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Censorship Entertainment Games

Fallout 3 Edited Version To Hit Australian Shelves 91

Posted by timothy
from the full-up-on-mutant-insects-and-jellyfish dept.
UgLyPuNk contributes this excerpt from Internode Games Network, which might interest Australian readers in particular: "Just last week, we told you that Fallout 3 had been resubmitted to the Classifications Board, in the hope that it would be deemed suitable for Australian audiences. While the Classifications Board can take between a few days and a few weeks to hand down their decision — it seems that the edits made to the Bethesda Softworks title have been successful, with the second edition of the game granted a new MA15+ rating this afternoon. We don't yet have the details of the decision, but are currently finding out just what was changed in the game in order to secure the new rating — and release in this country."
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Fallout 3 Edited Version To Hit Australian Shelves

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  • SWEET (Score:2, Insightful)

    by larry bagina (561269)
    Some games (like Fallout and GTA) wouldn't be half as fun if they edited out the adult parts. Now, it sucks that the Aussies are getting a watered down version (meaning they'll have to pay a few bucks extra to get an import or just pirate it), but At least the US version might not be total shit.
    • They'll all just pirate the (american version of the) game, and if they feel socially responsible, they'll also buy a copy in australia.

      Then again, social responsibility may encourage them to boycott the australian release, causing the game to have horrible sales in australia, but phenomenal sales everywhere else in the world... that might make the publisher put some pressure on the classification board, and get them to change their policies.
      • by Creepy (93888) on Monday August 11, 2008 @12:03PM (#24556623) Journal

        not necessarily pirate - mod it with files from other countries like I've done with many European games that have been edited for US markets by major publishers.

      • Re:Purchase? Pirate! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by illumin8 (148082) on Monday August 11, 2008 @12:12PM (#24556727) Journal

        Then again, social responsibility may encourage them to boycott the australian release, causing the game to have horrible sales in australia, but phenomenal sales everywhere else in the world... that might make the publisher put some pressure on the classification board, and get them to change their policies.

        Better yet, the publisher should just refuse to release in a country that wants to censor content. Then when enough bootleg copies flood the market from overseas the ratings board might realize how ridiculous it is trying to protect their children from little 1s and 0s floating around on the internet...

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          1s and 0s shaped like boobies and drugs!
      • by delysid-x (18948)

        hippies felt socially responsible. who ever wanted to be like them? they barely bathed.

        • This is true - But they also started a social revolution by doing drugs and having lots of sex. You might want to reconsider your question.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        As an Australian, I am getting the 'banned' version of the game imported (and getting the lunchbox and the bobble-head as a bonus). Remember, the ban, as I understand it, was on that particular version of the game being sold by Australian retailers. This is just another example of the classification board not keeping up with what the rest of the world is doing. With the advent of e-commerce and bit-torrent, the average 15-year old kid (which the ban is meant to protect) with any job in a supermarket can af
        • As an Australia, I feel compelled to remind you that it's not the classification board, by which I assume you mean the OFLC, which decides what ratings are possible. They simply rate the games within the guidelines given.

          The concept of an R rating for games has already been introduced, but it needs to be agreed to by all of the state Attorneys-General, and the guy from South Australia is holding out, because he lives in the Dark Ages.

          • Ok, point taken, the OFLC did not legislate, they just enforce existing legislation.

            Can somebody please explain to the government that their current methods of censorship aren't working...

            Um, actually, no, don't tell them.

      • by donaldm (919619)
        Maybe you can get a pirate copy for the Xbox 360 but as far as I am aware you can't pirate for the PS3 yet since all native PS3 games are on Bluray so it is not that economical to copy a game which is not that different when the PS2 was brought out since DVD's were quite expensive in 2000.

        At the moment Australia does not have a R18 rating having instead the top rating of R15+ which is still technically a child rating, hence the problem with games containing adult content that requires purchase by a person
    • Censorship (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What makes you think the US version won't be edited? I remember the US version of Oblivion, for example, had no titties, while all the (continental) european versions did. Also, if you compare US TV with european or south-american TV, you'll find that there's a lot of censorship in the US (even for US shows and films - you can sometimes find whole scenes in the "export" version that were censored in the US). Not to mention the ridiculous american media habit of bleeping out words, as if people couldn't fill

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by lukas84 (912874)

        It's even more complex than that.

        I live in Switzerland, were we fortunately still trust parents to make decisions for their children.

        So we have almost no video game censoring here.

        We speak four languages here - German, Italian, French and RÃto-Romanian (the latter is dying).

        I'm in the German speaking part, and most tv movies that feature action and are oriented towards adults are heavily cut on Germanys commercial TV. Almost all the gore is filtered out.

        If the same Movie is shown on an Austrian or Swis

      • by maglor_83 (856254)

        What exactly are they censoring?

        Apparently using morphine will turn us all into serial killers or something.

      • by Shihar (153932)

        Eh, I'll take American censorship over the crap the rest of the world* pulls any day of the week. Don't get me wrong, I love boobs, but the lack of a pair of tits in a game is far less damaging than a lack of violence. This could just be my inner American speaking, but cutting out violence out of Fallout is a farm worse crime than cutting out nudity. Strippers wearing bras instead of baring it all? Eh, it sucks, but I'll live. Not being able to rip someone in half with a critical hit form my full auto

    • by garylian (870843)

      For some games, that's true. And for others, the supposedly "adult parts" are to cover up a lack of gameplay through titilation.

      Look at Age of Conan. The game itself really isn't that good, but just the fact that you could have topless female toons was a much-hyped point. I remember guildmates of a very large guild looking hard to find topless NPCs, and found one before I quit playing and reading their forums.

      So, don't let the supposed adult parts override common sense and a critical eye towards gameplay

    • by maglor_83 (856254)

      (meaning they'll have to pay a few bucks extra to get an import or just pirate it)

      Actually it's almost always cheaper to import games than to buy them in Australia.

    • The Australian dollar is roughly equal with the US one these days (varying over a range of a few cents), and we still pay $100+ for console games and $70+ for DS games. More, if the developer wants to charge more, as in the case of GTA IV. Australians were paying $120 a copy to buy it off the shelf. It's cheaper to the tune of more than 40% to import, and I refuse to prop up the Australian gaming industry until they bring their prices down to sane levels.

      • by srjh (1316705)
        We're nowhere near parity at the moment (about 88 cents - it's been in a nosedive for a few weeks now, just in time for my trip to the states), but I see your point. It does seems fairly ridiculous that as the aussie dollar doubled in value over the last few years, game prices have stayed the same.

        Hopefully more people will realise that you can pay half price for a superior product overseas by shopping online, and the prices here will drop accordingly. Whether we'll ever be able to walk into a shop and ge
    • by ReKleSS (749007)
      Few bucks _extra_? If the exchange rate doesn't keep slipping it'll still be $20-$30 cheaper to import it.
  • nannies (Score:5, Funny)

    by Plantain (1207762) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:16AM (#24555261)

    All in game characters have been replaced with nannies trying to feed you the Australian bottle of ignorance.

    • Re:nannies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fostware (551290) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:47AM (#24555711) Homepage
      Actually, I can understand their point of view...

      What I can't understand is why they don't just allow the R18+ (like movies) and be done with it.

      They still have the power to refuse classification if it's featuring illegal or seriously freaky shit.
      • by pxlmusic (1147117)

        like tits?

      • by vertinox (846076)

        They still have the power to refuse classification if it's featuring illegal or seriously freaky shit.

        Two points:

        1. By default they determine what is illegal and what is not.

        2. One mans freaky shit is another mans Mona Lisa.

        To expound on number 2, is the question of who determines what is what?

        Obviously, if you time traveled back to the 1950's and showed a copy of modern television to the average Joe off the street he'd most label it pornography.

        And to continue on this issue, what is freaky shit itself ille

      • It's a way to censor things and still claim you aren't censoring things. You say "Sure, you can release any game you want, freedom of speech and all. However, to sell it in stores, it has to be rated by our government rating agency. Oh, but we can't agree on a high rating, so those games can't be sold. No, no, we aren't banning them, we just can't agree on a rating so you can't sell them."

        Why do you think various groups are so hot on government controlled ratings in the US? They could use it in the same fas

      • The reason is that there is one Attorney General in South Australia who is still under the misguided impression that only children play games and should be protected. He is the only person blocking the change in legislation that would allow a R18 rating to be introduced for gaming. It has been pointed out to him how wrong his position is, then he falls back to the 'If we allow games of this nature in, then the kids will get their hands on them' argument.

        However, he has recently agreed to open up the deba

      • by Samah (729132)
        Welcome to the world of Michael Atkinson (SA Attorney-General) and his "R18+ rating is bad". Every other state thinks it's a good idea to have an R18+ rating, but not him. And it has to be unanimous amongst all the states. GG.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kingrames (858416)

      But they have to. You see, if this game were to make it to market in Australia, it would awaken the criminal gene of the population.

    • nannies trying to feed you the Australian bottle of ignorance

      A.K.A. Vegemite

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:18AM (#24555287) Homepage Journal

    The European versions of FO1 and FO2 were edited/censored to remove the ability to kill children. I'm not necessarily a proponent of censorship, but it wasn't like the game was really missing anything.

    The Bethesda games (Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion) don't feature kids because you can kill anyone in game.

    I wonder how this was handled with FO3.

    • by Seakip18 (1106315)

      Yikes....and with this iteration with its pretty 3D graphics....and the bloody mess feat....Yeah. I wouldn't expect you being able to load up a bunch of babies into the Rock-it Launcher then going on a rampage through the D.C. orphanage.

    • by Loibisch (964797) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:29AM (#24555423)

      That wasn't all that was cut out. In the uncensored version if you were blasting some enemy from short distance you would get a lot of splatter effects (from bullets spraying out their backside). This was cut from the German release and critical hits were as bloodless as non-critical hits (as far as I can remember).

    • by Zaphenath (980370) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:29AM (#24555427)
      There was an interview with Todd Howard I saw where he says that there are children in the game, but you can't kill them. I guess that is for the best because do we really need FOX News plastering images of children exploding into bloody pieces on TV? Us videogamers have a bad enough rap as it is, what with our penchant for "cop killer simulators"...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Spatial (1235392)
        Fuck 'em. You say that like they'll actually take it into account, but pandering to those retards isn't going to do us any good. They'll always find something to moan about because it's some new kind of media, they're always 'bad'. The truth doesn't matter to them. Meanwhile, we'll be stuck with our kid-friendly happy touchy feely games even though gamers have an average age of 35 god damn years old [theesa.com].

        Killing children was never an objective in the game, if you did it people hated you. They hunted you d
        • by Carewolf (581105)

          Killing children was never an objective in the game, if you did it people hated you

          Except Bioshock, which people loved.

          • Except Bioshock, which people loved.

            I think you missed the point. It was possible to kill children in Fallout. If you did so, your character sheet would proudly bear the title of 'Child-Killer' and just about every character in the game would then shoot you on sight. It wasn't that people hated Fallout for its child-killing; it was that people in Fallout hated you for your child-killing.

            This happened even if it wasn't you who killed the child, but one of your henchmen. Or your dog. Or for that matter if

      • Just wait for the mod to be able to kill kids and that could be the next Hot Coffee (Radioactive version in this case)

    • by Pvt_Ryan (1102363)

      I wonder how this was handled with FO3.

      The kids run away and the adults attack..

    • by Moraelin (679338) on Monday August 11, 2008 @11:07AM (#24555967) Journal

      The European versions of FO1 and FO2 were edited/censored to remove the ability to kill children. I'm not necessarily a proponent of censorship, but it wasn't like the game was really missing anything.

      I've played both the US version and the censored German version, and the censored problem had a few more problems. They hadn't only removed the ability to kill children, they had removed all children from the game outright.

      Which now caused a few quests to be broken. E.g., you couldn't find the kid in the well, because there was no kid.

      Some things were removed so brutally that it caused even more bugginess than the game had anyway. E.g., at the vault in the north-east, the kid with the doll was missing, but his idle chat would keep happening, because the game script thought he's still there.

      Some of the alternate ways to solve other stuff also got broken in the process. E.g., once you got to the next town, now you couldn't have that kid's wrench.

      So I'm not saying it was necessarily fatal, but saying that it's not really missing anything... is a bit mis-leading too, IMHO.

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      Actually, only the ELV (English Low Violence) and dubbed (French, German) versions were crippled, most of us europeans in other places got the uncensored US version (thankfully).

      /Mikael

    • Well, it was missing one thing: The ability to get your items back from pickpocket children. There was one child outside a bar in the Den that was supposed to pickpocket you. Problem was, rather than remove the child (which would break a whole lot of scripts), it was simply made invisible in the British version. So you'd randomly lose items and have no way to get them back.
    • by Sowelu (713889)
      At least Bethesda games are in a magical setting. Why not introduce some vague and unexplained god or wizard who magicks children away if they get hurt? Then just turn the wizard off in a country where that's more acceptable...
    • by kalirion (728907)

      The Bethesda games (Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion) don't feature kids because you can kill anyone in game.

      Don't know about Arena, but I don't think Daggerfall let you kill the main quest people.

    • by Saltypear (640374)

      The Bethesda games (Arena, Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion) don't feature kids because you can kill anyone in game.

      Actually you can't kill all characters in Oblivion. Characters who are crucial to the plotline or some sidequests only get knocked out, they don't die.

  • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:19AM (#24555299) Homepage
    I'd rather see Wasteland 2. It's been 20 years, don't we get a sequel yet??
  • Too Little (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I'll be importing. Screw the Classification Board.

    I did it with GTA IV and saved about A$40 in the process.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday August 11, 2008 @10:37AM (#24555549) Homepage Journal

    Since Australians are upside-down, they had to change the title to "Climbout 3".

    • Since Australians are upside-down, they had to change the title to "Climbout 3".

      i'd think "Blackout" is a more accurate title given the nature of the story.


    • So close, I would have wrote, 'ClimbIn 1/3'
  • Its the drugs (Score:2, Informative)

    by Huntr (951770)

    According to what I've read on NMA, one of the major issues concerns drugs in FO3. Not that drugs exist or are used, but that the ones in the game are named for real drugs, such as morphine. They may have to rename the drugs to something fictional to get the game rating changed.

    • Drugs were present in FO1 and FO2 as well but were called things like Psycho, Buffout and Stimpaks. Perfectly good names, so I never understood why Bethesda felt the need to change them.

    • by deek (22697)

      The ability to inject yourself with morphine was the only issue as far as I knew. I'm guessing that they've done exactly as you mentioned; renamed morphine to something else.

      If that's the only change, then this is a complete non-issue as far as I'm concerned. I'm still not happy with Australia's stance on game ratings, but I'd be happy to purchase Fallout with only that change.

  • Alotta Aussies are going to be headed to Pirate Bay for thier Fallout copies.
  • While we do enjoy some of the most liberal laws in terms of broadcast medium, we suffer due to the lack of a classification (R+) that would limit the sale of a game to an adult.

    Apparently there is talk of a proposal and the govt is seeking comment on an adults-only rating for games.

    This surely makes sense as the average gamer is now 28 years old. In fact, 20 per cent of Australian game players are aged 39 and over.

    Let's hope this is brought into line with the movie ratings where we enjoy an adult only R rat

    • I've seen a few clips from Aussie TV on Youtube (such as Chaser's War) and heard more than a few curse words. Yet adults can't play an adult rated game?

      I find this very strange.

      • by nighty5 (615965)

        Yeah, some would say our MA 15+ (highest for games and second from the highest for movies excluding porn which is X) is on par with the US NC-17 rating.

        In a way our classification system is a little bit more liberal, we do allow our children to listen to fairly strong language,sex,gore when they are 15.

        Yet adults can't play an adult rated game?

        Exactly, this is my point. We hope to change that. However such themes as strong language, sex /themes is allowed because the rating is still fairly liberal. However none of the 'nasty/good' stuff that adults

  • How much DRM the game is going to include?

    How painful installation is going to be on average WinXP box, bloated with usual little things which makes Windows usable?

    I'm planning an upgrade more or less specifically for Fallout 3. But I kind of do not want to find myself as before with Quake 4 which essentially refused to work on my new PC with SecuRom hanging and giving blank non-descriptive error. Playing with NoCDCrack old truth was proven again: games which are refuse to play, probably are not wort

  • ... But what else have they changed? Am looking forward to details when they emerge.

    What's interesting to me, however, is the unrated version of the game should still be illegal in Australia. This means anyone buying their copy from Amazon etc etc online because it's 1/3 the Australian store price - a right guaranteed in the courts by the ACCC several years ago - will be getting an illegal copy.

    So, it would seem the classification board has perhaps inadvertently become a party to anti-competitive trade pra

    • When the OFLC refuses classification to a game, it doesn't make it illegal to own it, it makes it illegal for retailers to sell it.

      So it's illegal to sell American Psycho in Qld, so while I was in NSW, I bought a copy, its not illegal for me to own it in Queensland, and it wasn't illegal for the NSW retailer to sell it, so noone broke any laws.

  • The decision to allow R18+ games in Australia has been raised several times, but keeps getting vetoed down by this one religious idiot in government. We're all just waiting for that idiot to leave.

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