Fable Was Rated 'M' By The Classification Board. The HD Remake? R18+.

This is strange. Very strange. When Fable was originally released on the first Xbox the game was rated 'M'. Today the Australian Classification Board revealed that Fable: Anniversary, the HD remastered version of Fable for the Xbox 360, would be rated R18+.

The reason? "Sexual activity related to incentives and rewards". Very strange.

It is true that we are now working with slightly different set of guidelines and, of course, classifications are subject to human error, but for a game to go from M to R18+ in one fell swoop? It doesn't seem right.

Hilariously the sexual activity for "incentives and rewards" thing is actually related to the fact that players can receive a child for having sex in Fable. Which is sort of brilliant and accurate. I guess, in real life, having a baby is a genuine reward for having sex!

But really, is that a bad thing worthy of blotting from the eyes of people under 18? Really? It seems incredibly heavy handed.


Comments

    How do board games get rated?

      These people judge whether a game is suitable http://www.classification.gov.au/About/BoardMembers/Pages/Classification-Board-Members.aspx

      There's a sector that handles all the incoming requests.
      Then there's sort of an appeal board.

      That's what I gather.

      I assume they don't play the game but tell someone to do it and highlight important aspects on a recording, they sit at table eating food and all jump out their seats and go, OMG that's not good for children and start chanting R18+ but back in the days (just a year or two ago) they would be chanting "refuse classification refuse classification", catches on, signs document, refused.

        Look at the amount of women and men over age of 40 in that list. Oh god it's like a group of parents deciding what kids get to play.

        Horrible horrible board members.

          theres only 1 person in the entire list under 30!
          how can they possibly claim to represent the public when they don't even come close to representing an accurate demographic cross section?

            At least they've got one guy from the 18 - 34 demographic. You know, the one which the majority of gamers sit in.

          Oi, I'm over 40 and I think this is a moronic decision and everyone involved should be made to smoke weed for a week straight so they can get the carrots out of their arses,

            You are the few cool ones mate. I doubt those in the board are in any way thinking the same as you. Probably thinks pokemon are an abomination.

          And then you notice that very much most of them have worked in the visual media or communications industry for a long time before taking up their position. It seems like the statement "members ... are chosen to be broadly representative of the Australian community" couldn't be more untrue.

      Board games don't get rated unless their name is Hydro Lord. (Unrestricted with the optional consumer advice "M - Not recommended for readers under 15 years" included).

        Well when I play monopoly and I buy the cheap suburbs, I imagine people living there to be like the ghetto. People robbing places and stabbing each other. Pretty violent that's why its cheap. Hence why I think monopoly should be r18+ at the very least.

        how do they know how I perceive what I see?

        Sorry I'm just finding this whole games rating ridiculous.

          But imagining it, and forcing your brain to picture and analyse all the details, is much better than seeing it displayed once and moving on...

          Because reasons.

    Man, the fact that this will be the same rating as GTA5 blows my mind. They really need to re-evaluate this rating system.

    If you actually saw, and interacted with the sex act somehow, then yeah the rating may be accurate. But as far as I know that doesn't happen (I've never played it, so can someone confirm?) so yeah it seems pretty stupid to me.

      Yeah you see nothing and interact with nothing. The screen simply fades to black and you get some hilarious (and harmless if you ask me) dialogue.

      Fable generally goes with a fade out and generic sex sounds. Pretty much how GTA: San Andreas worked but funnier (out of the box, not with the hot coffee mod).

      I think this is a pretty prime example of why political correctness doesn't work. They've tried to classify something in clinical terms that's too human. The player does have sex, but aside from the goofy sounds it's PG sex. Really about the same level as the implied sex on The Brady Bunch.

        Indeed the entire sex in fable one was a black screen and comical noises, the game hasn't been changed there is no new content, yet somehow an identical behind closed doors sex scene is not high impact and offers rewards.

        The entire thing is a farce and makes the system look pathetic.

          Do you remember when Atelier Totori Plus was rated R18+ because it had a swimsuit competition? It was rerated later on, but clearly somebody at the Ratings Board is stretching to get games classified as R18+.

          I've played that game. It's fairly mild even by JRPG standards. About the most risque thing about it is that the protagonist's default costume sort of resembles a nightie (in that it's excessively frilly and shows the knees.)

        "It's PG sex"

        This might just be me, but I feel like Parental Guidance sex is probably one of the worst kinds of sex.

          I spat my drink, applause to you sir.

    This is absurd. Especially when the sex scenes are just fades to black.

    LOL Fables barely a bloody PG game in my books... R rated my ass.

      i think M was justified back in the day, but R18? thats a bit... insane.

        Yeah M is fine, it doesn't restrict it from children just lets you know its got violence etc. I don't see Fable as a game kids can't play honestly, just that it's a more 'hardcore fantasy' than they're used to.

          I see it more like kids movies in the 80's. It has that soft adult content where you're pretty much just accepting that kids are on the verge of knowing adult things. It's inappropriate to show a full penetration sex scene but it's willing to admit that kids know the jist of what sex is. They know swear words. The teenager brother is going through puberty.
          Fable is a bit more adult orientated than that, which is why I don't really picture kids enjoying it, but I don't think it's as damaging to kids as any of the classic kids adventure movies from the 80's.

            My son enjoyed the shit out of Fable when he was 4 (granted he was just running around killing Hobbs) and when we got Fable 2 when he was 7 he adored it. However, even HE could tell Fable 3 sucked arse lol.

              I just don't get the hate. It was short and the story wasn't super strong but the rest was nice. Normally I'm the guy judging a game by missed potential rather than how good the finished product was but with Fable I've never cared that it wasn't was hyped to be. Maybe running around killing hollow men is enough to make me like any game.

              Last edited 15/11/13 11:18 am

                Let me explain my hate, although I know other people who have the same issue with the game.

                The part of the game where you are running your kingdom ends with no warning. It tells you there are over 100 days until your kingdom needs to be ready for whatever cataclysm was coming, you go to sleep that night and it skips right to the end. I'd been playing as the good guy all along but all of the money had been withdrawn from the treasury so that I could invest in real estate. The investment worked and I was stinking rich. But I wasn't given the opportunity to return the money to the treasury (I thought I still had 100 days to go, so at least a few more days of walking around the city) so I woke up and was at the end of the game and the city had no money for guards and defences from whatever it was that invaded. Auto-save was automatically enabled with no options for manual saving so I couldn't go back and put the money back. I ended the game as the villain and the citizens all hated me. Post-ending play was ruined.

                  Pretty much this. It was glitchy as hell, poorly thought out and terribly executed.

                  Then there's the combat... ugh. Why refine it from what 2 had done perfectly!?

                  Last edited 15/11/13 12:36 pm

          Shit! I let my daughter play Fable III (the one you could DL free a few months back) because you have a dog you can walk around and the game seemed pretty tame violence wise

            but you can hold hands with people in that game! Hand Holding is strictly an adult thing

            The sex scenes aren't something you'd stumble into. It's not like Mass Effect where just talking to someone a lot results in you banging them near the end of the game. Although now I think about it I ended up with a fair few condoms in my inventory by the end without every intentionally trying to find one.

    Other games where you can reproduce? GO! (I'll start)

    The Sims.

      The Sims will be refused classification if this is anything to go by. Oh gosh

        The classification board has no rules on Woohoo-ing related to incentives and rewards.

          At some point down at Maxis someone said 'quick, I need a word for sex that a five year old will understand that won't set any alarms off with their parents' and amazingly they weren't arrested. Seriously, having baby talk words for sex is so much more creepy than just using the real worlds.

          Last edited 15/11/13 6:15 pm

      Pokemon breeding is basically cute eugenics, does that count?

      Fire Emblem: Awakening is a recent game where children are very important. They're an awesome reward mainly because they're OP compared to their parents, even if you don't bother with inheritence of the best skills!

      Exactly having a baby in the Sims is a reward for having... OMG... Sex!

      I now anxiously await "The Sims 4" to be rated R18+ and then await with popcorn the absolute debacle that will occur due to that equitable decision.

    So a 16 year old can legally have sex in real life, but is breaking the law if they play this game and have virtual sex....

    Nice one Australia

    Last edited 15/11/13 10:17 am

      It's 17 is South Australia, but yeah, pats on the back all round

        What is going in South Australia?? Is it chock full or puritans or something??

          God knows. Place is a shit hole. I'm just so proud to be a south aussie

          Politicians. I assure you the vast majority of us are just far to lazy to do anything about... well anything really.

    I've played Fable. I thouight it was a great game for younger people. Nice art direction. Fun combat. And there are consequences for your actions. Like the above mentioned. Which is actually a good thing. Teaching kids that if you do the bada-boo, you get the bada-bing (baby).

    I think what this clearly shows is that the ratings system is a guideline, and that we as parents have to be the judges on what's okay for our kids to be playing.

      Yeeees, except that there are actual legal penalties for supplying minors with R18+ content. :P

      So though they might be guidelines in terms of morality, they're legally binding boundaries in every other sense.

      Last edited 15/11/13 10:23 am

        Yes it is illegal to sell it to a child much like alcohol, but they can still play it in the privacy of their own homes without "breaking the law", just like alcohol.

          if a kid plays an R18 game at home, they're not breaking the law, but the parent / guardian / whoever gave them the game, (or just allowed them to play it) is breaking the law.

          Edit: same applies to alcohol. at home or not, it still counts as supplying a restricted substance to a minor & is punishable with a fine.

          but in both cases, its rarely enforced coz its hard to detect.

          Last edited 15/11/13 11:01 am

            Things must have changed since I did my RSA in the way back when. It used to be that it was legal for a child to consume alcohol with a parent or guardian present. HOWEVER if the child was then found to be utterly obliterated, child services my have something to say about that

            EDIT oh there was a minimum age applied to that allowance of course, no 4 year olds running around sucking on a stubbie or anything. .

            Last edited 15/11/13 1:42 pm

            Absolutely wrong.. It is NOT illegal for a parent/guardian to allow a child to either play, watch, or otherwise either a R18 game or movie in a private setting (ie: home) where the Adult is supervising.

            It is only illegal to supply the item to a Minor, or in the case of Alcohol to have a reasonable suspicion that supplying alcohol to the Adult (ie: adult 18/19yrs old) would result in the consumption of that alcohol by a minor that is in their company at the time.

            The actual legislative Act(s) in all States have no mention of either allowing a minor to play/watch is either an actual offense (it isn't) or an affirmative defense of "within private dwelling" since not being an offense a defense is moot.

            Alcohol though is a grey area in different States since any Adult is Vicariously Liable criminally and civilly for any intoxicated Minor(s) in a private setting (ie: party) where they have the Duty of Care role. Though in a private home where a Minor gets drunk and no-one other than the Adults know about it it is unenforceable as you mention.

    My copy of Fable: TLC is rated MA. Fable 2 and 3 are both rated M. I always thought the M rating was much more appropriate for the series. The original Fable does nothing more than the next two in the series do, and is probably a bit tamer than they are all things taken into account. There is sex, but nothing is shown and the whole thing is all rather funny. The sex scenes in M rated movies are more intense.

    Rating the game R18 is ridiculous and, frankly, an abuse of the system.

    R18 is plain ridiculous.
    I can only think of one part where you gain a "benefit" in the original Fable (which was personally my favourite XBOX game as a kid), when you marry the Baroness of Bowerstone(?) and do the dirty you can lay claim to owning the entire town.

    Last edited 15/11/13 10:32 am

    Looks like they'll have to rate the next "The Sims" game as R as well or risk an uproar over consistency.

      The Sims for the original Xbox was R16, but PG on PC.

    Wait, so Real Life is R18+? What about the children? We can't expose them to Real Life because they're underage! Won't someone think of the children!? (Anti Poe's Law Shield: This is satire.)

    is the Blu Ray version of a film classified separately to the DVD version?

    I can only find mention that additional scenes or content needs to be classified.

      classification website has separate entries for DVD & Blu-Ray versions, so....... maybe?

      but more than likely, a publisher says the content is the same for both versions, the board rates it once & applies the classification to both versions, & sticks records for both in their database.

        hmm right. I suppose the platform change is probably the reasoning behind the classification though, rather than the higher fidelity experience.

        It seems so needlessly complicated.

    Wonder if this decision was made by the same person that decided to bump Atelier Totori from PG on PS3 up to R18+ on Vita.

    Considering there is no new content, just fable and the lost chapters given a Hd overhaul there is no way they can possible say that sex has been insentivised nor is it remotely high impact, the rating is a joke and I made a complaint about it.

      i think the issue is that rather than changing the content of the game, the guidelines for how the same content is classified has changed.

      in 2004(?) whenever Fable came out, the guidelines said one thing, but now the guidelines say something along the lines of 'a game in which sex is given incentives and/or results in a 'reward' is an automatic R18'

      yeah, the classification board are still just doing their job with the tools that have been given to them, but common sense should have overruled this decision.

      but on the plus side, if an appeal is made, the appealing body can cite precedent of similar content given a different rating.
      & how can you get more 'similar' than the original game?
      if this is appealed, I think it'll go back to M. or maybe MA at worst, like the original Lost Chapters.

    Won't someone think of the children...wait a minute

    Stupid. What 13 year old, these days, hasn't seen porn on the net? That's what gets me the most about this classification debacle.
    THERE ARE NO CLASSIFICATIONS ON THE INTERNET. Rating a game R18+ because of a reward from implied sex when any child can go online and see actual thing - and plenty of it - is utterly ludicrous.

      Thirteen is a bit old, no? Most start looking into it at about 11 or 12 these days from what I've gathered from my interaction from the younger generation.

        Yeah, 13 is probably a bit generous. Long ago, I remember having discussions with my then girlfriend about what sex was, and about how sex was "this" and sex was "that", without actually having a clue what sex "was". If the internet had been around, and I knew how to do it, I would have thrown "sex" into Google to straighten it out once and for all.
        I was in kindergarden.

    I'd consider having a child every time I have sex a punishment, not a reward.

    The problem here seems to be that classifications are based on an arbitrary checklist of inflexible rules, rather than a judgement based on the context that each element appears - If X appears in the game in any form then it gets this classification. Thus we get bizarre classifications like this and Saints Row running into issues with "sexual violence" for it's alien probe weapon.

    The rules need to change but its too much of a hassle to change them. Then we get this rubbish.

    This is downright laughable. Our government truly is completely out of touch with reality - it makes me wonder if they're the one's who can't separate reality from fiction. To put it in the same category as GTA V and MK9 is insane! How the hell do these clowns "interpret" the classification guidelines?

    Someone needs to adjust these laws so that they don't seem as though they were written by chimps using typewriters. They ban Saints Row IV and State of Decay for the most petty, pathetic reasoning I can imagine - they're too much for me as an adult huh? Boofheads. Then they bump a previously M rated game, for containing exactly the same content as the original, rate it R, while leaving the original game at M with the very same content they've just given an R rating to O.o What?

    It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times! *throws screwed up paper at the board members*

    As archaic as the classification is, could the argument be made that as the sex isn't actually depicted, it's not necessarily sex? One may deduce that that's what it is... but like with pretty much every Phoenix Wright game... just because it's implied that that's what happened, it doesn't mean that it's true.

    I didn't think you can have kids in the first Fable... I though that didn't come in until the second one..?

      You get a 8 year old child that you can't really interact with, from memory. Could be wrong though, as it's been a while.

    I remember back in the early 2000s, there was a copy of The Sims for Xbox. You know, the computer game with the PG rating even though most people used it for drowning/burning Sims for lulz? On the Xbox it was R16, even though they removed that "feature" and even the WooHoo was toned down a lot for the console version.

    Also, question: are they games played by each of the board members? You'd think it would be part of their job to do it. I mean, even Mass Effect, which had a pretty graphic sensual scene in it for video games at the time was only R16. I doubt a black screen with some giggle-worthy noises is going to offend anyone. You can definitely tell the difference in how offensive that content is by playing it, which is not very, in comparison to if you just read it on a piece of paper.

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