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Fallout 3 banned in Australia

Fallout 3 banned in Australia

According to the Australian government the gore in Fallout 3 isn't an issue - the drugs are.

Fallout 3 is featuring in the news a lot lately, but one place where you're unlikely to hear it discussed is in Australia, where the game has just been refused classification by the Office of Film & Literature Classification - effectively banning the game from shelves.

Apparently though, according to Kotaku Australia, the reason the game was banned was nothing to do with the level of gore or death, both of which feature heavily in the post-apocalyptic RPG. Instead, the game was banned because of the drug use featured in the game:

"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."

Drugs have long been an important part of the gritty world of Fallout, with the use of chems and the possibility for addiction being a key element of the gameplay for characters who were lacking in certain stats.

Apparently though, the drugs were a little too much this time and the Australian regulatory body has refused classification to the game rather than giving it the highest rating it can, MA15+.

The whole arguement that the drugs weren't sci-fi enough seems a little weird to us too - but what do you think? Let us know in the forums.

42 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
g3n3tiX 10th July 2008, 13:53 Quote
How come they didn't say aything about the previous fallout titles ? They did feature quite a lot of drugs as well.
Heck, you could even kill children....in uncensored versions.
liratheal 10th July 2008, 13:55 Quote
..Hahahahahaha.

Sucks to be Australia!

Unless, of course, the game sucks, then it might not suck so much :D
Notional 10th July 2008, 14:02 Quote
I think the Australiens are going to love online shopping now.
yakyb 10th July 2008, 14:07 Quote
or piracy
Bauul 10th July 2008, 14:32 Quote
or..... ONLINE PIRACY!!!
Firehed 10th July 2008, 14:44 Quote
Who else read that as Firefox 3 being banned?
Timmy_the_tortoise 10th July 2008, 15:02 Quote
But.... You played a junkie in Bioshock...

Who gives a crap? It's not like playing the game is going to make an 18+ year old think "I really need a bit of smack right about now".

Utterly ridiculous.
wuyanxu 10th July 2008, 15:07 Quote
lol, i can imagine what's Zero Punctuation's next video going to be about
Timmy_the_tortoise 10th July 2008, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
lol, i can imagine what's Zero Punctuation's next video going to be about

I can't wait... It'll be awesome.
Veles 10th July 2008, 15:15 Quote
Seriously? WTF? I knew Australia was a bit anal with banning games, but this is just retarded.
Nuffenburger 10th July 2008, 15:29 Quote
eh im in australia. but i shall find a way to get this game <*looks around*>


=O don't tell mr rudd on me lol he will fail and throw*or try* to throw a ball at me lol
salesman 10th July 2008, 15:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3n3tiX
How come they didn't say aything about the previous fallout titles ? They did feature quite a lot of drugs as well.
Heck, you could even kill children....in uncensored versions.

I thinks its because the drugs in-game are "realistic visual representations" whereas the old fallouts didn't quite have real life looking drugs but that's all argument at this point for me because I've never seen the drugs in game
Nuffenburger 10th July 2008, 15:35 Quote
ooh so you mean the game makers took the drugs that they have in the game? and then they just made it into a game or? did they download the drugss?
chrisb2e9 10th July 2008, 16:09 Quote
I tried jet once in fallout 2. pretty much ruined my game and I had to start over. I dont think that made me want to go and smoke crack.
Arkanrais 10th July 2008, 16:51 Quote
haha poor aussies.
funny thing is, here in NZ they use the 'banned in Australia' as a marketing gimmick on some games. a few years ago I went into blockbuster to rent a couple of games and saw rows of the game 'BMX XXX' on the shelves with a huge yellow stripe across the case saying "Banned In Australia!" along with the R18 sticker on it. TBH it did make me want to play them game more than if it didn't have the 'banned' sticker on it, but I was all of 14 or 15 (I think).
anyway, I'm going to go skate along the guttering of house roofs an skate down long roads going down hills while 'busting a move' and collect those giant floating letters that are hidden all around my city cause that's what they do on those tony hawks games, then I'm going to grab a massive sword that weighs three times a s much as I do and attack an animal 20 times my size a la final fantasy.
Yemerich 10th July 2008, 16:55 Quote
I really hope that Beth doesn't open it's legs for this kind of menace. Hope that if they're going to make something, that they make a version to the more puritans coutries. As chrisb2e9 said the drugs issues (at least on previous games) makes u HATE using drugs!

Looks to me that the COUNTRY isn't mature enough. Instead of fighting the drugs itself, they ban the games...
Timmy_the_tortoise 10th July 2008, 17:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich
I really hope that Beth doesn't open it's legs for this kind of menace. Hope that if they're going to make something, that they make a version to the more puritans coutries. As chrisb2e9 said the drugs issues (at least on previous games) makes u HATE using drugs!

Aye, I don't watch films and play games which involve drug use and then think... "Yeah, that looks cool, maybe I'll do a line of coke now." Most adults have reached a conclusion on drugs.. and have made the decision on whether they're awful and should be avoided at all costs, or not as bad as people say and are okay to take in small amounts.

I don't know how they think it could be worth rejecting a classification over. It's really insulting to the adult population of Australia, saying "None of you are mature enough to play this game without then going on to become smackrats and crackwhores."
naokaji 10th July 2008, 17:04 Quote
dumb question, could they get done for piracy if you cant legally purchase it? (yes, I do realize that they could get you done for importing (or owning) an illegal product, but seeing how that leads to far less severe punishment...)
Timmy_the_tortoise 10th July 2008, 17:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by naokaji
dumb question, could they get done for piracy if you cant legally purchase it? (yes, I do realize that they could get you done for importing (or owning) an illegal product, but seeing how that leads to far less severe punishment...)

I don't even think it's illegal to own it... It's just illegal to distribute and then sell it.. Without classification. That's all classification deals with, distribution and retail... once it's out there, no one cares.

At least that's my understanding... of British Law, I don't know Australian Law. It may be similar.
CardJoe 10th July 2008, 17:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisb2e9
I tried jet once in fallout 2. pretty much ruined my game and I had to start over. I dont think that made me want to go and smoke crack.

There was a sidequest to get rid of the Jet addiction via Myron. Me, I stayed away from drugs all through the games. It was always a better idea to save the cash needed to sustain any addiction.
WildThing 10th July 2008, 17:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
lol, i can imagine what's Zero Punctuation's next video going to be about

+1 Yeah I love that guy!
Lepermessiah 10th July 2008, 18:37 Quote
pathetic, I guess drug use is not shown on TV or movies eh? Give me a freakin break.
Sebbo 10th July 2008, 18:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yemerich

Looks to me that the COUNTRY isn't mature enough. Instead of fighting the drugs itself, they ban the games...

no, its just that the controlling bodies are f*ckwits :p Aussie gamers have been pushing for an R18+ rating on games ever since Carmageddon got banned, and someone always rains on our parade (despite the average aussie gamer being 24+ according to surveys a few years ago). Worst of all, people listen to the family groups who say that having an R18+ rating means that the games will be accessible to those under 18, which is completely ridiculous as we (unlike the US) actually have legal systems in place to prevent such sales, and if they really want a game they can get it illegitimately through torrents anyway.

I've never been particularly bothered with "banned" games before, as none of them have really interested me much, but Fallout 3 was something I most certainly was looking forward to. I see two solutions to getting the game here: First, is (finally) adopting this R18+ rating, second is Bethesda editing the "visual representation" to something that will pass. OK, I guess a third option is to import the game, but the R18+ farce has really gone on long enough.
johnmustrule 10th July 2008, 18:43 Quote
I would like to congratulate the bit-tech staff or the writers, etc. on the best article picture coupled with the best footer ever.
Woodstock 10th July 2008, 23:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firehed
Who else read that as Firefox 3 being banned?

i did too, was kinda confused for a bit, and after reading title 3 times it hit
DXR_13KE 11th July 2008, 00:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebbo
second is Bethesda editing the "visual representation" to something that will pass

and in the process screw everyone else in the planet..... YEAH RIGHT!!!! why don't you guys make some kind of petition to force them to make the +18 range?
docodine 11th July 2008, 00:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildThing
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
lol, i can imagine what's Zero Punctuation's next video going to be about

+1 Yeah I love that guy!

It'll probably be one of his more profane episodes.
clumsy_culhane 11th July 2008, 01:15 Quote
Gah, Australia really needs a R 18+ rating, so games that have previously been banned or heavily censored can be legally bought by adults. I know im going to go get this other places when it comes out, but i would of bought it if it had been let in.
Sebbo 11th July 2008, 02:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
and in the process screw everyone else in the planet..... YEAH RIGHT!!!! why don't you guys make some kind of petition to force them to make the +18 range?

we have, several times. we always gets vetoed at some point down the track though.
supaste 11th July 2008, 02:25 Quote
Have any guerilla tactics been put into place to help get your much deserved R18? I mean if you piss someone off enough you are bound to get what you want.
Sebbo 11th July 2008, 02:31 Quote
short of kidnapping all the MPs and Attorney-General's from each state and conditioning them, no:(. I suppose the unspoken tactic at this point is petitions and stern letters to the aforementioned. Such a high-profile game being treated like this is sure to bring alot of attention from gamers around australia anyway and the pressure will be put on
Yemerich 11th July 2008, 03:44 Quote
I think theres plenty of room for the industry to make some huge money if they aim for the 18+ (even 21+) seal. Despite drugs or sex, FO (at least the previous games) are kinda mature anyway. And i think the major appeal is for the veteran players that enjoyed the game when it was first released. And they are all over 25 i am sure. i am SOOOO looking forward this game...

Again, i still really hope beth doesn't spoil it!
chrisb2e9 11th July 2008, 04:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
There was a sidequest to get rid of the Jet addiction via Myron. Me, I stayed away from drugs all through the games. It was always a better idea to save the cash needed to sustain any addiction.

heh, I kept feeding him jet to get his stats back up. didn't work out so well. kind of made doing any quests a bit harder.
drugs=bad
Adnoctum 11th July 2008, 06:38 Quote
Before everyone goes postal on how stupid this is, the OFLC says it is NOT the drugs that is the issue, but the accurate depiction of the drugs to MINORS (children under 18). This is a valid criticism of Fallout 3.

The problem comes when Australia doesn't have a R18+ classification for games (but does for films) and the MAXIMUM classification is MA15+ (children over 15). That means, for those of you who have comprehension and thinking difficulties (seemingly a good number of you given the comments posted above), that the game HAS to be suitable for 15 year olds.

Don't whinge about the ban, Fallout fanboys, whinge about the lack of an R18+ classification which lead to the ban.
In fact go and bombard the South Australian Attorney General with fanboy anger because he has flat-out refused to even consider discussing the issue with other state AG's, therefore the classification rules cannot be changed.
Here you go, tell him your thoughts on the matter: attorney-general@agd.sa.gov.au
Or you can phone him on +61 08 8207 1723 or fax him on +61 08 8207 1736. I'm sure he would be pleased to take your call and hear what you have to say. Those are his real phone numbers by the way, but you'd probably only get a secretary unless he's bored and has nothing better to do.

I don't agree with the no-R18+ policy, but it is NOT the fault of the OFLC and it is not the fault of a "backward country" as many seem to imply. It is the fault of politicians who aren't listening to reason and using the subject to ingratiate themselves with the mainstream ignorant masses.
Toka 11th July 2008, 09:31 Quote
To be honest Adnoctum, if a 15 year old is impresionable enough to be influenced by the actions of their computer avatar I think it would be for the best if they developed a drug addiction and removed their genetic code from the gene pool before they had a chance to reproduce.

This is just lazy parenting, but what do I care, I like in the UK.
MrMonroe 11th July 2008, 16:13 Quote
Woah woah woah. Ho'd up. You can smoke crack in this one? Count me in.
Veles 11th July 2008, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adnoctum
Before everyone goes postal on how stupid this is, the OFLC says it is NOT the drugs that is the issue, but the accurate depiction of the drugs to MINORS (children under 18). This is a valid criticism of Fallout 3.

The problem comes when Australia doesn't have a R18+ classification for games

Then they should change it, it's not hard, it didn't take very long for the BBFC to bring in the 12A rating when loads of people complained their kids couldn't go and see Spiderman. Too many people are stuck in the way of thinking that video games are for kids only. As far as I can tell, this is the only reason why AUS doesn't have an 18+ rating.
Vash-HT 11th July 2008, 18:29 Quote
Did they ever use true names for drugs in FO 1 or 2? I don't remember them using actual names like morphine or something. Maybe they wouldn't care as much if your character was taking "fake" drugs as opposed to a "real" drug. Also, as other people have pointed out, drugs were never really glorified in the FO games, they had bad consequences for using them it wasn't like they only benefited you.
supaste 12th July 2008, 17:41 Quote
Fictional names were used in fallout 1 & 2. I found a list on wiki.

Buffout- A green tablet that boosts user's physical attributes. Addictive if taken excessively.

Psycho- An addictive injection developed by the military. It boosts the user's agility and damage resistance at the cost of intelligence. During withdrawal, user suffers agility penalty and gains intelligence boost.

Jet- A highly addictive methamphetamine-like substance. Comes in the form of an inhaler. Plays an important role in the world of Fallout 2.

Mutagenic Serum- An attempt to reverse the effects of Forced Evolution Virus.
Nature 13th July 2008, 17:34 Quote
crack pwns.... I remember my first magical hit out of a meter long glass bong decorated in gorgeous ballooned mushrooms from the bleeding moon blow shop in San francisco.
Ice in the chamber and cool smoke living and dying and loving in my body... Don't exhale! that's wating magic :D
Adnoctum 15th July 2008, 06:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Veles
Then they should change it, it's not hard, it didn't take very long for the BBFC to bring in the 12A rating when loads of people complained their kids couldn't go and see Spiderman. Too many people are stuck in the way of thinking that video games are for kids only. As far as I can tell, this is the only reason why AUS doesn't have an 18+ rating.

Unless you are an Australian, I can understand how you could think this. But that is not the reality. Australia is a federation of states similar to the US, whereas the UK is a unitary state where powers can be formed and abolished by a single authority (i.e. London). Thus the federal government cannot change the laws governing classification without the agreement of ALL six state Attorney Generals (the territories don't get a vote) who regularly meet.
If you care about the constitutional powers available to the Australian Federal Government, see here. But somehow I think you would be like me and couldn't care less. :D

And as I stated in my post, the AGs have already been prompted by the public to discuss the classification anomalies but the South Australian AG Michael Atkinson has already flatly refused to even discuss any changes. This, in effect, vetoes any potential changes. :(

I don't disagree with your other arguments about parental controls and public perception of games, but as the restrictions on games affects a minority of the general public, most people just don't care.
Smegwarrior 15th July 2008, 18:22 Quote
Michael Atkinson is a smeg head and a complete and total one at that!!

Whenever someone tries to inform him of the facts at a press conference, if it is against what his narrow minded beliefs are then he just talks over them and calls them a liar or abruptly ends the press conference early and storms out like a spoilt brat.

The sooner he is removed from office the better, if I was in his electorate I would have been voting against him all along, I have never liked him or his idiotic ideas even before he was appointed AG.
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