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Censorship Role Playing (Games) Entertainment Games

Australian Ban On Fallout 3 – Why? 166

Posted by timothy
from the morphine's-a-stimulant-in-upside-down-land dept.
LSU_ADT_Geek writes "What could possibly be so controversial in upcoming E3 2008 headliner Fallout 3 that the Australian government would impose a dreaded 'RC' rating on Bethesda's upcoming tertiary post-apocalyptic RPG? No one knows for sure, but speculation is that the optional use of drugs in the game — specifically the option to employ morphine as a stimulant — may underlie the Aussie classification board blacklisting."
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Australian Ban On Fallout 3 – Why?

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  • by ZzzzSleep (606571) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:05AM (#24130593) Homepage Journal

    From the screenplay blog http://blogs.theage.com.au/screenplay/archives//009975.html [theage.com.au]

    POSTAL (aka LOOSE CANNON) Computer Games
    CD-ROM Refused Classification 28/10/1997

    GRAND THEFT AUTO III Review (Other)
    PlayStation 2. Refused Classification 29/11/2001

    BMX XXX Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 16/10/2002

    THE GETAWAY Computer Games
    PlayStation 2. Refused Classification 27/11/2002

    SHELLSHOCK NAM67 Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 22/06/2004

    LEISURE SUIT LARRY : MAGNA CUM LAUDE Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 09/09/2004

    MANHUNT Review (CG)
    PlayStation 2. Refused Classification 29/09/2004

    SINGLES FLIRT UP YOUR LIFE Computer Games
    PC Refused Classification 21/10/2004

    THE PUNISHER Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 23/11/2004

    NARC Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 08/04/2005

    POSTAL 2 SHARE THE PAIN Computer Games
    PC Refused Classification 10/10/2005

    50 CENT BULLETPROOF Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 24/10/2005

    MARC ECKO'S GETTING UP: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 14/02/2006

    RESERVOIR DOGS Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 23/06/2006

    BLITZ THE LEAGUE Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 17/01/2007

    SOLDIER OF FORTUNE: PAYBACK Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 16/10/2007

    DARK SECTOR Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 13/02/2008

    SHELLSHOCK 2: BLOOD TRAILS Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 20/06/2008

    FALLOUT 3 Computer Games
    Multi Platform. Refused Classification 04/07/2008

  • Why? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao AT hotmail DOT com> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:09AM (#24130619) Homepage
    Because we can. Because we know what's good for you. Oh, and think of the children, or something.
  • by Tallweirdo (657529) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:16AM (#24130651)

    A copy of the OFLC Board Report on Fallout 3 can be found at Australian Gamer [australiangamer.com].

    Basically, Fallout 3 has been refused classification because the majority of the Board consider that the use of "Chems" and specifically the Morphine chem to provide advantages in combat contravene the National Classification Code.

    From the text of the report it appears that renaming the Morphine chem to 'Painkillers'(or some other generic name that is not a prescription drug) and changing the icons presented in the menu for selecting chems will be sufficient to get the game classified MA15+.

    I have no idea why Fallout 3 has been singled out like this when other games such as Max Payne, Bioshock, Haze and the original Fallout games all have similar drug use.

  • Stimulant? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Psychotria (953670) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:54AM (#24130807)
    Since when has morphine been considered a stimulant?
  • Re:Hilarious (Score:4, Informative)

    by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @04:07AM (#24130863)

    What is even more bizzare is that in Australia prostitution is legal.

  • by maglor_83 (856254) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @04:12AM (#24130893)

    Its the South Australian Attorney-General who is the problem. All the others have agreed to an R18 rating, but it has to be unanimous. That said, lately he has (slowly) been backing down and I have hopes that it won't be too long before it gets through.

    Of course, then the console manufacturers also have to allow R18 games to be run...

  • Re:Gee, I wonder? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Malekin (1079147) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @04:21AM (#24130953)

    Please, show a little respect. You may not agree with him but you shouldn't call him an asshat - the correct term in this case is arsehat.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @04:35AM (#24131013)
    As an Australian please let me say, the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) needs to be beaten upside the head with a Cluebat, repeatedly. The only reason any of those games were banned is because Australia does not have an R18+ rating for video games so if it isn't M15+ it cant possibly get classification (yet it's there for Films, Books, Comics, portraits and artwork FFS). The OFLC did vote on an R18+ classification but voted against it because the idiot Attorney Generals had no understanding of the media involved.

    Well there's always play-aisa [play-asia.com], an online store based in HK. good for cheap PC and PS3 games (don't have a PS3 so don't quote me on that) but not for xbox and Wii due to region gouging, I mean coding

    Not only does it get around the OFLC (as long as its not banned, refusing classification just prohibits Australian retailers from selling it but you can still buy and import it from another country), it is also cheaper than going to EB games ($90 AU is now $84 US, so why am I paying nearly twice as much for a game when the same game is $49 US on Play-Asia even with US$10 for P&H).
  • by mjwx (966435) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @04:46AM (#24131075)
    You mean there's a million of us Aussies that didn't have them open already,

    There's always a 6 month delay between when a show is aired in the US and when they air it in Australia (supposedly they've cut that down to a few hours or days, they say streamed live form the US but I doubt Americans are watching Lost at 3 AM) but I can verify that as I stopped watching TV years ago. Beyond that we're sick of being bombarded with ads, many of us will not pay upwards of A$50 a month for Foxtel (Pay/Cable TV) to be bombarded with ads and many good shows just aren't aired over here.
  • by Caged (24585) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @07:13AM (#24131673)

    Actually it is illegal to import Restricted Classification items into Australia. Importing your average Hentai or a RC computer game will get you spanked by Customs officials and the police.

  • Re:Stimulant? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2008 @09:30AM (#24132723)

    While morphine itself isn't a stimulant (it's classified as a central nervous system depressant), clinical research suggests that one of its metabolites (morphine-6-glucoride) acts as a stimulant and at high plasma concentrations can provoke seisures. That being said, the usage of it in the game is out of context. Morphine-induced analgesia works is more likely to sedate you than allow you to ignore physical damage.

  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy.gmail@com> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:28PM (#24138385)

    if you import it, won't they confiscate it (assuming they find out or catch it passing thru customs)?

    No, and that's the difference. You can own it, you just can't sell it (or rent it out, display in public, etc).

    Unless the content itself is illegal, you're allowed to own unclassified films, games, etc.

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