Man, Australians get no fun. Yesterday, we reported that Saints Row IV had been refused by the Australian Classification Board..
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Good job Australian government. You've denied your people a good game for effectively no benefit to society. Remember folks, it's always "For the Children!". Golfclap.
Oh, Australia. First Sam Worthington and now this.
I immediately thought the issue would be about violence, but "self-medication"? I doubt many doctors in the post-apocalypse are available to write prescriptions, let alone pharmacies to fill them.
IIRC, the Fallout games got around this requirement because they use imaginary drugs (e.g., Mentats, Buffout, Jet) rather than real ones. But then there was the child-killing and the reducing enemies to quivering piles of red goo...
I'm not sure why drug use would be an issue to refuse classification since they have the new R18+ classification which would seem to include games with drug use (from classification gov au):
"R 18+ material is restricted to adults. Such material may contain classifiable elements such as sex scenes and drug use that are high in impact. Some material classified R18+ may be offensive to sections of the adult community. A person may be asked for proof of their age before purchasing, hiring or viewing R18+ films and computer games at a retail store or cinema."
In America we have the R rating, which indicates a movie is for adults. Then there's the NC-17 rating which indicates a movie is really for adults. I know that sounds insane, but work with me here.
Since Australia only has a rating saying that "this content is only appropriate for adults", and not one saying "no really, we mean it, this is really only appropriate for adults", these games can't pass. Australia needs to add a new ratings category so that they will no longer have the problem of games being refused classification for lack of an appropriate rating, you see...
I was being sarcastic. I totally understand. I think it's ludicrous that the Australian government even has the power to forbid a game from being sold in the country (I'm from the USA, but moving to Australia soon).
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Previously there was a divide between MA15+ and RC. Now there's a divide between R18+ and RC. Same diff. I was so happy on Australia's behalf that you folks finally got the R18+, and to have games refused classification after only a few months is pretty ridiculous.
The R18+ should allow anything that adults are legally permitted to see. What that entails depends on your country and your culture. In America we have the same double standard with our two adult ratings: R and NC17 for movies, or M and AO for video games. In both cases the higher rating means most stores won't carry it, but you can still order the movie or game online if you want it bad enough. The idea that somehow an R, M, or R18+ isn't sufficient to allow anything is crazy to me. At what point are people actually considered adults?