State of Decay Also Refused Classification in Australia

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State of Decay Also Refused Classification in Australia

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The announcement comes less than a day after Saints Row IV was refused classification.

Australia finally passed its R18+ legislation for videogames earlier in this year, bringing an end to games deemed too violent or "adult" from being banned. Sure, we got news that Saints Row IV had been refused classification, but that was probably just an isolated case considering the game's extreme hyperviolence and drug use, right? Wrong. Jeff Strain, executive producer of zombie survival game State of Decay has today announced that his game has also been refused classification in Australia.

In a thread entitled "Update on Australian release" on the official State of Decay forms, Strain said:

"Hola Australian State of Decay fans,

I have bad news to share: State of Decay has been refused classification by the Australian Classification Board (ACB). We've run afoul of certain prohibitions regarding the depiction of drug use. We're working with Microsoft to come up with options, including changing names of certain medications in the game to comply with ratings requirements. Whatever our path forward, it's going to take a bit.

I know this is frustrating - believe me, we're frustrated too - but each country has the right to set its own rules about content, and it's our responsibility to comply with them. Rest assured we'll do everything we can to find a way to get the game into your hands. Stay tuned."

What the hell, Australian Classification Board? Why even introduce the rating if you're just going to ban games anyway? I thought the whole point of introducing the rating was so that adults could make up their own minds over what they deem appropriate in their media consumption?

Just like I theorized with Saints Row IV, it looks like the drug use being linked to positive in-game benefits is the biggest offender, and hopefully changing the names of the drugs should allow it to slip past the censor. On that note, I can't believe games still have to try and "slip past" the censor when we have an adults only rating!

Source: Undead Labs Forums

Permalink

Again, that rating is the same that applies to films and so on, if it's banned in films, it'd be banned in games.

(And obligatory remark about State of Decay having Adric in it)

Hey Australia?

Yeah, I love living in you and all, especially with the awesome animals and fucking evil spiders. But could you please stop fucking me over with games? And internet, for that matter?

I would really like to play L4D with everyone else, but nope. Also, Saint's Row 4 looks awesome. So does L4D2 with gore. What's that? I can't? What's that also? I can't play L4D2 with anyone apart from Australians?

WHY THE FUCK DO WE EVEN HAVE AN R +18 RATING THEN!?!

WHHHHHHHHHHHHY?

Well, at least the Last of Us isn't banned... despite you literally levelling up by taking "Stimulants".

In other news it turns out that the reason Saints Row is banned is because one of the weapons is a probe you can stick up someone's arse

Lil_Rimmy:
Well, at least the Last of Us isn't banned... despite you literally levelling up by taking "Stimulants".

It's only banned if they draw a link between real drugs and beneficial effects, whether or not those real drugs do or not actually result in those effects. 'cause you know adults need to be protected from that.

Oh look another game banned even after our R18+ rating how wonderful thanks you so much Australia for protecting from this dangerous game that would of obviously lead to me become a sick sadist druggie murder I'm so glad that you stopped it.

*SNAP*

Dryk:
In other news it turns out that the reason Saints Row is banned is because one of the weapons is an anal probe you can stick up someone's arse

Lil_Rimmy:
Well, at least the Last of Us isn't banned... despite you literally levelling up by taking "Stimulants".

It's only banned if they draw a link between real drugs and beneficial effects, whether or not those real drugs do or not actually result in those effects. 'cause you know adults need to be protected from that.

You've gotta love that:

"No, Adults must not be allowed to see someone taking real drugs and becoming better!

We know! We'll change the name so that they can't work out what drugs to take! YAY FOR US!"

I'm not from Australia, so I don't even understand why you guys have this system in place. Is there a reason that the state regulates different forms of media and essentially allows or disallows certain forms of media from being bought?

Our country no longer has the right to be consistent backwards-minded fuckheads.

Lil_Rimmy:
You've gotta love that:

"No, Adults must not be allowed to see someone taking real drugs and becoming better!

We know! We'll change the name so that they can't work out what drugs to take! YAY FOR US!"

And it's not as if people will look to see what has been changed. [/sarcasm]

Most fans of Fallout 3 know what drugs were originally used or can quite easily look it up but it didn't lead to an increase use of morphine by people.

Admittedly I did just look that and almost facepalmed so hard. I mean, morphine isn't used in real life to numb pain at all is it?

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{Directed at the Australian government not anyone on here)

Oh, for pity's sake... You'd think having a rating which is restricted to those old enough to vote would mean they'd be able to stop rejecting stuff.

Apparently not.

Damn overly-conservative OFLC. Get this into your thick skull: We are adults. We don't need protection from our media. We can decide for ourselves whether to be offended or not.

karma9308:
Is there a reason that the state regulates different forms of media and essentially allows or disallows certain forms of media from being bought?

The short answer is no.

The long answers is also no.

The Classification Board in theory was only suppose to exist to classify media to determine age restrictions and rules on advertising, just like systems in other countries. And while the Board cannot actively censor anything, if they refuse to give it a rating it cannot be sold here. Why they feel the need to do this, I have no idea.

You know, it might hurt business for some companies but I think if the games refused classification, now that there's an 18+ rating, decided not to sell their product in Australia it might actually send a message via the millions of angry gamers suddenly beating down the doors of the classification board.

The worst part about it in this country is that it is actually ILLEGAL to sell r18+ anything to someone under the age of 18, and a store has the right to refuse service if they have a reasonable belief that said item is being purchased FOR a minor.

I mean, it is advisory in the US with the ESRB ratings, not actual law, but here it is, so FUCK you board, you put the ASS in clASSification.

So the R18+ rating was just a whole lot of bullshit, I say it's time you Australians spam the crap out of ACB with angry letters until they get their shit straight.

I'm incredulous. Hey ACB - go suck a wang.

A government law that was introduced to curry favour with a specific demographic but changes nothing fundamentally so as to not upset the status quo?!?!?!

This is unprecedented!

karma9308:
I'm not from Australia, so I don't even understand why you guys have this system in place. Is there a reason that the state regulates different forms of media and essentially allows or disallows certain forms of media from being bought?

Absolutely none, except of course really old people who think "vidya games be 2 vilent".

Gives me the shits really. These &*^%$# %@*& jobs probably never played a videogame in their lives. This "Refusing to give a classification" crap is just shitty little loophole that they've all stuck their teeny tiny dicks into.

Ok rant over.

...

Now let me tell you what I think about $120 Triple A games......

Edit: changed a couple swear words to symbols sot he mods don't bring their wrath down on me.

Australia is one of those countries that seems damn near perfect, but has that one major flaw that holds it back. In this case it's the nanny-state government. I really wouldn't feel comfortable living in a country where the government feels it has the right to tell me that fictional drug references might turn me into an addict, so it needs to "protect" me from them.

Although it's better than ours I guess. In Britain you can actually be arrested for tweets, and in some cases sent to prison.

Although more on topic, you'd think by now that game developers would look into the rules for this, considering as thaluikhain has said repeatedly in such topics, the rules are the same for films and so on. So they should be aware that certain things wouldn't be allowed before release.

Is this a download only game or can I hurt local businesses more by importing it from the UK? Overcharge me for retail and not even put the game on the shelf you can be damn sure that I'm going to take my business elsewhere, even if it's to another country.

How is banning a game even legal?

My understanding is that games as entertainment media, similar to books, can only be given an "Adults Only" rating, and that's as far as it goes.
I found the whole thing questionable when it was done in Germany back in the 90s, too.

hmmm just tried to have a look at the Australian classification board, i don't see any classification judgment on State of Decay. It's not up yet. damn. (7.30pm wednesday)

Had a look at the forums of the undead labs

User: Jediknightpeter

This is the reply I got.

The game, State of Decay, was submitted for classification and the application was stalled because the Classification Board asked for further information from the applicant. When this information was provided the Board was able to commence the process of classifying the game. This decision is pending and when this game is classified the decision will be uploaded to the National Classification Database on the Classification website at www.classification.gov.au.

It is likely that this decision will be made in the next few days. When you check the database, you should do an advanced search and tick the checkbox that will show restricted content.

It would seems the ACB is still making up their mind about it. They haven't made a judgment or if they have it's not yet public.

Source
http://forums.undeadlabs.com/showthread.php?26404-Update-on-Australian-release/page5

18 rating and still this crap. i guess this will take another 10 year or more before they will change this rule. i ask my self why i even live in this country.

Matthi205:
How is banning a game even legal?

My understanding is that games as entertainment media, similar to books, can only be given an "Adults Only" rating, and that's as far as it goes.
I found the whole thing questionable when it was done in Germany back in the 90s, too.

Games and film in Australia can only be shown if rated by the government basically. Although the R18 rating isn't even the biggest issue. Go talk to companies specialising in niche games, due to the fees involved in ratings many games don't make it because publishers can't afford to risk the potential loss.

(I believe there are different regulations for download titles, but unsure on spefifics)

Matthi205:
How is banning a game even legal?

My understanding is that games as entertainment media, similar to books, can only be given an "Adults Only" rating, and that's as far as it goes.
I found the whole thing questionable when it was done in Germany back in the 90s, too.

Because Australia and Australians go in for the whole state sponsored censorship bit.

Its really special in this day and age when you can get damn near everything uncensored on the net anyway, though I am sure the aussies are working on a way to censor that for their citizens as well.

Steven Bogos:

I know this is frustrating - believe me, we're frustrated too - but each country has the right to set its own rules about conte-

NO!

NONONONO.

Fuck you australian ratings board, you have no fucking right to BAN these games, and you goddamn know it. There should be protests, these fuckers should lose their goddamn jobs. Seriously, on what level is this okay?

If I wanted the game I'd either import it or ask a friend to gift it to me on steam, I'm going that with Saints Row 4. Thank you Bobmus.

Feel free to contact these shitheads: http://www.classification.gov.au/About/Pages/Contact-Us.aspx

thaluikhain:
Again, that rating is the same that applies to films and so on, if it's banned in films, it'd be banned in games.

(And obligatory remark about State of Decay having Adric in it)

Harold and Kumar.
It's rated MA15+ despite it's portrayal of drug use, nudity, offence language etc. I don't think I agree with you on this one friend.

After all the shit of r18 rating you're still doing this?

I love living here for the most part but this shit can fuck right off.

Calm down, like he said, countries have rights to determine what games they let into their country. Australia is very sensitive game wise.

thaluikhain:
Again, that rating is the same that applies to films and so on, if it's banned in films, it'd be banned in games.
(And obligatory remark about State of Decay having Adric in it)

Hang on, does that meant that in Australia explicit drug use is banned in films too? Because that will get a 15 to 18 certificate over here rather than a complete ban. Hell, there's some 12A's with drug references.
The only films that I remember being banned in the UK were 'The Human Centipede II' and 'A Serbian Film', both because they're gratuitously horrible in pretty much every respect.
We're a bit harsher on games than film, but that's transparently because they're games - it's an entirely different set of criteria to films.

So what was the point in creating a bloody R18 classification in the first place if you're not even going to use it to keep away those who aren't fully responsible adults?
As some folks already said, no government should be allowed to bar adults from playing a freaking video game. Especially when they finally decided to fess up and create appropriate classification for it: now they're just being dicks about it.

For crap's sake Australia, how much longer are you going to let them get away with this shit?

thaluikhain:
Again, that rating is the same that applies to films and so on, if it's banned in films, it'd be banned in games.

(And obligatory remark about State of Decay having Adric in it)

And again, this doesn't make any sense. My understanding is that depictions of drug use are prohibited if the use of the drug rewards the player. A movie doesn't have a player to be rewarded. Please explain how this works.

lol but vidja games are for kiddies onlee.

(Seriously, what kind of backwards ass thinking is this, you have an 18+ rating. USE IT)

SSJBlastoise:

Lil_Rimmy:
You've gotta love that:

"No, Adults must not be allowed to see someone taking real drugs and becoming better!

We know! We'll change the name so that they can't work out what drugs to take! YAY FOR US!"

And it's not as if people will look to see what has been changed. [/sarcasm]

Most fans of Fallout 3 know what drugs were originally used or can quite easily look it up but it didn't lead to an increase use of morphine by people.

Admittedly I did just look that and almost facepalmed so hard. I mean, morphine isn't used in real life to numb pain at all is it?

image

{Directed at the Australian government not anyone on here)

Morphine is an extremely potent painkiller.

literally, the term "put on a Morphine drop", means just that, just one drop will do it.

It's also addictive if taken over long periods of time.

But no, nothing even slightly compares to the pain killing ability of Morphine, not even Hydrocodone.

But to ban a game because a character takes a couple of drops of Morphine because he just got the shit beat out of him by zombies? And he is using it in a responsible manner?

Yea, fuck if I know why Australia pretends their Adults can think for themselves.

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