Zombie Defence Irrelevant In Left 4 Dead 2 Banning

When Left 4 Dead 2 was originally refused classification in Australia, the Classification Board noted the "high impact violence" carried out against "living humans infected with a rabies-like virus". It sounded like the Board viewed the game's enemies as human rather than zombies. But apparently that's not why it was banned.

Gamespot has revealed that when Left 4 Dead 2's Australian distributor EA appealed the decision, it tried to argue to the Review Board that because the game's violence was "unrealistic" and its zombie enemies "fictional", it should receive an MA15+ rating.

In response, the Board didn't buy EA's line, claiming there is "insufficient delineation between the depiction of the general zombie figures and the human figures as opposed to the clearly fictional ‘infected’ characters".

What comes as a surprise, however, is that ultimately this delineation wouldn't have mattered. As the Board went on to say, "whether the objects of the violence were fictional or real, and whether a 15 year old could discern the difference, is largely irrelevant where the game displays the level of realism this one does."

The Gamespot report also lists many examples of the "high impact" violence observed by the Board. It was the accumulation of these aspects, not whether or not violent acts were carried out on human or zombie enemies, that in the eyes of the Board warranted Left 4 Dead 2 being refused classification.

Aussie censor board explains L4D2 banning [Gamespot]


    Well it didnt matter either way as most avid gamers know how to obtain the uncensored version.

    Mr Akinson can shove it.

      Mr Atkinson didn't do anything, the OFLC did it this time.

        Not really the Classifications Board's fault either. They were just following the guidelines. If there was an R18 rating, it would fit into those guidelines.

        So, yeah. It's indirectly Atkinson's fault.

        michael atkinson did however enforce his VETO to stop Australia having R18+

    So its ok to open fire on russian civilians in an airport but to shoot zombies heads and limbs off is not?


      That's cool as well, as long as you are in the Fallout Universe... just don't take any Morph... I mean... nothing to see here!

        I was thinking about that too. MW2 is a lot more realistic graphically speaking, as well as having a more realistic plot. Mowing down civilians with the gun as they scream and try to run away, or even the other regular soldiers, who are real people, compared to the infected. I just don't get our retarded classification board, they're as backwards as any church.

          yeh I actually feel something for the enemy troops I down in Call of Duty.

            In MW2 your not decapatating thousands of soliders as close range with an axe now are you..

            Yes, yes you can knife people.. but your not popping their heads off and their guts aren't spilling out..

              yeh I suppose it isn't so bad mowing down thousands of men, many of whom would have families of their own, with fully automatic weapons.

              also, shooting them in the back as they retreat from the field of battle.

              and i wasn't even talking about the airport scene.

      Its okay because MW2 makes a clear distinction between the Russians and the humans.


      Very good point.

      This is totally unacceptable of the Classification Board! They've got it backwards.

    It also seems that its okay in Fallout 3 to shoot each of the limbs of a person, strip them down to their underwear and then pick their body up and dance it around in the air.

    Don't forget not being allowed to spray graffiti while you're Getting Up. Because graffiti is obviously much worse than gunning people down.

      Funnily enough it sort of is worse when it comes to video games. Nobody is going to go out and shoot people because it looked cool in video games (without being a nutcase first), but tagging in a game actually stands a chance of making graffiti look cool and convincing kids/teenagers they should do it.

      Granted that's not terrible enough to justify cutting it, I just wanted to point out that its tiny little influence stands more chance of creating a criminal (albeit a petty one) than a totally ridiculously violent game like Manhunt.

    *acerbic comment that is only somewhat related to the topic because I ignore that the people on the classification board are doing the best they can with the limited tools they have*

      Yeah, you're right. The board were doing the best with the tools they had when they personally reversed their own initial classification of Manhunt and banned the game months AFTER its release solely because of a kneejerk reaction to a baseless media story in the UK. Yeah, they deserve a big pat on the back.

    Interesting they reviewed it based on gameplay footage and watching an EA rep demo, rather than playing it themselves (as far as we know).

    Sitting back and watching the carnage, not interacting at all, of course the footage is going to look horrendously violent when viewed subjectively from a detached stance. Playing the game as a human character, the action is in context and you're too busy 'playing the game', surviving the horde, supporting teammates and working towards your objective to be offended. imagine if the board members pulled out the remote, were hitting the pause button and slow-skipping through dismemberment scenes! ouch.

    This game was always doomed on appeal, especially if the Board cannot even review "a game".

      I think this is a really important point that is completely lost with the way the classification is actually done. Games are an active media, not a passive one. Watching a video of someone else playing a game is not an effective way to classify a game.

    And lets not forget its still OK to beat up hookers
    and get all your money back...

    Oh the topic was about GAMES!
    well in that case, forget i said anything...

    Fair enough, i am glad they did their job for once. But still, killing a tank tohave him dissapear the moment he dies is....


    "...whether a 15 year old could discern the difference..."

    I don't even know where to begin commenting on that excerpt.

    I might be in the minority but i happen to agree 15 year olds should not be playing this game in the uncensored format.

    However that does not mean that the game should be banned it should be approriately fucking rated as per overseas

    Look at it this way... Left 4 Dead is about shooting zombies. Or infected humans. A catastrophe that has never occurred and most likely never will. They're HUMANS!

    Games such as MW2, you're in a war, on earth, with undead humans, in realistic countries where wars are occurring to this very day, but the story-line is fictional.

    Makes sense now right? Oh wait, thats just another point as to why the classification board if effed up!

    There is a rally going on this weekend. Left 4 R18+ Rally. It's in every state.


    For god's sake won't someone think of the zombies!

    The government is giving us a problem we cannot fix, the ratings go by the idea that they work, yet the men incharge of setting them do not believe in a rating system, it is not our problem that neglectful parents will buy their child a MA15+, My Aunt is an example, as to this moment I am sure that he is playing GTA4 and he is under 5. Though as Michael Atkinson stated that "62% of Australians in these gaming households “say the classification of a game has no influence on their buying decision”" but it is also a parents choice to make if they think that their child is ready for it, but as others have stated, the R rating is quite different to the others, I was raised without being allowed to enjoy R rated movies, it hasn't hampered my development, Michael Atkinson is trying to change people, not a system and he is so narrowminded that he does not see his mistakes.

    Objectively speaking, they made the right decision as this game is pretty damn brutal and should be rated R, which as we all know doesnt exist.

    Subjectively speaking.... I kinda want to play this game uncensored... damn them!

    I got my UK version this morning.
    Uncut, awesome, lovely.
    So thats how much their ratings & edits concern me.


      The problem is they should concern you. As we move further into the online age its becoming more and more possible for them to restrict what version we play not matter what disc we're using.

      The way I see it we can either fight it while playing imports today, or fight it tomorrow when the censored version is the only option.

    My copy is probably flying in from England right now.

    R18 poster

    The ACB is delusional if it thinks the gore in Left 4 Dead 2 is any way, realistic. It is deliberately over the top and comical, please get a grip.

    Just another example of Australia turning into a nanny state and showing that it truly is the laughing stock of the entire Western world.

    The degree of inconsistency the CB shows is disgusting.

    yea it was released 19th november in aussie but it doesnt have gore and the bodies disapear in half a second i think it is pathetic!!! people buy the game knowing that it would be gory and i got a shock when it wasnt!! and now i think it should be rated because of what theyve done

    when i say now i think it should be rated because of what theyve done i mean it should be rated M

    Rating should be there to inform the public about the contents of the medium. But it seems more and more they are actually dictating the contents and this is wrong!

    If i make something aint nobody telling me what i can or cannot do with it or put in it unless they have a good argument to do so.

    "They" have not. Making the world a safer place, Give me a break.

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