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OFLC Reveals Changes To Australian Fallout 3

| 13 Aug 2008 19:02
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IGN Australia has laid its hands on a copy of the Office of Film and Literature Classification's report on the modified version of Fallout 3, and as it turns out, not a whole lot has changed.

The assumption that drug use in Fallout 3 caused the game to fall afoul of the OFLC censors was correct, although according to the report, "the essential nature of drug use in the game has not been altered dramatically." Fictional drugs, such as Buff, Rad-X, Psycho and Ulrajet, remain in the game, but are depicted as "stylized icons on a menu with the drug use itself not depicted," while the report makes no mention whatsoever of real-world drugs like morphine, suggesting they may have been removed. It may seem like an awfully fine point on which to ban a game, but apparently the adjustments were enough to earn the game an MA15+ rating.

"The Board noted that the 'Guidelines for the Classification of Films and Computer Games 2005' states that 'as a general rule... material that contains drug use... related to incentives or rewards is Refused Classification' and found that relationship between drug use and incentives and rewards is not such that it promotes or encourages the use of proscribed drugs," the OFLC wrote in its report. "Therefore the game does not warrant to be Refused Classification and can be accommodated at MA15+ with a consumer advisory of 'strong drug references.'"

Not everyone on the review committee agreed with the decision, however; some members maintained their position that the game should be refused classification. "In the minority view of the Board the drug use in the game is in excess of the general rule applied under the Guidelines," the report continued. "The drugs are unambiguous in their visual representations, which include pills and hypodermic needles, and are related to incentives and rewards in that the incentive to take the drug is that progress through the game is achieved more easily and the reward is an increase in the character's abilities."

Amazingly, however, the report also noted that the "strong" violence, which it described as including "large blood bursts and wound detail, various degrees of dismemberment and also post-mortem damage to enemy corpses," was found by the Board as "justified by context." In other words, it's okay to drink your enemy's blood while you butcher your way across the breadth of the wasteland and back - just don't be lighting up a spliff while you do it.

The OFLC's full decision on the updated Australian version of Fallout 3 is available here.

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