Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fallout 3: Australia Censors The World

It turns out that the rest of the world will get to "enjoy" the work of Australia's Classification Board. Rather than create different versions of Fallout 3 for different territories, developer Bethesda has decided to just release the single edition, that edition being the one which was edited to keep Australian censors happy.


Full story at Kotaku.


Sonictail said...

Hey Dude,

This is amusing I just posted the exact same stuff. It's a good result for everyone really :)


Greg Tannahill said...

Not clear on the "good result for everyone" idea. Bethesda's original creative vision was compromised by the Australian classification scheme and now the rest of the world gets to enjoy being dragged down by the lowest common denominator (being us).

Sonictail said...

Is it really such a bad thing? Drug Use is a problem everywhere and perhaps that was a part of the decision process.

"Hines asserted, "An issue was raised concerning references to real world, proscribed drugs in the game, and we subsequently removed those references and replaced them with fictional names.""

Yes, I do agree that the censorship is still bad, but by the same token the company has taken a little responsibility on the issue of drug usage with a reduction on the trading part and a renaming.

Then again, the use of drugs in film is another hotbed topic for another day ;)

Greg Tannahill said...

Well, I mean if Bethesda honestly thinks it's a better game after the changes, then that's great; community consultation has yielded higher art.

But if they would still have preferred it the other way, but they've dumbed it down to make the censors happy, then that's an awful outcome. That's Australia being the world's conservative grandmother and it's not something we should be proud of.

There's still no evidence anywhere that depictions of drug use encourage or lead to any higher incidence of drug use in the audience, particularly in a setting already so divorced from a real-world context as Fallout. Human ability to divorce fact from fiction (particularly in people over the age of 15) is probably better than many critics believe.

Besides which, as I understand it (and noting that I've of course not had a chance to see the original version of the game, because that's how censorship works)we were talking about the depiction of self-medication with morphine in the context of a world without reliable medical facilities, not recreational drug use.

CloneTrooper said...


Perhaps there will be a mighty backlash from the rest of the world against the Australian Government...

We all know how the Australian Governments like to bend over for Foreign Governments, so we may get our R rating to keep them all happy.

THAT would be a good result for everyone.

Greg Tannahill said...

Can't see it happening, Clonetrooper. I really don't think any of our closest political neighbours are likely to get upset that their Fallout is gimped of their own accord, and sadly if the game industry peak bodies had the leverage to make it an issue they would have done it before now.

But, you know, we can hope.

Marcie said...

wha..? If it's a trademark issue, or if Bethesda would get sued for spurious use of another's product... well okay. but Dam-AGE! I live in a free society, I should be able to think for myself.

You got to feel for developers though. Certain places will ban for the slightest bit of sex, others it's drug use, others it violence. Must be hard to please all the people, all the time.

I find it just .... interesting. I am playing a rated T for Teen game now (Tales of Vesperia) and it's very... teen. The whole story is just a bit dumber, shallower. Now Mass Effect was amazing. It showed real life adult relationships in a real life (i.e. gritty, not perfect) way.

We need more adult games, not less.

skitzo12 said...

what ever happened to Australia been known as a forward thinkinmg country, not a country that had ridicously outdated laws, i mean, white australias gone, so why cant wehave an R?