Atari's Vietnam War shooter Shellshock 2: Blood Trails has been refused classification by the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification. This has the effect under state and territory law of banning the sale or advertising of the game within Australia.
Shellshock 2 joins a long line of videogames banned within Australia, including titles such as Manhunt, Manhunt 2, Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, Reservoir Dogs and recently Dark Sector.
The highest rating for videogames in Australia is M15+. While films classified by the OFLC can receive ratings of R18+ and X, games that are deemed unsuitable for persons under the age of 18 receive no rating at all. OFLC guidelines also provide that material which would be classified M15+ in a film may receive a higher rating in a videogame by dint of being interactive.
By all accounts Shellshock 2 is a rather mediocre game, which comes as no surprise when you learn that Atari is behind the wheel. Unfortunately, as a result of the OFLC's decision and current censorship law, Australians won't get the opportunity to decide for themselves.
If you want to see change in Australian censorship law:
* write to your Federal Member or Senator to request an R18+ classification for videogames.
* contact your local member of your state or territory government to request a change to state sale and advertising laws.
Thanks to Kotaku for the tip-off.