Why Fallout 3’s Drugs Were Bad, But Velvet Assassin’s Are OK

Why Fallout 3’s Drugs Were Bad, But Velvet Assassin’s Are OK

Fallout 3 had morphine in it. Got banned for it. Velvet Assassin has morphine in it. Got an MA15+ for it. So how does that work?


  • “…the use of morphine enables the player to better complete difficult parts of the mission […] [T]his does not lead to … a better outcome for the player…”

    *scratches head*

  • I think it is utter nonsense, in Fallout 3 drugs were shown as having negative side effects in particular, addiction, this is very close to how real drugs operate. If the OFLC believes that the views and understanding of people under 15 of how real drugs work can be changed or impacted by the presence of fictional or real drugs in computer games then surely it is better to show them as having negative addictive properties. I believe in computer games that contain drugs are real or that resemble real life drugs (wether through implication, imagery, labelling or effects)it would be much worse to have them operate in an unrealistic manner espcially if it gives them an entirely positive role in the game.

    I do not agree with the argument about medical or historical context either, in fallout 3 drugs were contained in medical apparatuses and apeared in mainly medical contexts (doctors surgeries, first aid boxes). As for historical context, the game may be based on history but the game itself is not intended as a method of historical record, it’s intire purpose is a form of entertainment and so I don’t beleive it should be allowed any leeway in it’s use of drugs, even if you allowed for this argument the fact that these hisorical drugs have effects that are not historicaly accurate should count against it. If drugs are depicted accurately in a historical textbook (eg opium) then that is fine, it is simply an accurate record of the reality of drugs. Fallout 3 was also based semi-historically in a universe that diverges from our own at a certain point in time, and it does present a historical context for its drugs, but within its own divergent history. The history is not our real history but it hypothetically evolves from it. Just as in velvet assasin it begins with history but expands fictionally upon it, why is one semi-histoorical context better to depict drugs in then a hypothetical historical conext? Velvet assasin is not depicting historical drugs accurately yet for all we know the drugs of fallout 3 are accurate in its hypothetical history, they are certainly more accurate in our reality.

    If velvet assasin is a historical record then it can claim historical context, however since it is a blatantly fictional historic interpretation that serves the purpose mainly of entertainment without any aims to educate or shed light on the history on which it’s based it cannot take liberties which have been denied other pices of entertainment.

    Sorry if I rambled or repeated myself, I’ll end with an analogy, ignoring the gap between the level of content allowed in movies and that allowed in games, would a depiction of paedophilia be allowed in the movie 300 (or the game of the movie) because of historical context?

  • So… They think it is better to alow young players to see the “super human” effects of moarphine. But its not ok to show them how addiction of the substance negatively affects a person.

    Why dont we change the binge drinking ads, to only show the happy times had, rather than the dangers of consuming deadly amounts of alcohol, while we’re at it.

  • The Classification Board sure loves to use semantics to justify their classification decisions. I think decisions are becoming overly anal and petty, it’s lunacy.

  • There are a few inconsistencies like this with games ratings. This certainly isn’t an isolated case. The problem is that the ratings board do not play the games through. They are provided with a presentation (generally) from the distributor/developer. Also, this is not empirical data. Creating a rating is based on an opinion when the game is presented with a certain set of guidelines in which to compare it. This is not a perfect system.

    You would think that they could be more consistent in their ratings decisions.

  • I really think they’re trying to split hairs here and it’s almost as though they are admitting some games are RC on purely semantic grounds. Absurd.

  • Ooops. I call “massive f**k-up” by the Classification Board.

    I guess Fallout3’s addiction-based feature was too close to real life and as video games are meant to be for kids and not resemble life in any real way, taking morphene so bullets no longer hurt me, is way more appropriate.

    Dumb people make my head hurt

  • I get the feeling that the Classification Board are placing games that should be an R18 rating into MA15 when there isnt too much media attention to do so, but also so Australian gamers and resellers don’t miss out on these titles.

    I wouldnt criticise the Classification Board for making up some BS just so we can still get the game here in Aus

  • @mark more games need to be refused classification if we’re ever going to get an r18+ rating. rating R18+ worthy games as M15 isnt helping us in the long run. a lot of people need to be seriously inconvenienced before they’ll take a stand against something

  • I have a question. Why is Tim Colwell even questioning this? Wait until the game comes out lest they decide to ban it now.

  • The fact of the matter is Bethedsa should have used the term Med-X, just like the previous Fallout games did from the beginning of the series, before this bullshit controversy was even an issue.

  • It is this kind of behaviour by the Clasification Board that is giving Atkinson a very valid arguement against 18+ ratings. We need a well defined and enforced system of rating games and media in general. There are a number of games that personally I feel should have an 18+ rating or simply be RC until we have one.

    While I don’t agree with Atkinson’s stand on the 18+ rating, I can see where he is coming from with fears that the Rating Board will simply adjust the rules to allow everything in. They do it currently with most big name title (GTA4 comes to mind) and there is nothing in place to stop them doing it with games in the 18+ range.

    Something needs to change.

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: how is the use of a fictitious drug (with a fictitious name) any different from the use of a fictitious drug (with a real-world name), particularly in an overtly fictitious setting? The system is inconsistent even within the classification of Fallout 3.

    It seems more and more like the decisions are based on whether or not the board members got laid the night before, have had their morning cup of coffee, whatever…

  • How is this giving any more credence to R18+ ratings not being implemented? By showing that tiny, insignificant differences can change a thing from a ban to an MA15+, it shows that there needs to be more maneuverability in the system in order for it to work properly.

    For the people who are getting angry about semantics, I would like you to stop and think about the fact that having a ratings board and allowing it to rate any kind of thematic element based on a combination of objective categorisation, subjective application of said objective categorisation, and entirely contextually unique application of the objective categorisation is semantic from the very start. It’s a semantic business.

  • I tire of the double-standards of our Classification Board. Fallout 3 was highly anticipated, as was GTA4 so they were focused upon.

    Clive Barker’s Jericho is most certainly not suitable for 15 year olds, nor is the upcoming GTA: Chinatown Wars where a main source of income is selling drugs carrying their real-world name. Looks like we get an uncensored Silent Hill: Homecoming too, and F.E.A.R. 2 is unchanged from its previously banned content.

    The Classification Board can’t be trusted to do its job. Just bring in the R18+ rating to match the UK and follow their rating system instead of trying to justify our own.

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