so you make do. Then the Australian Government comes along and says "that's no good, he's only allowed club sodas". FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
  3. Fear_Embodied

    Fear_Embodied First time out of the vault

    Jun 26, 2008
    Australia seems like a terrible place to be a gamer. The friends I have there are always telling me how it seems like every other game released is either banned or heavily edited.
  4. Holy13

    Holy13 First time out of the vault

    Apr 3, 2007
    That is true. All the games I/we get are kind of... lacking, I even went through the trouble of getting games from out of the county to play them as they were meant to be played. It is seriously stupid to refuse classification because the game used a tried and true formula - using items, even if they are drugs, to enhance the Character. It seems to me, however that part of it is because the depiction of the drugs (Their image) is too detailed for the reviewers liking. Using non-real drugs - Images and Names - would probably work.
  5. Fear_Embodied

    Fear_Embodied First time out of the vault

    Jun 26, 2008
    That's exactly what my friends say they do. It's not only the banning and such that sucks, it got to be hard paying more than one hundred dollars for a new game.
  6. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    I guess that is the new tactics to making gaming unattractive; neuter it and force gamers to spend more money on a game which already questionable.
  7. TTTimo

    TTTimo It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 26, 2008
    It is indeed troublesome. Plus, for console players there's the issue of TV formats. The US uses NTSC while we use PAL, which means most games brought in end up being unplayable.

    Which brings the thought: If the game was in isometric view, that means whatever representation of drugs will be only a few pixels large, which is not so realistic, thus escaping the watchful eyes of the board.

    Way to go for 'immersion'.
  8. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    Well if it was truly immersive it should be possible to have our characters have a bad 'trip'.

    Wow, check this;

  9. the4thlaw

    the4thlaw It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jul 13, 2007
    Typical Australian government screwing us again.

    just like when the Prime Minister said drinking 4 beers in one sitting is classed as binge drinking....
  10. Bodybag

    Bodybag Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 7, 2008
    I thought Dutch people were hip? There certainly is a good opportunity for them to model withdrawals here, though - I hope they made the most of it.

    Incidentally, how did Fallout handle chem addiction, gameplay wise? I only ever got addicted to Rad-Away (in Fallout 2), and I think that was a bug, since I only used it once in that playthrough, and the only ill effect I noticed was an ADDICTED tag on my character sheet.

    Yeah, Babelfish is silly sometimes.
  11. Fear_Embodied

    Fear_Embodied First time out of the vault

    Jun 26, 2008
  12. frosty_theaussie

    frosty_theaussie Still Mildly Glowing

    Nov 22, 2003
    Even more ironic is how Australia is stereotyped as a generally beer-swilling nation. Which we are.
  13. Holy13

    Holy13 First time out of the vault

    Apr 3, 2007
    And proud of it.
  14. Snackpack

    Snackpack It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 4, 2008
    Kind of funny that prohibition obviously doesn't work on drugs themselves, and now their trying it on videogames with drugs in them.

    Do you Aussies have black market uncensored game dealers? "psst, over here, i got the good shit, the blood isn't green and you can press the morphine button! only 95 bucks!"

    make somethin illegal and you only make more criminals
  15. Holy13

    Holy13 First time out of the vault

    Apr 3, 2007
    Actually in most states within Australia a refused classification game only means that it cannot be sold, displayed in public exhibition or displayed to a minor. Buying or possessing the game (as long as you are 18+) is completely legal.
  16. ivpiter

    ivpiter It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Jun 26, 2007
    This is ad absurdum malum prohibitum. A vile infringement on the freedom to have bad taste. Boo you Australian Bureaucratic bozos without the common sense to create a new rating.

    limb pain.... So could all the motion-blur and such be part of the the new 'limb pain' mechanic. And I thought it was just for concussions.
  17. K.C. Cool

    K.C. Cool It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Nov 4, 2005
    What if I wanted to play the game as character that didn't take drugs? Oh wait, they already removed all my options.
  18. radnan

    radnan A Smooth-Skin

    Dec 1, 2006
    i guess ignoring a problem and keeping it out of the publics view make it go away eh ?
  19. frosty_theaussie

    frosty_theaussie Still Mildly Glowing

    Nov 22, 2003
    Caribbean Market has plenty of those types, except the games tend to come on DVD-R's.
  20. Briosafreak

    Briosafreak Lived Through the Heat Death

    Dec 18, 2003
    You really didn't play much of the classic games, that's pretty clear.

    The double standards here are absurd, particularly for anyone that watches Australian cinema or goes to check their online book stores. Pretty irrational stuff.