×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Left 4 Dead 2 Approved In Australia After Edits

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the going-out-on-a-limb dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 134

Last month we discussed news that Valve's upcoming shooter Left 4 Dead 2 had been denied classification in Australia, which meant the game could not be legally sold there. Now, after a series of edits which removed "considerable amounts of gore from gameplay," Australia's classification board has given the game an MA15+ rating. Their new report (PDF) says, "No wound detail is shown and the implicitly dead bodies and blood splatter disappear as they touch the ground. ... The board notes that the game no longer contains depictions of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of dead bodies lying about the environment." The unmodified version of the game may still be approved, pending a review that concludes on October 22nd.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

134 comments

Or to put that in other words (4, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689691)

"L4d2 in Australia now significantly less entertaining."

In soldier of fortune it was just gratuitous, in an over the top zombie game the gore fits perfectly.

Re:Or to put that in other words (3, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689771)

"L4d2 in Australia now significantly less entertaining."

In soldier of fortune it was just gratuitous, in an over the top zombie game the gore fits perfectly.

You know as much as I agree that the Australian government is just plain silly, I wouldn't say that the game becomes less entertaining. I don't know if it's just me but I'm from the generation where blood is completely irrelevant. It could be gushing and it could be sipping, I would be indifferent because it wouldn't affect me. I grew up watching so many movies with so much blood in them that blood doesn't entertain me anymore. However I do think that it's the Australian governments need to force their christian morals (this is the way I've understood it, that there are many christian politicians pushing nonsensical things, such as this [slashdot.org], correct me if I'm wrong though) on their citizens is far more disgusting than any amount of gore. I just hope the Australian citizens won't take this kind of bullshit. It's up to generation Y to make shit right.

Re:Or to put that in other words (5, Insightful)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689851)

Disclaimer: I am a Christian and an Australian. Christian politicians are pushing some stupid things in this country, such as the flawed Internet censorship proposal. However this ratings decision has not been influenced (AFAIK) by the government, Christian influence or not. The link in which you refer to the iiNet copyright case seems to be influenced by corporations, not Christians.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689915)

This is why I said correct me if I'm wrong, because my assumptions are based on hearsay, and not facts. I like to draw a very clear line between those two.
 
This is me [slashdot.org] and this [slashdot.org] is what I based this post on, well actually the response [slashdot.org] to the response. The paralell I drew was that where I'm from, and the countries I've visited (unfortunately not Australia yet) same phenomenon exists. Where christian moralists try to cram their world view (and you have to admit, ultimately it's cramming their religion) down peoples throats. At least where I'm from this is true, and that is observed by myself, not overheard such as the assumptions in the post.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690121)

iiNet agreed to join the internet filtering trial scheme around the same time (Nov 08) as the film companies sued them, so the timing isn't right for Conroy to have pushed the litigation. Not that AFACT would need any pushing.

In Australia there is some interaction between politicians' Christian beliefs and legislation but much less than other places such as the United States.

But the idea that Christians can cram their religions down people's throats through legislation has unfortunately been with us since the 4th century and Emperor Constantine. A more helpful Christian view on the place of government I think is the approach taken by the framers of the American Constitution. Christians (and all other religions) should be free to practice their religion and persuade others of its virtues (a form of freedom of speech, after all), but ought not to impose this by force (military, political or legal).

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691443)

And yet in the United States we can enjoy the game without censorship. Your argument was over before it began.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693253)

While I suspect you are right, it is possible to want to censor something for reasons other than wanting to impose religious morals.

We are actually going slightly overboard in calling this censorship. It's a game ratings issue that interacts with other laws to amount to censorship. If they just added another more "adult" game rating everything would be fine. Do you consider game and movie ratings to be a result of religious morals?

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689923)

Ah but you see the only reason Australia doesn't have an R rating for games is because the South Australian Governor General won't approve it. Guess who is elected on Christian votes?

Re:Or to put that in other words (2, Informative)

mrsurb (1484303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690153)

South Australia doesn't have a Governor General. She represents the monarch in the whole Commonwealth. Perhaps you mean the South Australian Governor. Governors are appointed by the Queen on the direct advice of the relevant state Premier.

Re:Or to put that in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690209)

Try "Attorney General"

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

mambodog (1399313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691135)

The iiNet case isn't a good example of something resulting from politicians pandering to the Christian Right, but there are a few other things going on at the moment that are, and in a way this is one of them. In this case, its a conservative attorney general vetoing a change of the rating system on 'moral' grounds. That is, he believes his morals should apply to everyone.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1, Troll)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689877)

While I agree with you that the blood is not needed, it's still pretty strange to be shooting at zombies with no visible damage done to them.

Frankly, as it stands they could just remove the zombies altogether and replace them with fuzzy forest animals and they could replace the guns with paintball markers. The game would not lose any more immersion, I believe.

AFAIK, this game is supposed to be one of those "You're all alone (as a group) surrounded by zombies. Will you survive the adrenalin?". Now it's just a game of tag.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689975)

While I agree with you that the blood is not needed, it's still pretty strange to be shooting at zombies with no visible damage done to them.

Frankly, as it stands they could just remove the zombies altogether and replace them with fuzzy forest animals and they could replace the guns with paintball markers. The game would not lose any more immersion, I believe.

AFAIK, this game is supposed to be one of those "You're all alone (as a group) surrounded by zombies. Will you survive the adrenalin?". Now it's just a game of tag.

It is, and it's very fun. I have played it with my friend who owns an Xbox 360. It's a rather difficult game, but it has the same type of adrenaline rush that the game Phobia gave me, many, many years ago. For those who don't know Phobia was a 2D top-down perspective zombie game.

Re:Or to put that in other words (2, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690065)

I hate zombie movies. I love Left4Dead.

It's the panic that makes the game - you can't stand still for a second. If you don't keep watching your teammates, one of them will be picked off (and even one man down is a serious hindrance). It's a constant frenzy of trying to get to your teammates / the end of the level but being pulled, pushed, influenced, taken, steered and forced to make diversions. The zombie gore isn't *necessary* but the atmosphere is quite immersive. The sound of a big baddie scares the crap out of you and the atmosphere being like that means the panic sets in quicker.

There is nothing quite like seeing a horde of crazed zombies rushing towards you and you having to pick your options to take them out... barricade yourselves in? Set them on fire? Take potshots and hope to reduce their numbers? Full-out automatic fire? Concentrate on the big baddie about the corner? It's as much a tactical game as it is a FPS shooter - most kicks from public servers will be of people who *aren't* following the teamplan. But the gore is just a natural part of the atmosphere. If you remove it - still a good game, but no atmosphere.

Re:Or to put that in other words (2, Informative)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692041)

Seconded. (The only zombie movie I enjoy is Army of Darkness. Can't stand anything else.)

L4D is great because it teaches:

a) awareness - especially listening to audio cues of a boomer, smoker, hunter, or panic event. Having the guys in front not make sudden, but predictable moves so they don't get shot in the back by their friends.

b) Teamwork - learning how to clear room; where to stand as a group; communicating what you're doing and about the environment, such as regrouping when a panic event is about to go off. Playing on Expert "forces" one to learn these things.

Most PUGs have total NOOBs, but when enough of my friends aren't online I still play them because:

i) Doing a normal campaign in ~35 mins. shows other people how to play as a team. I can't count the number of times people have said "that was a great team" -- presumably because they didn't see any one playing together as a team.

ii) Play enough games you run into some great people. Always nice to have acquaintances online when you need to fill out a versus game.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693629)

Most PUGs have total NOOBs, but when enough of my friends aren't online I still play them because:

Add on that you learn to shoot people in the back less when they do stupid things. The best game to teach you this is Star Wars Battlefront II because it has the dumbest fucking AI ever. Your "friendlies" will reliably stop in your line of fire, and throw grenades at you while you're hacking your way into vehicles. It really makes you appreciate good AI, or even mediocre human players.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689979)

Well I congratulate you on your preferance for gameplay over a graphical effect but still, sometimes some of us really do just want to see something get blown to hell in a massive spray of meaty kibbles.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690717)

"sometimes some of us really do just want to see something get blown to hell in a massive spray of meaty kibbles."

Max A. Trition - Commander in chief.

Re:Or to put that in other words (3, Interesting)

MozzleyOne (1431919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690151)

The trouble is - Valve have a history of putting out really really awesome games. They do this by meticulously honing every single detail to perfection. By forcing them to change the game, our censors have forced us to play a game that isn't as good as Valve tried to make it.

The sheer fucking ARROGANCE of the concept of a ratings board playing a game and then banning it is what I find the most disgusting. I don't want to play a 95% version of L4D2 because some people in my country decided that, while THEY weren't harmed from playing it, would DEFINITELY cause harm to others who can't help themselves.

It's not just bloodthirst - purely from a gameplay perspective, to have a good FPS you NEED a good visual response to a hit in order to be able to move to the next target. It's all part of that large bag of things that make a FPS "feel" right, along with things like acceleration speed and jump height. If you get the little details wrong, everything feels wrong.

Though, even if it WAS pure bloodthirst that made me want the game left as-is, why would that mean anyone in the country stop me from playing whatever the fuck I want? Leave me the fuck alone.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691011)

>>>The sheer fucking ARROGANCE of the concept of a ratings board playing a game and then banning it is what I find the most disgusting. I don't want to play a 95% version of L4D2 because some people in my country decided that, while THEY weren't harmed from playing it, would DEFINITELY cause harm to others who can't help themselves.
>>>

You just gave the short definition of government - other people trying to control your life, because they consider you an inferior serf. These control freaks are also known as tyrants. They deserve to be shot or guillotined.

Re:Or to put that in other words (3, Informative)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690935)

The whole issue about an R18+ rating not existing for games in Australia is down to a single person - the Attorney General of South Australia - Michael Atkinson, refusing to sign off on it. All of his counterparts are in support of the R18+ rating.

His argument revolves around people under 18 being able to obtain the game somehow and the game making an 'impression' on them.

A fair argument to some extent (when I was in my teens not too long ago there were a few things online that made an 'impression' on me), but the lack of R18+ rating is making the problem worse.

Unfortunately, his state government seat is a very, very safe seat. If he won't budge until the next election (next year?), I hope some idiot corporation tries to lure him out of government.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

JunkmanUK (909293) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691719)

You know as much as I agree that the Australian government is just plain silly, I wouldn't say that the game becomes less entertaining. I don't know if it's just me but I'm from the generation where blood is completely irrelevant. It could be gushing and it could be sipping, I would be indifferent because it wouldn't affect me. I grew up watching so many movies with so much blood in them that blood doesn't entertain me anymore.

Have you played L4D on the low violence setting?

While I agree with you that removing blood splatters doesn't affect it much but seeing the bodies disappear on death does impact on the game quite a lot. It removes a lot of the urgency and hecticness (is that a word?!) from the game and it just wasn't the same.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693531)

Actually, Christianity has suppressed a ton of things related to competing blood worship. They want the body and blood of Christ thing to be their sole property. For example, Amaranth is a grain which is hardier and more productive (and arguably tastier!) than many of those we're used to consuming, not to mention easier on the soil. But it was related to the blood worship rituals of the Aztecs, and so the plant itself was suppressed until fairly recently.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694367)

It's not actually the Australian government this time. It's the attorney general of South Australia.

It wasn't banned as such, it just had no classification. The reason why it can't get a classification is because we don't have an AO rating for games, the highest possible rating is MA15+. If it doesn't meet the requirements for that rating there is no rating and games which have no rating cannot be sold.

From my understanding, fixing this involves agreement from all the state and territory attorney generals. For quite some time, six of those have been in complete agreement to add the AO rating, only one disagrees, the attorney general of South Australia. South Australia is also where our religious senatorial nutter comes from(though not our communications minister nutter).

I'm not certain how the federal government feels about all of this, but as far as I can tell, both the current labor government and the previous liberal government were either in favor of or indifferent to the new AO rating.

Re:Or to put that in other words (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690105)

This kind of gameplay is the new prOn, only it's way more harmful than go read what exposure to violent games does to young brains. the people who create this stuff are sick, and they get to pass their poison on because a significant minority of young people have become inured to graphic violence. There's nothing wrong with ganes that are violent, but like sick porn, we all know what a sick game looks like. And ifi you don't, I feel sorry for you and your present and future kids.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690115)

"L4d2 in Australia now significantly less entertaining."

Actually, I think the other words are actually:

"Dear non-australian customer:

Regretfully, in australia, our game is not as FRICKING EPIC! as everywhere else.

We're sure you'll join us in the release of a single tear for their sad situation."

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690405)

And to me Soldier of Fortune (SoF) was NOT gratuitous, which is of course the problem with having a bunch decide what you can/can't play, watch, read, etc. To me SoF had an Evil Dead charm thanks to the crazy gore. Just insert your own Bruce Campbell lines and there you go. Funny that folks always complained about SoF and Postal: Share the Pain, when those are the only two games I can think of where you can pretty much play through the whole game WITHOUT killing anybody. And yes, you can do that in SoF by shooting the guns out of the enemies hands, ala Lone Ranger.

So I'm sorry that the folks of OZ got some bunch that decides what adults are capable of watching. I'm sure they probably wrap it up in the standard "but think of the childrenz!" BS as well. So sorry folks of OZ, if it is any consolation I'll fire up SoF 3 tonight and cut some guys in half (complete with incredible amounts of splatter) while spouting off lines that contain the word "boomstick". Of course I'm adult enough to know the difference between a bunch of polygons and real life, as is my two teenage boys. damned shame that the government don't trust the people of Australia to make that same distinction.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690805)

I *love* Postal 2. Love it. But have you ever actually tried, even on normal difficulty, to beat the game without killing anyone? Personally, I can't make it past Wednesday. The rednecks in the Beer Factory are too well armed & to persistent.

Re:Or to put that in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690565)

Gratuitous, otherwise known as realistic. The most realism I get in most games is that if I shoot them in the head, they die faster. Why? With no damage visible, there really no difference between shooting them in the head and shooting them in the pinky, they're just one big blob to be shot at.

And having played such games that strive for environmental realism like Soldier of Fortune and Red Faction, I am always very dissapointed that games continue the age old cliches of "I am super man, but I am powerless before the wooden door that can withstand my nuclear missile rocket" or "I just killed a guy with a shotgun blast to the face, but he might as well have died from asphyxiation."

We don't live in the Doom 1 era anymore. Rockets should blow up walls made of wood/concrete, not just weak boxes, and monsters/enemies should show damage evidence, even if most games don't have the balls to go for a destructible body model.

Re:Or to put that in other words (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693831)

The most realistic version of the game would be the one without zombies because, and I hate to break the news to you, they don't actually exist.

end fascism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689711)

nuke australia

Dear Valve (2, Insightful)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689717)

I know it's not your fault, but I will now be pirating a game I would have otherwise payed for. Deepest Regrets, Mr Gamer.

Re:Dear Valve (4, Insightful)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689793)

No no no, you will pay for it obviously. Otherwise you would probably be restricted to non-Steam servers, AKA 1 shitty server. Instead you will download a conversion mod that valve will strangely not mind.

Re:Dear Valve (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690759)

And, to really mess with the ratings board, the mod should include options to:

- Transform zombies into live people.
- Spawn zombies only from any one particular race.
- Spawn only female zombies.
- Spawn only child zombies.
- Remove zombie clothing.
- Apply many of the previous simultaneously.

Re:Dear Valve (1)

srealm (157581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692207)

Why bother when they just need 1 mod. TO change the faces on all zombies to those of the members of the ratings board.

Re:Dear Valve (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693009)

Its not the rating boards fault, they have to pigeon-hole each media into a slot, the biggest slot we have in Aus is MA16+, meaning anything not suitable for a 16yo to play is not suitable for Aussie audiences AT ALL.

The Attorneys General need to reach a 100% consensus to change the system to add an 18+ rating to the mix, so the board can mark games as "adult only".

Considering the average age of gamers in Aus is 30 its a bit fucked up if you ask me. (before you yell "Citation needed" http://www.igea.net/2009/03/australias-computer-games/ [igea.net] )

Re:Dear Valve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29693347)

-Replace all the zombies with the censorship board

Just encourages piracy. (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689721)

So instead of buying the watered-down game, people in Australia will just go download the pirated version of the full game. Don't get me wrong, I'm not for piracy, but I'm not for policies that encourages it, like DRM and censorship.

Re:Just encourages piracy. (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689783)

With piracy you can't play the game as nice on-line as with a legally bought copy.
No, instead the Australians will go to one of their overseas mates living in an unrestricted country, ask them to buy it for them as a gift, and then enjoy the full gore as they play the game (see my previous comment [slashdot.org] on this ban).

Re:Just encourages piracy. (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693229)

Might not work when you try and add it to the steam account. Valve might either a: detect it as an out of region game and block it, b: intentionally or not put the same restrictions in as soon as the game updates

Re:Just encourages piracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689835)

Rubbish!
When I upgrade my computer I'll do what any self-respecting anti-censorship Australian will do - just buy an uncensored version of it from ebay. It's typically cheaper than buying it from a game retailer here anyway!
I save money, the developers make money that they deserve and I circumvent my ridiculous nanny-state - everyone wins :)

Re:Just encourages piracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689967)

(He said rubbish. Now we know he's really an Australian.)

Re:Just encourages piracy. (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690045)

It is of course illegal to import RC content and besides, I shouldn't have to run through hoops. Someone put Atkinson in a nursing home where he belongs, thanks.

Re:Just encourages piracy. (0, Troll)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690187)

Then don't import. Download an ISO off of bittorrent and have the key sent by email.

Re:Just encourages piracy. (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690885)

Fair enough and I might do that, but I still shouldn't have to. >:(

If I can't be bothered I won't be pirating it, I'll just give it a miss entirely and stick with L4D.

Re:Just encourages piracy. (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690281)

It is illegal to import but not illegal to posess, download iso off bittorrent and purchase an uncrippled key.

Re:Just encourages piracy. (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691567)

Don't give them ideas! ;)

As of earlier this year, the UK has already started to criminalise simple possession of adult pr0n material it doesn't like, on the grounds that criminalising publication was no longer effective ("closing a loophole", they said).

court room near you soon (5, Insightful)

muckracer (1204794) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689769)

Judge: "Please explain to me just what the defendant was thinking when he shot the victim in the head?"

Lawyer: "Well, your Honor, as avid player of computer games he was thoroughly conditioned, that this action would have little to no consequence to the other party. In fact, my client was completely shocked at the amount of blood produced by the unfortunate victim as he had never seen something like that in the very real depictions of violence in his computer games. He also believed, and this may strike us as somewhat strange but was his reality at that moment, that the victim would quickly recover from any damages even if they had been caused by my client. That the unfortunate Mr. Smith didn't 'respawn', as my client had experienced thousands of times before, came as a true surprise to him. We therefore believe, while his the results of his actions are very regrettable he bears no guilt as he merely played according to the rules of his previous conditioning, which suggested no such dramatic outcome! Thank you."

Re:court room near you soon (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690083)

Nice story.

This "blood" thing you speak about is from a previous novel? You may want to re-explain it for people who start reading at this point.

Also, the ending is too predictable. Unless, in a wild twist, the defendent doesn't get praised for what looks like a perfect headshot.

Re:court room near you soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690125)

Here's another defense

"As a long time reader of horror stories my client was conditioned into believing that you could simply go back to the point where the person was alive. He was totally shocked that you couldn't 're-read' the section where they were fine".

But books about murder mystery's probably aren't banned yet. :|

Dear Australia, (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689795)

Please stop your nannystate-ification.... where else will I flee to escape the fascism in the US?

Sincerely, A US citizen

Re:Dear Australia, (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690033)

You'll probably have to learn a second language.

In the meantime, I've heard it's really easy to go to Canada from the US. Going in the other direction, not so much.

Re:Dear Australia, (0, Troll)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690193)

Just to save people time, if you were thinking of learning German, look elsewhere.

Re:Dear Australia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690337)

Why ? After all if you know German you can live in Austria and part of Switzerland (well you'll have to learn Swiss German too). And it's also spoken in parts of Namibia.

Re:Dear Australia, (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690843)

Austria is heading down the Nanny State lane just as well, and our politicians are utterly fucked up (we have Nazi parties and we have socialist parties; no libertarians, no conservatives, no opposition); we have the draft (note: I'm pro-military, but a draft should be reserved for the most dire circumstances and not to keep something the government can spend money on so they can justify more taxes), we have hate speech laws, our self defense rights are almost nonexistant (and I'm not just talking right to bear arms here) and craptons of idiocy.

Nah, the US may certainly have it's problems, but I don't see it becoming a European-like Nanny State anytime soon.

Re:Dear Australia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29691289)

What can you expect, if your ancestors were selected by the best British judges?

Re:Dear Australia, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690163)

Nepal. We have the real thing, no need for a video game if you are into Fast & Furious. Just try to drive around town. No rules, no cops, lots of goats. If you are into FPS war-type games, plenty of that here. You can still go shoot commies or be Royalty and fend off assassinations. If you are into puzzle games, you can try and figure out the government in real time. If you want to hunt rhinos, tiger, or leopard, there is even some of that without need of an iPhone. If you want to code the goriest game on the planet, you can have at it but your neighbors will hate you, even though the government will just ignore you. In fact, if you are looking for the ultimate escape from rampant fascism in the world, there is nothing like a cave in the Himalayas. There, you will be safe.

Re:Dear Australia, (1)

noisyinstrument (1624451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691089)

I realise you didn't mean fascism literally, but if you meant fascism as in an overly paternalistic state I think Australia beats the States hands down. A lot of comes from risk mitigation strategies, but a lot of it is simply directed social policies. Ok, so Redbull has the same amount of caffeine as a can of coke. It's illegal to drive a car without a seat belt. Or a pogo stick without a helmet. Or buying a beer in a glass. Or any alcopop. Generally, if something is considered a vague risk its either banned outright or taxed out of existence as a knee-jerk reaction to quiet down the media.

In Australia, a good solid media beat up can lead to a bill in parliament to "fix" whatever is perceived to be a problem. And its not a single party to blame either, its just how things are done now.

The States is still the land of the *mostly* free.

Games and visual media judged differently.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29689887)

I don't understand why L4D2 can't coexist with Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006, an animation sponsored by Melbourne, Australia.

Australians... (1)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689895)

...first they couldn't handle Cartoon Sex (Remember the Simpsons, and the guy who went to JAIL for it?)

And now, it's blood and gore, what happened to the Prison Country of the world? ;)

Re:Australians... (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690297)

They expanded the contraband list.

Anyone want to smuggle me in an iso of L4D2 in their anus? Two cartons of cigarettes, and three of my bitches.

Re:Australians... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690307)

Someone decided they have too many non-criminals now.

You know what they say about the ratings board... (3, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29689965)

Anything that gets them aroused is banned.

Re:You know what they say about the ratings board. (4, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690043)

Really?

I thought they got aroused by banning things.

Re:You know what they say about the ratings board. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690317)

That's it! Banning things is hereby banned!

Re:You know what they say about the ratings board. (3, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690625)

The Passion of The Christ wasn't banned (although it probably should have been). It triggered arousal, guilt, and hatred, all at the same time (the winning trifecta for good Christians everywhere).

Attention Australians! (3, Informative)

Dudibob (1556875) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690011)

Make friends with people around the world to get around this, simply get them to buy you L4D2 as a gift through Steam and because your buddy bought it in a 'unmodded' country, you'll get all the gore! BTW - this does work, a friend buys a German guy all his stuff so he has the gore and then PayPal's him back the cash

Simple, really (1)

c-reus (852386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690119)

Replace dead bodies and zombies with Teletubbies. No need for gore then, and it's still fun to play

Re:Simple, really (1)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690309)

I would pay actual money to play said game. "Shooting Teletubbies has no effect. Decaptiation/dismemberment will slow them down. Acids and flames are particularly effective."

Shades of TF2 blood & guts censorship (1)

Durzel (137902) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690133)

Team Fortress 2 (also by Valve) had problems with the German authorities not approving it with blood & gibs in, so it was changed for that market so that you don't see blood splatters and gibs were turned into cogs, rubber ducks, etc.

Obviously the way they did this and the fact the game is moddable meant that anyone who wasn't happy with their watered-down version could get the blood & gibs back easily.

I suspect this will be no different - Valve will comply with the requirements, and the mod community will patch back in whatever is removed within a few days of its release.

Re:Shades of TF2 blood & guts censorship (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690253)

I wouldn't be surprised if these Australian 'edits' are just the same or pretty similar to the German version of L4D 2, but I guess it's nice for Valve to be getting some more publicity; as the German censorship doesn't seem to be news any more.

Re:Shades of TF2 blood & guts censorship (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690623)

Cogs and rubber ducks?!! lol, that sounds awesome!! Where can I get the German edition? (In Germany?)

Re:Shades of TF2 blood & guts censorship (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690851)

In most games the "german" mode gets triggered by putting the game in german language. Many games have this, and usually just just green blood instead of red. This was already the case in Doom (1&2)

I don't know what TF2 uses as trigger, could also be language/location settings of your computer.

Re:Shades of TF2 blood & guts censorship (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693129)

Most steam games trigger by where the purchaser lives.

So the result is I will get a friend from the USA to buy the game and "gift" it via steam to me :)

Re:Shades of TF2 blood & guts censorship (1)

Jared555 (874152) | more than 4 years ago | (#29693325)

I wouldn't count on that working. Fairly decent chance of it just going by the owner/receiver of the game, not the purchaser.

Wow (1)

lanner (107308) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690201)

This summary reads like an advertisement! I can't wait to play! =)

Unless of course I was in Australia... then it would suck, I guess.

Dear Australian Gamers, (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690233)

FYI: Left4Dead US Retail Box on Amazon.com [amazon.com]

Sincerely,

A gamer against censorship.

Re:Dear Australian Gamers, (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690869)

Too bad that importing uncut games is illegal.

Re:Dear Australian Gamers, (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691115)

True, but at least Valve get the money for the fully licensed product as opposed to just downloading a .torrent for the executables ripped from the very same version.

It's about making a point to the censors, not to the distributor.

What's "left"? (1)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690271)

the game no longer contains depictions of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of dead bodies lying about the environment.

Clicking "next" on the character creation screen now proceeds directly to the closing credits.

What happened Australia? You used to be so cool. AC/DC, The Road Warrior. Just because you have a lot of red rock doesn't mean you have to turn into Utah.

Re:What's "left"? (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29694381)

Just because you have a lot of red rock doesn't mean you have to turn into Utah.

I'm pretty sure I could go to Utah and buy a fully functional Left 4 Dead game. People keep trying to blame this on religion. It's not religion that's the problem here. It's *politicians*. Idiot politicians on the left AND the right try to control their people - think of Hugo Chavez's recent campaign against "violent videogames". [dailypress.com]

MA15 (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690409)

Australia: Where you as an adult are not competent enough to make your own decisions! We'll keep it down to a kids level because we don't want you to enjoy gratuitous entertainment. Now, turn on the boob tube and watch a Jason movie...

who's gonna pay for censored rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690457)

I for one will not.
Instead I'll download a real copy of the game.
Instead of distributing a censored version, the developers should just put a donate
form on their web site, so that you pay for the uncensored pirated version you just downloaded.
and perhaps if you donate enough dollars, give back a cd key in return.

But STEAM is not Australian!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29690599)

One thing I don't get is why they bothered to release an edit at all. When the OLPC refuses classification it places restrictions on those items being sold in stores in Australia. It does not outlaw the items or otherwise make it illegal to own or enjoy. There are no restrictions on single imports either AFAIK.

Steam is a service that is located out side of Australia. When I bought Left4Dead I was billed in USD just like everyone else I know. Also I don't know a single person who owns a boxed copy of the game. Even the fans who went out and bought Half-Life 2, Orange Box, and other Steam based games off the shelf it would appear bought Left4Dead online and then downloaded the game or copied the binaries from someone. This makes me think why they even bothered releasing a version with reduced gore.

Also how are they now going to manage the versions? Will only the store purchased copies be reduced gore, or will Australian Steam customers get a different binary than the overseas counterparts? Will they check on a server level which copy they are running (they are not obligated to)? Will someone who bought the game at a store be allowed to copy the non edited binaries from a Steam download and will it still work?

My guess is either there were more boxed copies sold that I am aware of, or someone is really risk averse of this "loophole".

Re:But STEAM is not Australian!?! (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692459)

Steam can tell which region you're currently in and restrict which keys you can use based on that.

Worse yet, they can do it retroactively and deactivate games you've already purchased.

See: Orange Blocked [rockpapershotgun.com] on Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Oblig. Penny Arcade (3, Funny)

TomRK1089 (1270906) | more than 4 years ago | (#29690929)

Your mom is a classy lady! [penny-arcade.com] Or at least that's what this decision reminds me of.

Re:Oblig. Penny Arcade (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29693049)

Anyone remember the built-in blood mode for Serious Sam? Red Blood, Green Blood or Hippy (They bleed flowers, lol)

i also think its funny how (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691217)

a country founded by nothing but criminals has evolved into a dictatorship run by nothing but saints.

im sorry to say, but censorship of this magnitude will greatly endanger australian citizens in the event of a zombie apocalypse. How will they know whether a baseball bat or a shotgun is the appropriate weapon? where do they place their shot groups? without detail in the game and critical points like splatter and decapitation, players will be poorly versed and risk overkill or worse, underkill of a zombie.

Re:i also think its funny how (1)

ubercam (1025540) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692435)

I know your post was tongue in cheek, but it's not like they took a real bunch of zombies, put them in a laboratory setting and shot at them or hit them with bats to find out the most effective ways to kill them. Lobbing off the head might not actually kill a real zombie. Does it need a brain? Does its heart beat? Does it matter if it loses blood? No one knows because there's no such thing as a zombie.

Come to the UK! (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691675)

We have similar censorship for adults in the UK - I don't know off hand if this game has been approved by the BBFC yet or not.

But the fun thing is that the Video Recordings Act 1984 (which makes it illegal to distribute games or video without a classification) was recently found to have never been enacted! So it's perfectly legal to sell this game in the UK, without worrying about any classification.

The downside is that the Government have announced they'll be hurrying the law through - presumably therefore with no debate - using "emergency legislation" - which also means that in the meantime, most retailers will be unwilling to risk stocking it. It would be nice to see someone make a point about how the law was one of censorship, and not, as the Government claimed, about protecting children (most cuts required by the BBFC are in films targetted at adults, in the 18 and restricted categories, not those that could be viewed by children).

A limitation of the classificiation system? (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691711)

Various people on the previous article on this topic claimed that video games are simply not allowed to be classified as 18+, thus tying the classification board's hands on this one. Is this true? If so it's not so much censorship and more an obvious example of their rules needing sorting out - L4D was classified for 18 years or over here in the UK and L4D2 is substantially more violent, so it'd look pretty to me if the Australians shoehorned L4D2 into the 15+ category just because it's all they had handy.

Less gore? (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691831)

A zombie game without gore is like a nude chick without tits. What's the point? What if we *try* putting the parenthood responsibility to the parents instead, and let all the others get what they want?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...