The Classification Board's Report On Australia's Edited Fallout 3

f3_ma15.jpgHere it is - the Classification Board's report on the edited version of Bethesda's Fallout 3. The refused classification from last month has been exchanged for an MA15+ and the advisories of "strong violence, drug references and coarse language". So, what can Australia expect (or not expect) from our super-special build? Sadly, the report is vague on details, but it looks like the art and names of a few drugs may have changed, and the action, not the effect, of taking drugs removed:

The drugs depicted are fictional; drugs are depicted as stylised icons on a menu with the drug use itself not depicted. Whilst navigating a post-apocalyptic futuristic landscape, players can invoke the use of a variety of "chems" listed by fictious names which include "Buff", "Rad-X", "Psycho" and "Ultrajet". Within the context of the game's narrative, the player may choose to make use of these "chems" to alter the physiological characteristics of their character in the game.

You might have noticed there's no mention of morphine, which leaves its existence up in the air.

The effects of taking drugs may also have changed, according to this snippet: "The Board .. found that relationship [sic]between drug use and the incentives and rewards is not such that it promotes or encourages the use of proscribed drugs". Like I said, it's a little vague. Seeing as Bethesda and Red Ant are staying silent on the issue, we'll have to wait for the game to come out before any apples-to-apples comparisons can be made.

Anyway, I've included the section regarding drug use from the report after the jump, if you'd like to read it in full. There's also an interesting perspective from the minority view, which felt the game still deserved an RC.

The drug references within the revised version are justified by context and lend a strong playing impact to the game.

The drugs depicted are fictional; drugs are depicted as stylised icons on a menu with the drug use itself not depicted. Whilst navigating a post-apocalyptic futuristic landscape, players can invoke the use of a variety of "chems" listed by fictious names which include "Buff", "Rad-X", "Psycho" and "Ultrajet". Within the context of the game's narrative, the player may choose to make use of these "chems" to alter the physiological characteristics of their character in the game.

The Board noted that the "Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games 2005" states that "as a general rule ... material that contains drug use ... related to incentives or rewards is Refused Classification" and found that relationship [sic]between drug use and the incentives and rewards is not such that it promotes or encourages the use of proscribed drugs. Therefore the game does not warrant to be Refused Classification and can be accommodated at MA15+ with a consumer advisory of "strong drug references".

Minority view:

In the minority view of the Board the drug use in the game is in excess of the general rule applied under the Guidelines. The drugs are unambiguious in their visual representations, which include pills and hypodermic needles, and are related to incentives and rewards in that the incentive to take the drug is that progess through the game is achieved more easily and the reward is an increase in the character's abilities. The game therefore warrants and 'RC' classification.


Comments

    Well, at least it's coming out. There'll still probably be a fan-made patch regardless that resotres all the youth-corrupting, child-killing, society-degrading druuugs in their original splendour, or filth, so there's probably not that much to complain about... for the PC version anyway, I guess. The thing I'm most bummed about is the collector's edition is still probably exclusive to EB, which means bring your chequebook and fighting off the register vultures cawing "hey trade it in next week after you've finished it for 50% of the original cost, hey trade in 20 of your old games for ten bucks store credit... BUY A FIVE-DOLLAR GAME GUARANTEE!" as they circle above. I've already ordered the collector's edition from the states for roughly 90 Benjamins, and that includes shipping. 120 bucks? Eff off. Fingers crossed that customs aren't interested in a 50s-styled lunchbox.

    "The drugs are unambiguious in their visual representations, which include pills and hypodermic needles, and are related to incentives and rewards in that the incentive to take the drug is that progess through the game is achieved more easily and the reward is an increase in the character's abilities. The game therefore warrants and 'RC' classification."

    I'm glad that this wasn't a majority view, otherwise they'd have had to retroactively ban Bioshock too, for the exact same reasons.

    Personally I don't care. If it's been at all altered, then I'm importing.

    Don't support Australian censorship, import your copy, the publishers/developers still get their deserved money.

    When I grow up I wanna be an ultrajet pilot wheeeeeeeeeeee!

    Honestly, I absolutely love, *love* the fact that our ratings board found it acceptable for players to use a drug called 'psycho', but not for them to use one called 'morphine'.

    Like negativezero, if it's been altered in any way, I'm importing.

    They'd have retroactivly ban Fallout 1&2 as well.

    Seeing as how those games had Pyscho, Buff-Out, Mentats, Rax-X, RadAway, Jet etc...

    Which all had pictures of Tablets, Injectors, IV Drip Bags, Inhalers...

    And all of the had positive effects...I only hope Bethesda included to the negative characteristics of the Fallout drugs and included the chance of becoming addicted to them..which is a good way of showing that while drugs may give your stats a boost...do you really want to become reliant on them and have to constantly search them out to be rid of the addictivness and the negative effects.

    Its like not educating teenagers about sex because that will put it in thier minds and they'll go out and do it. They're going to do it whether they're told about it or not...so its better to instruct them on the pros and cons so they have all the information.

    Having these things in games can teach people about the negative effects of things like drugs in the realworld in a way in which they will take notice because it is affecting they're characters..

    So yeah. Sounds to me like all the previous Fallout Drugs are still in their, they've just been tweaked and re-imaged.

    i'm glad the developer has made the effort to dance with our archaic classification system..

    but i'm still importing

    Hopefully the Play-Asia 360 release will be region free, otherwise I'll have to get it from the UK like I did for GTAIV

    BTW - Anyone know if the NZ release will be nerfed like GTA IV was? Might be another alternative way to source it.

    Aussie censorship sucks for video games, I hope the debate continues and something bloody changes for the better!

    I always found it funny that some people don't understand why people don't like edited games even when its something minor like this.
    I am glad to hear people will still be importing it my reason for doing so apart from the fact that im 24 ,is when you spend hours on a game exploring to experience every little thing the fact that you wont because its edited always irritated me.

    shove it buddy, I'm importing. It would be better if these companies didn't play ball with our tard politions and didn't release the game here at all, that way I would still get it by importing and more outrage would occur. Anyhow, nerds are meant to be outraged easily, why am I reading 'good'about this move from some, don't let this issue die.

    Fuck you Atkinson, kiss my balls and burn in hell

    Burn in hell you bunch of backwards right wing christian idiots.
    The whole board's function is a complete waste of taxpayers money when I can torrent the PC / 360 US versions easy.
    So it's a double wammy cause I would have bought it in Aus, and they wasted time/effort/money blocking this game as well.

    I hope they feel good about themselves, they have forced my hand to priate, and stopped a local EB's store from getting my cash.

    FUCK EM IN THEIR STUPID ASSES.

    Considering the earlier seen screen shots when the game was RCed, and reading the minority view it sounds like maybe just the names have been changed, sounds like the icons of syringes, pills and crack pipes are still there. I don't think the game actually showed you taking the drugs visually anyway, think it was all done by auto injector/ pip boy via the menu.

    Censorship: the whole boob but no nipple.

    Given the choice I would always import an unedited game over an edited game even if the difference was minor. We really need to get the 18+ rating voted on again (and hopefully passed).

    As a member of the industry I would really like to know how many will be importing Fallout 3 as opposed to purchasing locally. Perhaps a survey?

    Counting this page already, it starts at:

    Import: 14
    Local: 0

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