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Australian Ban On Fallout 3 – Why?

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the morphine's-a-stimulant-in-upside-down-land dept.

Censorship 166

LSU_ADT_Geek writes "What could possibly be so controversial in upcoming E3 2008 headliner Fallout 3 that the Australian government would impose a dreaded 'RC' rating on Bethesda's upcoming tertiary post-apocalyptic RPG? No one knows for sure, but speculation is that the optional use of drugs in the game — specifically the option to employ morphine as a stimulant — may underlie the Aussie classification board blacklisting."

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Other games that have been banned in Australia (5, Informative)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130593)

From the screenplay blog http://blogs.theage.com.au/screenplay/archives//009975.html [theage.com.au]

POSTAL (aka LOOSE CANNON) Computer Games
CD-ROM Refused Classification 28/10/1997

GRAND THEFT AUTO III Review (Other)
PlayStation 2. Refused Classification 29/11/2001

BMX XXX Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 16/10/2002

THE GETAWAY Computer Games
PlayStation 2. Refused Classification 27/11/2002

SHELLSHOCK NAM67 Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 22/06/2004

LEISURE SUIT LARRY : MAGNA CUM LAUDE Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 09/09/2004

MANHUNT Review (CG)
PlayStation 2. Refused Classification 29/09/2004

SINGLES FLIRT UP YOUR LIFE Computer Games
PC Refused Classification 21/10/2004

THE PUNISHER Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 23/11/2004

NARC Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 08/04/2005

POSTAL 2 SHARE THE PAIN Computer Games
PC Refused Classification 10/10/2005

50 CENT BULLETPROOF Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 24/10/2005

MARC ECKO'S GETTING UP: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 14/02/2006

RESERVOIR DOGS Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 23/06/2006

BLITZ THE LEAGUE Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 17/01/2007

SOLDIER OF FORTUNE: PAYBACK Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 16/10/2007

DARK SECTOR Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 13/02/2008

SHELLSHOCK 2: BLOOD TRAILS Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 20/06/2008

FALLOUT 3 Computer Games
Multi Platform. Refused Classification 04/07/2008

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (4, Interesting)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130961)

The problem is that game censorship in Australia only goes to R15+ which still falls into the Child category. The only way to get games that are adult is to have a R18+ category however the present Government (Labour) as well as the previous Government (Liberal) don't appear to be interested in passing legislation for a R18+ category. It is not intransigence on the part of the gaming lobby groups since they really want this category it is the Government.

Of course (puts on tin-foil hat) all Governments appear to like the "think of the children" slogan which can be a good vote getter, so if you can prevent or stall an R18+ classification the Government can milk the save the children platform (or rant) for all it's worth then they are perceived as protecting society.

That is why IMHO I think most Government officials are "Technological Cretins" (we like to call them "idiots" and other more colourful words as well).

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131229)

I'm just waiting for Michael Atkinson to get hit by a clue-by-four, or for SA to get themselves a useful attorney general. I may be waiting for a while...

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

unfunk (804468) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131737)

Yeah. This issue, coupled with the fact that both parties in our state are a bunch of morons, is prompting me to vote Liberal at the next election...

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131841)

Seem's the Australien guvermint's getting as bad as ole king george 3rd with people's liberty's and all. Newzealand should sercede now, before its to late!

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131985)

You're angry over an issue of overly conservative social policy and so you're going to vote for Australia's largest socially conservative party?

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

CoopersPale (444672) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132089)

Nothing like a good pollitical discussion :-)

I personally don't see much difference in the policies of the two major parties - both seem to have moved toward the 'center' and don't distinguish themselves with clearly leftish or rightish policies. In a general sense, anyway. What remains (and is the main thing highlighted by the media) is a difference in personalities between the leaders.

Or perhaps I'm just jaded by politics!

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

Gwyn_232 (585793) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131981)

More fool them. They don't seem to realise they're undermining their future vote.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132619)

More fool them. They don't seem to realise they're undermining their future vote.

If teens are growing up without playing these games, why should they be miseed when he is old enough to vote?

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24133667)

If teens are growing up without playing these games, why should they be miseed when he is old enough to vote?

Because they are going to find out that the Australian government banned them. So they will play them on emulators, a few hard-core gamers may import them from the EU, US, Japan, and figure out that these games aren't that bad. It is like saying that in schools if you say "don't do drugs" and don't pass out free samples of drugs, you aren't going to ever have a drug problem.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131013)

As an Australian please let me say, the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) needs to be beaten upside the head with a Cluebat, repeatedly. The only reason any of those games were banned is because Australia does not have an R18+ rating for video games so if it isn't M15+ it cant possibly get classification (yet it's there for Films, Books, Comics, portraits and artwork FFS). The OFLC did vote on an R18+ classification but voted against it because the idiot Attorney Generals had no understanding of the media involved.

Well there's always play-aisa [play-asia.com] , an online store based in HK. good for cheap PC and PS3 games (don't have a PS3 so don't quote me on that) but not for xbox and Wii due to region gouging, I mean coding

Not only does it get around the OFLC (as long as its not banned, refusing classification just prohibits Australian retailers from selling it but you can still buy and import it from another country), it is also cheaper than going to EB games ($90 AU is now $84 US, so why am I paying nearly twice as much for a game when the same game is $49 US on Play-Asia even with US$10 for P&H).

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131251)

Oh... don't get me started on local/import prices. It just drives me nuts...

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131687)

Nicole kidman drives me nuts! I think about her tight fanny when I'm spanking meself. then I chumba all over me dilly dowel.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (3, Informative)

Caged (24585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131673)

Actually it is illegal to import Restricted Classification items into Australia. Importing your average Hentai or a RC computer game will get you spanked by Customs officials and the police.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131827)

I doubt your customs official would care about a video game, as i doubt its on any list of contraband substances.

Also i'm not sure if Restricted Classification is the same as Refused Classification.

Eitherway, i'll be laughing at the silliness of aussies as i order it from my local gamestop in new zealand, as i suspect a lot of other aussies will be doing.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24133727)

The main regions are: * Asia (NTSC-J) * North America (NTSC U/C) * Europe and Oceania (PAL, PAL/E) * China (NTSC-C)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_lockout#Video_games [wikipedia.org]

And because Australia would be considered in Oceania, wouldn't that mean that you can import European games even for systems with lockout? Because as far as I know all of them use that, with the slight exception for Nintendo which releases Commodore 64 Virtual Console games that get released in Europe but not Australia.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (2, Interesting)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131561)

"Refused classification" is not the same as "banned". There is a subtle, but important difference.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (2)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131617)

Can I walk into a store and buy it? If I can't do that, then I can import it. However, for 95% of the population, if they can't buy it at the store, then for all intents and purposes it's banned.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (2)

spir0 (319821) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132207)

could you please elaborate? if it's refused classification, it's not allowed to be sold in the country, therefore, my perception is that it is every bit the same as being banned.

if you import it, won't they confiscate it (assuming they find out or catch it passing thru customs)?

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131689)

From the screenplay blog http://blogs.theage.com.au/screenplay/archives//009975.html [theage.com.au]

[snip]

Interestingly, Bioshock is rated MA15+ [classification.gov.au] , because apparently harvesting your recreational stimulants from little girls' bodies isn't anywhere near as bad as paying money for them.

The first thing I thought when I read this was: they just refused classification, right? That's not the same thing as banning. While mainstream shops won't sell it, surely it's still legally possible to buy it in some other way? Apparently not. From the Classification website [classification.gov.au] :

Computer games that have been Refused Classification (RC) cannot be sold, hired or demonstrated in Australia.

Sounds like Australians are out of luck. (Unless Fallout 3 turns into an Oblivion clone, in which case nobody cares.)

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

ZzzzSleep (606571) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132063)

The first thing I thought when I read this was: they just refused classification, right? That's not the same thing as banning. While mainstream shops won't sell it, surely it's still legally possible to buy it in some other way?

I've heard that we're allowed to privately import it, but I haven't seen it anywhere official, so I'd love to know exactly what the law says we can and can't do here.

Re:Other games that have been banned in Australia (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132065)

The decision I didnt get was Mario Ecko: Contents Under Pressure. I mean I can see the "too violent" reasoning behind other decisions... but "encourages graffiti"?

Shit. Blows my plans to produce "Oz Phx's Loitering: With Intent to Jaywalk". Guess you ozfags will have to import that one.

Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (3, Insightful)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130597)

Heh, people kept voting for the idiot who promised them more largesse and more "safety" programs. Well, the safest place in our world is strapped to a bed in a concrete bunker without anything nearby that can be "harmful" or "potentially harmful". As a result, you people get what you vote for, what you beg for, and what you desire. Safety. If you don't want safety, then its best to stop voting and start living. I'm sure I've beaten this horse to death.

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (1)

Twisted64 (837490) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130891)

What country are you talking about? Which country are you talking from? What in God's name are you talking about?

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130949)

At a guess... Australia.
Or maybe the UK?
Or America?
Or pretty much any country in what's laughably termed the First World...

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132733)

The term "first world" refers to countries that are capitalist, which are technologically advanced, and whose citizens have a high standard of living.

Yes, it's of course highly laughable to suggest that it's better living in a first world country rather than in abject poverty. Any country that restricts the sales of computer games is obviously far behind the curve when it comes to human rights..

I bought Manhunt in a shop here in the UK. It was crap. I don't care how much publicity the others Manhunt games get from being restricted, I won't buy them unless they actually become fun to play. We have 18+ game ratings here in the UK btw. While the UK is not perfect, I'd much rather live here as an IT monkey than become a sweatshop worker in China or India, thankyouverymuch.

IMO causing a controversy over a computer game will only improve how popular it would otherwise have been. I had seen Manhunt in shops and not been that interested, but after the big deal that was being made over it, I thought I'd see what the fuss was about.

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (2, Informative)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130893)

Its the South Australian Attorney-General who is the problem. All the others have agreed to an R18 rating, but it has to be unanimous. That said, lately he has (slowly) been backing down and I have hopes that it won't be too long before it gets through.

Of course, then the console manufacturers also have to allow R18 games to be run...

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (1)

Ash.D.Giles (1278606) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131535)

umm...

Given that this recent election was the first time in 11 years that Australia hadn't voted for the conservative option, I question whether your comment isn't coloured by your own political views.
In any case, Australia isn't run by a president, and we don't directly vote the leader of our legislative/executive branch into power. We each only voted for our local member of parliament.
Lastly, when there are only two options of leader, and both have backwards social standpoints (see the new PMs comments on the Bill Henson furore for an example), there's not really much good in attacking the voters.

I guess that makes my agenda electoral reform. Ergh.

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (1)

heathen_01 (1191043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131831)

Lastly, when there are only two options of leader...

There were more than two options. Last time I checked there were 26 parties [wikipedia.org] registered with the AEC.

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (1)

Ash.D.Giles (1278606) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132127)

Absolutely! And plenty of independents besides.
Now we just need to convince the australian public that we don't have the US-style first-past-the-post system, and so it is not a wasted vote if you pick a third party candidate.

Re:Unpredictable outcome of "safety" voting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24132467)

Beds guarantee you bedsores which can get infected, and many other problems.

Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24130605)

Isn't morphine still widely used in military applications? In his novel Red Mars [amazon.com] , Kim Stanley Robinson even sees morphine in the inventory of a space journey. Why ban media with the real use of an approved drug in a realistic environment?

Re:Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (3, Interesting)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131017)

Actually the PS2 game called "Oni" and now the PS3 "Haze" (never played it) has drug usage. I wonder how these got passed by the censor. Of course you can look at most games that have "herbs" (eg Final Fantasy and Resident Evil) or those healing orbs (god knows what's inside of them) and medical packs and you have some sort of drug reference implied :-)

Re:Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132259)

I think the problem here is that they are actually referring to a real drug. In this case morphine. According to some other poster, they would be able to get an R15+ rating by simply changing the name of the drug in the game to "painkiller", or something generic like that.

Re:Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131061)

Isn't morphine still widely used in military applications?

Yeah maybe, but not as a stimulant. If the game designers think that's what morphine does then fair enough, ban it until they replace morphine with amphetamines.

Re:Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131285)

True but is it that much of an issue anyway? It's a fictitious setting so they could have called it "Inventium" if they'd wanted.

[strokes beard a little] Of course that wouldn't have generated any free publicity, would it?

Re:Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131529)

Of course that wouldn't have generated any free publicity, would it?

No, never, how dare you insinuate! ;)

Re:Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131559)

love your sig

Re:Isn't morphine still widely used in military? (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131517)

Morphine is a painkiller, thus its military use in cases of injury. It's also a sedative. Take enough and you'll drift in and out of sleep uncontrollably. Except for matters regarding potency-per-amount, half-life and speed of onset, morphine = opium = Vicodin = endorphines = heroin = methadone, etc..

Opiates (those things I listed above) are definitely not performance-enhancing, though. Why exactly they (supposedly) decided to make it a stimulant is beyond me. Just a guess, but maybe their logic is that it allows you to ignore pain, thus continue fighting on.

Hilarious (2)

Trracer (210292) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130607)

From TFA:
In 2002, Grand Theft Auto III was tagged with an RC-rating until Rockstar removed the option for players to solicit sex from prostitutes. Players could of course still kill them, underscoring the bizarre intercultural disconnect between wanton murder (AOK!) and the biological act of procreation (impolite and evil!).

Now that's just hilarious. Altho I suppose prostitution has nothing to do with procreation.

Re:Hilarious (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130859)

That's just fine, in the double standards of today sex and drugs are bad, but violence is practically state-sponsored. Thank god politicians forget all they knew about rock n roll when they get elected.

I blame the Victorians.

Re:Hilarious (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130911)

I blame the Victorians

Actually its the South Australian Attorney-General holding out on the R18 classification.

Re:Hilarious (3, Informative)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130863)

What is even more bizzare is that in Australia prostitution is legal.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131179)

Yes, but only murdering them to take their cash. You're not actually allowed to buy their services.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131213)

I can't speak for the other states, but in Western Australia prostitution isn't legal, but the powers that be tend to turn a blind eye to it (except in the case of streetwalkers, as it is considered to attract unsavoury characters to the areas that said streetwalkers are plying their trade)

Re:Hilarious (1)

quenda (644621) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131025)

> removed the option for players to solicit sex from prostitutes. Players could of course still kill them,

In movies in Australia, you can have strong sex scenes, or violence, but not together. Thats probably what happened with the game.

Re:Hilarious (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131189)

It is not inter-cultural just Anglo-Saxon. Probably some residual victorianism.

Why? (4, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130619)

Because we can. Because we know what's good for you. Oh, and think of the children, or something.

The real purpose (1)

Jacques Chester (151652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130623)

Is to help Australian nerds the butt of "in Soviet Australia" jokes.

Re:The real purpose (1)

BlackCobra43 (596714) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131913)

In Soviet Australia, games don't rate YOU!

Wait, pretty much that way everywhere.... :/

Gee, I wonder? (4, Interesting)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130625)

I wonder if that [kotaku.com.au] might have something to do with it?

Word has it that that the OFLC may only give out R18+ ratings on games when there is unanimous support from all the attorney generals in Australia. And they all agree it should be allowed, except for one asshat [wikipedia.org] who wants to think of the children.

Re:Gee, I wonder? (3, Insightful)

invader_vim (1243902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130745)

Yep, sad but true. I encourage all South Australian – hell, all Australian /.ers – to let him know [alp.org.au] your feelings.

As always, keep it polite and intelligent. Show him that we are mature enough to make up our own minds about what we deem appropriate for our own personal gaming pleasure.

Re:Gee, I wonder? (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131803)

I think it is funny to think you could possibly know what is best for you. Think of how horrible your country would be if adults had good video games?

Re:Gee, I wonder? (5, Informative)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130953)

Please, show a little respect. You may not agree with him but you shouldn't call him an asshat - the correct term in this case is arsehat.

Mother (3, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130633)

Hush, my baby. Baby, don't you cry.
Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares come true.
Momma's gonna put all of her fears into you.
Momma's gonna keep you right here under her wing.
She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing.
Momma's gonna keep Baby cozy and warm.

Hush, my baby. Baby, don't you cry.
Momma's gonna check out all your girlfriends for you.
Momma won't let anyone dirty get through.
Momma's gonna wait up until you get in.
Momma will always find out where you've been.
Momma's gonna keep Baby healthy and clean.

Replace Momma with the nanny state, and you get the general idea. You are all children, unfit to make your own decisions about how you are going to live your own life.

Re:Mother (2, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130647)

Of all the noble and respected philosophers you could have quoted, you quote from an early 1980s rock concept album envisioned by a dude now widely reviled for the pomoposity of his lyrics?

Re:Mother (1)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130697)

I didn't really think Kant or Godel would be appropriate here.

Re:Mother (1)

Nasajin (967925) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130987)

Maybe not Kant or Godel, but Theodor Adorno springs to mind, as does Walter Lippman. Adorno being the man that showed unbounded contempt for the intelligence of the 'mass audience' and describing inital functions of state and corporate run hegemonic systems, and Walter Lippman for encouraging their usage to control the 'ignorant masses.'

Re:Mother (1)

WingedHorse (1308431) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131325)

A quote from a philosopher saying something is not any better than lyrics saying that same thing.

Personally, I haven't ever heard those lyrics before and I think they left a lot stronger impact on me than some short quote from some philosopher I have never heard of before.

Yes, some of us haven't studied philosophy or anything like that and Walter Lippman doesn't say anything to me.

Re:Mother (1)

krilli (303497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131577)

I didn't really think Kant or Godel would be appropriate here.

Don't worry about CRCulver, he's simply worried - on your behalf - about what people think. The "right" thing for you to have done was to quote an Approved Philosopher that has already been quoted by someone else, and that is not seen as pompous by Someone Else.

Someone else that isn't here.

I approve of your quote it was kind of awesome actually, though my approval doesn't count, as sadly I can't be a Someone Else as I am real.

Re:Mother (1)

S3D (745318) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131883)

I didn't really think Kant or Godel would be appropriate here.

Goedel [wikipedia.org] would probably think it's an intricate conspiracy to kill him.

Re:Mother (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130723)

Who exactly is doing this wide reviling of his lyrics? I never even heard of that before (and I even checked Wikipedia's article on Roger Waters to see if I was missing something). My circle of friends tends to love Pink Floyd, the lyrics most of all.

You seem to think that his lyrics are "pomopous", but I think they are insightful and I'm obviously not the only one who thinks so. They are very relevant to some people, not just him. But honestly, even if they were only relevant to him, would that make his creation any less enjoyable?

Re:Mother (2, Funny)

RWerp (798951) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130743)

Oh oh, we're snobbish, aren't we?

Re:Mother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24130967)

Of all the noble and respected philosophers you could have quoted, you quote from an early 1980s rock concept album envisioned by a dude now widely reviled for the pomoposity of his lyrics?

One tendency I'm starting to notice, among people in general, is to accuse others of doing exactly what they are guilty of. In this case you are the pomopous one, I've never heard of Roger Waters being widely reviled. There are other examples of this behaviour, of course, Microsoft accusing their competitors of 'stifling innovation' springs to mind.

Secondly, where's your quote from a 'noble and respected philosopher'? I can't think of any off-hand that have spoken out against the nanny state. Kafka maybe?

On a related note: this kind of censorship will soon be seen in Soviet Great Britain [blogspot.com] , when David Cameron wins the next election (unfortunately).

Re:Mother (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131619)

Look - Culver's read some books, so he's special, and not to be trifled with in matters metaphysical.

Just ignore him - it's better for the temper :o)

Re:Mother (2, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131567)

Of all the noble and respected philosophers you could have quoted, you quote from an early 1980s rock concept album envisioned by a dude now widely reviled for the pomoposity of his lyrics?

For a moment there I read that as "pornoposity" and I was like "what? wtf? where?" before opening my entire pink floyd playlist.

Re:Mother (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132267)

"Mother, do you think they'll drop the bomb?"

God that song is so depressing. I 3 The Wall as a whole though.

We do know why it was refused classification (5, Informative)

Tallweirdo (657529) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130651)

A copy of the OFLC Board Report on Fallout 3 can be found at Australian Gamer [australiangamer.com] .

Basically, Fallout 3 has been refused classification because the majority of the Board consider that the use of "Chems" and specifically the Morphine chem to provide advantages in combat contravene the National Classification Code.

From the text of the report it appears that renaming the Morphine chem to 'Painkillers'(or some other generic name that is not a prescription drug) and changing the icons presented in the menu for selecting chems will be sufficient to get the game classified MA15+.

I have no idea why Fallout 3 has been singled out like this when other games such as Max Payne, Bioshock, Haze and the original Fallout games all have similar drug use.

Re:We do know why it was refused classification (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130679)

so they did this because you use morphine in the game?, you would think it would be something alot worse

Re:We do know why it was refused classification (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 6 years ago | (#24133097)

1) "I'm going to go get high on some painkillers"

2) "I'm going to go get high on some Morphine"

3) "Aye, mate, I'm about to go get rotten off these here pills!"

So...what is the different again? Maybe Australia can explain it to me...

Well you just said why... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#24133785)

From the text of the report it appears that renaming the Morphine chem to 'Painkillers(or some other generic name that is not a prescription drug)' and changing the icons presented in the menu for selecting chems will be sufficient to get the game classified MA15+.

Not sure about Bioshock, but if I recall correctly none of the others had use of "real" drugs.
Painkillers in Max Payne, Nectar in Haze and various imaginary drugs in Fallouts (Mentats, Buffouts, Jet... etc.).
Imaginary drugs are OK. You can't ban something based on depiction of misuse of something that is imaginary.

Hell... Buffouts in Fallout had those little crosses (+) on them.
You could claim that (since it is an imaginary drug) that it is actually the power of Jesus that gives your character extra strength when he takes them.
Its imaginary... anything goes. You can even claim its all a placebo.

But when you say morphine... well... that IS a real drug.
"I've been using morphine all this time, and it has significantly reduced my pain levels and helped me win in this game."
You can't say you are not promoting drug use if your character goes around high as a kite on morphine or whatever - cause it gives him/you the advantage in the game.

Here's the answer .... (1)

deek (22697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130671)

http://www.kotaku.com.au/games/2008/07/olfc_report_why_fallout_3_was_banned_in_australia.html [kotaku.com.au]

In summary: from the OFLC report, it was the drug usage in the game. More information in the article.

It's pretty sad really. I wonder when Michael Atkinson will step down from office, so that we can actually get a forward thinking attorney general for South Australia.

In the meantime, we import.

Stimulant? (4, Informative)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130807)

Since when has morphine been considered a stimulant?

Re:Stimulant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24130991)

Since when has morphine been considered a stimulant?

If you've ever seen a chic whacked-out on it, you understand.

Re:Stimulant? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131257)

I'm allergic to codeine (and probably morphine as well, but I've never taken it). It makes me hyper and paranoid.

Re:Stimulant? (1)

erikina (1112587) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131461)

That is just an allergic reaction to codeine (and not the morphine it breaks down to). Might not be a bad idea to have a small dose to test. Anyway, the GP is correct, morphine is certainly not a stimulant. But in the game it is not really used as such, more a way to ignore damage. (Although, they really should have used PCP)

And in reply to the article - As an Australian I feel as if the government has lost touch. I haven't refined the thought, but I don't like the idea of political parties. It always ends up coming down to voting for the lesser of two evils, else you throw away a vote on a party that you support but has no hope. (or that's how it happens in practice)

Re:Stimulant? (1)

F'Nok (226987) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131627)

Vote throw away?

Perhaps you missed it on the voting forms, but we have the option or supplying complete preferences when we vote. It's never a throw away.

Preference who you like, then just make sure that of the two evils the one you like least gets the higher number (least preference).

Such a comment might be valid for single voting systems; but, Australia is NOT one of them. Vote wisely and preference.

Re:Stimulant? (1)

erikina (1112587) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131743)

I fear you must not understand instant-runoff voting. Your non-first preferences only count in the event of one party not receiving a majority. It's just like having a second ballot, but only need to vote once (And you say what you would do in the case of a run off).

So yes, the best way to stop someone getting elected is by voting for (giving 1st preference) to its strongest competitor. (The lesser of two evils). Just like the "single voting systems".

Re:Stimulant? (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132107)

That's not how it works in federal elections (I believe Tasmanian elections do work like that, though). In federal, and in most states, it works like this: the 1 votes are counted, and the candidate with the least 1s is removed; votes are moved up to fill the gap; this is repeated until only one candidate remains. As an example, I live in the seat of Melbourne; suppose I voted 1 for Liberal, 2 for ALP and 3 for Green; Liberal got the least 1s, so this is removed from everyone's votes, and my vote effectively becomes 1 for ALP and 2 for Green; now Green has the least 1s, so it's removed and my vote is effectively 1 ALP; only one candidate remains - ALP has won the seat. Of course, in real life, there are more than three candidates, so there are more iterations, but that's how the algorithm works. The parent post was correct.

Re:Stimulant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24132595)

If someone has a majority of the votes it doesn't matter which of the other candidates you voted for. Voting for the "lesser of two evils" candidate would make no difference, the other guy still has a majority.

As long* as you preference the lesser of two evils before the greater evil you are not "throwing your vote away".

* well there are some corner cases, in which preferencing someone above someone else you prefer is better "strategy", but you really need to know what the votes will be in order to know that (and since you vote before they count...)

Re:Stimulant? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24132723)

While morphine itself isn't a stimulant (it's classified as a central nervous system depressant), clinical research suggests that one of its metabolites (morphine-6-glucoride) acts as a stimulant and at high plasma concentrations can provoke seisures. That being said, the usage of it in the game is out of context. Morphine-induced analgesia works is more likely to sedate you than allow you to ignore physical damage.

I sense a disutrbance in the force.. (3, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24130895)

It's as if millions of australians fired up their ebay and bit torrent clients.

Re:I sense a disutrbance in the force.. (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131075)

You mean there's a million of us Aussies that didn't have them open already,

There's always a 6 month delay between when a show is aired in the US and when they air it in Australia (supposedly they've cut that down to a few hours or days, they say streamed live form the US but I doubt Americans are watching Lost at 3 AM) but I can verify that as I stopped watching TV years ago. Beyond that we're sick of being bombarded with ads, many of us will not pay upwards of A$50 a month for Foxtel (Pay/Cable TV) to be bombarded with ads and many good shows just aren't aired over here.

Aussie conservatism hits Arts... AGAIN... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131023)

Get used to it folks... Auusies are both over-governed (eg, as addicted to gov't hand-outs as State & Territory gov'ts are to gambling revenues), so nobody's really ready to do much to change things here. Examples of memory: 1. Adeaide: Police -arrest- a French dance/acting troupe, who'd painted their naked bodies for performance... for public nudity! 2. in the past week or so, the Aussie Prime Minister (Rudd... in a trivia / popularist Rutt IMO... not unlike USA's Bush... both names comprise 4-letter words in my view)... gets excited enough by Art Monthly (art mag)'s July 2008 front- cover showing a naked 5 or 6 year old (photograph taken by its artist Mother!) to speak out in media about it. Last I heard, the same Aussie Censorship Board is "investigating" that magazine, to see if it should be classified. While it's being investigated, it cannot be legally sold in most of Australia. The publisher is thought to be responding to a slightly earlier embarrassment of an art gallery's showing of some nude teens... the exhibit of which was closed by police, after receiving a complaint from someone said never to have viewed the exhibit. Folks, for all the grinning faces you'll find on Aussies, there are lots of indications that the society has an underlying poi- soned (& maybe slightly poisonous?) level... IMPORTERD nudity in ad's, on TV & movies is fine (to a degree), but locally produced or performed nude or semi-nude acts and ex- hibits get quashed when a one or two complaints are made. While this may be a time of sensitivity... after priests & mini- sters (both Catholic & Uniting = Church of England, et al) had to be de-frocked when it was learned that they'd sexually abused children in their care (ie, around / after WW 2, when children were sent to Australia to keep them out of harm's way in the UK, to more recent cases in church-run schools & activities; coaches have been caughtup as well, eg abusing athletes in their care; and many aboriginals are believed to be sexually abusing chil- dren, in drunken orgies, etc. ...I really don't think it gives people the right to censor Art. The world is changing, but Australia tries to cling to past ways & values, instead of moving on. Oh, last time I went to the beaches & even local council pools in Sweden, kids & adults could decide for themselves if & how much clothing to wear (if any), in very public places. Having seen the bodies on display there & elsewhere, has never driven me to desire or take advantage of a young person sexu- ally (or otherwise). I doubt that it would do to others. Art must be free to make its statements, just as I am to view or buy its products. I think Australia would be a very different place, eg, if a Swiss-style referendum system were available to its people. Australia is a place still very much (albeit unduly) in the influence of American conservatives... Very slow to sign Kyota on carbon emissions, very slow to leave the nonsense of war (most recently, in Afghanistan & Iraq), and very slow to let its citizens choose its art. And the S-L-O-W Aussie broadband speeds may have something to do with this slowness to move with the times... Slow broadband (not to mention another round of calls for "Internet filtering for all" (!) by gov't edict, is today's way to build a high fence around Australians & the rest of the world... which - today - is where more & more Aus- tralians have come from. One can (& should) argue that a -freer- & more -flexible- (rather than conservative & inflexible) set of laws should apply here, ie, to accommodate the "de facto diversity" that is present here.

Back to the standby plan then. (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131153)

I'm all for anything that boosts The Piratebay's ad revenue. Bethesda should sue the OFLC for this, as it directly harms their sales.

Simple really, Aussie law is limited. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131165)

Simple. Australian law only allows for games to be rated MA15+ (suitable for fifteen year olds and higher) at the strongest. In fact, this is the only restricted rating available to games in Australia; as all others are merely guidelines. This game was deemed unsuitable for fifteen year olds and therefore had to be unrated.

NZ law allows video games to have the same ratings as movies, so the game could take an R16 or R18 rating here. It's not uncommon for us to see video games for sale that have "banned in Australia" as an advertising gimmick (and usually carrying an R16 or R18 rating). Also, the increased range allows the NZ cheif censor to have more descretion in dealing with things like this. See here [gameplanet.co.nz] .

US law doesn't have any ratings at all (merely industry guidelines.)

Re:Simple really, Aussie law is limited. (1)

chakkerz (647313) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131863)

Interesting point. We might be able to import the game from NZ with greater ease than from the UK then.

"ibid. - Re-Formatted" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131275)

Get used to it folks...

Aussies are both over-governed and, as addicted to gov't hand-outs
as State & Territory gov'ts are to gambling revenues),
and nobody's really ready to do much to change things here.

(Just look at costly, slow, limited-download ADSL, and
just keep keep waiting for ADSL-2+ No way to rush it!)

Examples:

1. Adeaide (some years ago, part of a Festival):

      Police -arrest- a French dance/acting troupe,
      who'd painted their naked bodies for performance,
      for public nudity!

2. in the past week or so, the Aussie Prime Minister
      (Rudd... in a conservative / popularist Rutt IMO)
      gets excited enough by Art Monthly (art mag)'s
      July 2008 front-cover showing a naked 5 or 6 year old:

          http://www.artmonthly.org.au/ [artmonthly.org.au]

      (photograph reportedly taken by her artist Mother!) ...to speak out in media about it.

      Last I heard, the same Aussie Censorship Board is
      "investigating" that issue magazine, to see if it
      should be classified.

      While it's being investigated, it cannot be legally
      sold in most of Australia.

      The publisher is thought to have be responding to
      a slightly earlier embarrassment of an art gallery's
      showing of some nude teens...

      the exhibit of which was closed by police,
      after receiving a complaint from someone,
      said never to have viewed the exhibit.

Folks, for all the grinning faces you'll find on Aussies,
there are lots of indications that the society has an
underlying poisoned (& maybe slightly poisonous?) level...

IMPORTERD nudity in ad's, on TV & movies is fine
(to large degree), but locally produced or performed
nude or semi-nude acts and exhibits get quashed,
when one or two complaints are made.

While this may be a time demanding sensitivity... eg,
after:

1. priests & ministers (both Catholic & Uniting
= Church of England, et al.) had to be de-frocked
(if not jailed), when it came out that they'd
been sexually abusing children in their care

(The history of such abuse is long, staring
around / soon after WW 2, when children
were sent from the UK to Australia to keep them
"out of harm's way."

More recent cases involve church-run schools
& their various educational activities;

2. coaches have been caught up as well, eg,
abusing athletes in their care; and

3. many Outback based aboriginals are believed
to be sexually abusing children, eg, in drunken
orgies, etc.

Still - although the list is long... I don't think
this gives people or gov't any right to censor Art,
at least to this extent.

The world is changing, but Australia's gov't
tries to cling to past ways & values, ie,
instead of moving on.

(BTW, last time I went to the beaches &
even local council pools in Sweden, both
kids & adults could decide for themselves
how much clothing to wear (if any), even
in very public places.

And - Do you know what? - even after having
seen those bodies "on public display" there
& elsewhere, I've -never- been moved to
take advantage of a young person sexually
(or otherwise).

I doubt that it would move others to do so.

Generally speaking, Art is not porn & should
be treated as if it were otherwise.

Art must be free to make its statements,
just as I am to view or buy its products.

I think Australia would be a very different place,
eg, if a Swiss-style referendum system were available
to its people, tempered only by a list of human rights
entrenched in Law.

Australia is still a place very much (albeit unduly)
in the influence of American conservatives...

- Very slow to sign Kyota on carbon emissions,

- Very slow to leave the nonsense of war
    (most recently, in Afghanistan & Iraq), and

- Very slow to let its citizens choose its own art.

And the S-L-O-W, costly, Aussie broadband speeds
may have something to do with this slowness
to move with the times...

Slow broadband - not to mention a recent round
of calls for "Internet filtering for all" (!)
by gov't edict, is today's way to build
a high fence around Australia ... yet another "tariff barrier" to "protect"
Australians from ...what? (You tell me!)

Maybe: from the rest of the world...

At a time when more & more Australians
have come from that world beyond Oz's
borders, one can (& should) argue that
a -freer- & more -flexible- set of laws
should apply here, ie, to accommodate
the "de facto diversity" that is present here.

Re:"ibid. - Re-Formatted" (1)

kamatsu (969795) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132405)

Catholic & Uniting = Church of England? The Anglican Communion is NOT Uniting Church and it is not Roman Catholic. It's not Australia, it's the socially conservative politics of Australia. The ALP has always had some degree of social conservatism for the last 25 years, and the Libs.. well.. the less said the better about them.

Oh well. (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131277)

As annoying, ridiculous and stupid as this is, it won't actually stop anyone from getting the game through other means. They're just kidding themselves, and eventually we'll get the R18+ rating for games, because that's what we want. It's just a matter of time.

Anonymous Coward (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131519)

And on the march goes, returning us to the lost Eden that was Easter Island.

For those dweebs who govern us so wisely, like you or your snoops bother with Slashdot, let's see if this gets any mileage:

Leaving aside the whole voodoo media jive, maybe you can explain to us why it is so diabolical to present the idea of using stimulants during a combat situation in a computer game when in Real Life the news tells us that this is common as mud among our freedom-loving allies? Should Jane and John Gamer be encouraged to think that there's something wrong with "using for your country", as it were? Sounds dash unpatriotic, what?!

As ever, these uncreative parasitic throwbacks who make these decisions are not going to look beyond their own aged prejudice, unless we help them see the error of their ways.

"Computer games must be for kids. Got to keep them safe. Etc.

Who defines safe? Oh, we do. So you know it must be good!"

And with the ongoing absurdity over the kids in art flap, how long before someone turns their eye to comic books?

"By gum, it's not just Archie and Mickey in these things any more! Alan Moore, what a right tearaway! Ideas and pictures that challenge! Aieee! Throw another Lost Girls on the barbie!"

Bad government == business opportunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131609)

Funny how the two seem to go hand in hand!

funny, i got banned off slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131635)

and nobody batted an eye.

honestly, though, what about the first amendment right to free speech?

oh .. so thats only in america?

well thank god i live in america, not some 3rd world country like australia. at least in america you can make a movie where you depict a prostitute helping a guy save the world, starbucks that gives hand jobs, and gladiator combat, and everyone wlil be allowed to see it in theatres.

Censorship... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24131765)

Censorship never changes.

obvious answer, Mad Max (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#24131809)

Fallout is an obvious competitor to the Australian national saga. Iceland has its sagas, India is vedas, and Australia has Mad Max. This is just protectionism.

Inconsistent (2)

Ninth Marion (1310141) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132521)

The lack of an adult category for games is just a continuing embarrassment for Australia. What's more, they don't even seem to be consistent. In the 2005 Xbox game 'Call of Cthulhu', you use Morphine in the exact way it's been described in Fallout 3, yet (thankfully, as it's a favourite game of mine) it was released under the MA15+ rating. From the game's manual:"Because it's renowned as a potent pain blocker, morphine is provided to Jack to help subdue pain that may otherwise prevent rapid movement or strenuous acts, but it does not cure him." Essentially, as you take damage in the game, you slow down and morphine will let you operate at normal speed again. Maybe they got away with it because it was linked to 'Sanity effects', who knows, but it sounds exactly the same to me. Here's hoping for some sanity from that idiot in SA on this issue sometime soon.

Skylab (1)

Urger (817972) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132635)

Oz has had a fear of anything with the word "Fall" in it ever since Skylab.

In other news... (1)

Mr. Jaggers (167308) | more than 6 years ago | (#24132751)

... it's now easier to buy actual morphine or heroin from your friendly dealer down the street, than an actual copy of Fallout 3 from a retailer.

Now isn't that an improvement?

(ducks)

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Blitz : the league? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24132989)

why is the heck is an arcade football game on this list? everything else is at least marginally violent or suggestive. maybe the idea of playing football with your hands is really offensive

ummmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24133139)

Morphine is NOT a stimulant. Morphine is a central nervous system depressant. It WILL put you to sleep.

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