Hey Classification Board, We Found 'Language' In The Walking Dead

Dear Australian Classification Board, we noticed yesterday that you rated The Walking Dead as MA15+, despite it carrying more disturbing themes than every game you've rated R18+ so far. Yet oddly, your classification report says the game has no foul language. Well, we think we found some.

Now, nobody's pointing any fingers here, we're just saying we thought it was odd.

Perhaps it was just a typo in your content management system, or just some human error that caused your website to think everyone in the game used phrases like "Aww, fudge". Or maybe we're just ignorant of exactly what constitutes as "language". But we thought we'd do you a solid and dispatch our team of highly trained super-sleuths to solve the case. They were just browsing Facebook anyway.

After quite a long time of them being paid by the hour, they managed to find something. You might want to have a look at this video and see if you catch anything.

WARNING: This video contains SPOILERS and is NSFW if you use speakers.

If you want a hint, try straining your ears between 0:01 and 6:33. That's when it kinda gets rough.

Thanks to @lukelawrie for the tip!


    Watching the vid made me realise how much swearing is in the game. It doesn't seem like a lot when you're actually playing it.

      Yeah, the use of it in game feels pretty natural. When you put it in the context of each scene it actually adds so much more emotion to the dialogue, rather than being jarring like so many other games.

        Unlike some other games that seem to drop it every second word.

        *cough* Prototype 2 *cough*

          *cough* almost-every-single-character-in-GTA IV *cough*

    this is actually hilarious.

    Does the OFLC review episodic games by each episode? Or just by the first one?

    Was the mistake with the Classification Board though, or a result of an omission in Telltale's submission? And if it's the latter is Telltale up for a fine?

      I don't remember Capcom getting a fine when Dead or Alive Dimensions was revoked it's classification and reclassified.

        I don't think they fine companies if the Classificiation board misclassifies their products.

        Also I can't see a few swears increasing the impact of the game from MA15+ to R18+.

          I'm willing to bet scenes involving the liberal use of C U Next Tuesday would...

          Last edited 23/01/13 2:06 pm

    I don't think they actually play the games in full. Imagine the guy who gets the do that... on taxpayer dollars (slightly jealous)

      No, you have to send in a video of the game. And, unless it's changed VERY recently, that's a VIDEO. ON VIDEO CASSETTE. ON VIDEO CASSETTE. IN 2013.


        Jem, That is truly outrageous.

          PiratePete, you are a GOD of internet comment comedy. I can't BUY comedy like that. I know, because I tried to.

          Seriously, thanks - you made my day.

          And Jem - does that happen a lot? I'm curious.

        And these people often have no back ground in playing games or experience in the industry. But seriously, VHS?!

        ...stop the planet, I want off.

    Perhaps this just a good old fashioned inconsistent rating review.

    The fact that "coarse language" isn't mentioned in the rating is by no means an indication that the game itself does not contain any coarse language at all. The consumer advice is intended to alert audiences of the strongest classifiable element(s) of the film/game that resulted in its given rating (in this case, MA15+). Our guidelines relative to other Western countries are much more relaxed when it comes to coarse language, and the frequency of F-bombs would need to be relatively high before attracting an MA15+ purely on the basis of coarse language. Incidentally, House of the Dead: Overkill on Wii was given the dubious honour by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most frequently occurring coarse language in a commercially release video game and the ACB didn't even bother including "coarse language" in the rating (it was rated MA15+ for "Strong horror violence").

    So although a game is rated MA15+ for "Strong violence" it could also contain moderate impact themes, coarse language, sex, drugs and nudity without needing to be mentioned in the consumer advice. There are exceptions where the ACB will provide additional consumer advice (as was the case with Black Ops II, for instance, which according to the classification database, contained coarse language that could be accommodated under the M classification, but was mentioned in the consumer advice anyway).

      ^ This. Consider how movies are rated:

      Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones was rated M and the consumer advice was given as "Adult Themes"

      That makes sense, at one stage Anakin Skywalker flies into a murderous rampage after his mother dies at the hands of torturers, and before she dies we see the results of her torture, that's pretty heavy stuff.

      Never mind though that the move contains a tonne of violence (not flagged at all in the warning) it's all bloodless and no higher in impact than a PG rating, hence they don't make a big deal out of it.

    Folks, if a particular element can be held at a lower classification, it doesn't get mentioned in the consumer advice. It will be noted in the CB report but that's it. Basic coarse language like that can be heard in M rated games. Obviously the CB thought that too.

    Google it or give the CB a call. Its not a big deal. I don't know why there's a whole article about a non-issue. Oh wait this is Kotaku, no one does the research FIRST.

    the system for game and movie ratings is always a mess. house of the dead: overkill on the wii was in the guiness book of records for most swearing in a game yet the rating on the box is for violence.

    plenty of movies have heaps of violence and swearing and only have violence in the rating. fight club is R for adult themes and it contains violence, sex and swearing.

    its a pretty inconsistent system.

    I'd laugh if this article brought the game's language to the Classification Board's attention and they banned the game because of it.

    The ACB rates language based on context.
    If a character says "Fuck!" when they get shot or as an exclamation of emotion it's ok.
    If the character says "I want to fuck that girl" then it's classified as vulgar.
    Furthermore, the listed reasons for a rating aren't indicative of all the content.
    Generally just the extremes for that rating.
    (eg. Strong level violence for MA, etc.)
    You wouldn't expect a violent R rated movie to list language.

    I still think MA 15+ is a fair rating. If you're 16 and can't handle some language its time to rethink some things...

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