Fallout 3 Banned in Australia

According to GameSpot and other sources, the long-awaited Fallout 3 has been refused classification by Australia’s Office of Film & Literature Classification.

The decision effectively bans Fallout 3 from being sold by retailers Down Under. From the GameSpot report:

While the OFLC website has no details on why Fallout 3 was banned, a user in GameSpot’s PC forum last week suggested it could be due to the use of the drug morphine within the game.


Australia’s game classification rules state that titles that "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults" will be refused classification.

Fallout 3 thus joins Shellshock 2 and Dark Sector as games which have run afoul of Austrialian censors in 2008. Fallout 3, however, is surely one of the most high-profile games ever to face such action.


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  1. oto kirlama says:

    I’m all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there’s one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what’s stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

    But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you’ll find they don’t think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they’ll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless… yeah.

    The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can’t figure out the controls for Halo so it’s frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it’s in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child’s life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can’t be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It’s too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

  2. Johanna says:

    What kind of example are these games giving to our kids if they promote violence, drug abuse and sex?
    Johanna Bartley, Drug Rehab Volunteer.

  3. ConstantNeophyte says:

    Very well said.

     I personally believe that any censorship (beyond censoring illegal things) too much. Anyone who dislikes violent games like Fallout has the option of not buying it, whereas if its censored, people who were never going to buy it anyway simply stop those who would have enjoyed it from buying it. Seems like obtuse bullshit to me…

    -ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

  4. importFTW says:

    taken from gamespot:

    The last time the Interactive Entertainment Association of Australia (IEAA) unveiled sales figures for the local industry they showed that Australia was on a strong growth curve. That strength seems to have continued through the first half of 2008, with figures for the ’07-’08 financial year revealing that Australia recorded A$1.5 billion ($1.5 billion) in hardware, software, and peripherals sales, an increase of 52.9 percent over the previous year.

    Game hardware in particular had impressive growth, with figures from data trackers GfK Australia showing sales growth of 74 percent from the previous financial year (Australian financial years run from July 1 to June 30). Software sales grew by 55 percent.

    IEAA CEO Ron Curry says the strong growth shows that games are now being enjoyed by more Australians. "It is clear that interactive entertainment is now firmly entrenched as a mainstream activity. More people of all ages and all walks of life are now choosing video and computer games as a regular form of home entertainment," he said.

    really, the government needs to get its act together.

  5. Brad Alexander says:

    I was so looking forward to this potentially fascinating game. I will definately be importing.

    I am confident that our ratings system for games will evolve in time, as it is obviously farcical… 

  6. FoxmanZEO says:

    ‘2) Are children and otherwise non essential or non-quest related NPC’s vulnerable or invulnerable to accidental or purposeful (deadly) harm? And how about quest essential people? Please elaborate as much as you can, especially on why you choose to do it that way.

    You will not be able to be a child killer. There are several reasons for this, some of them are very basic, like we wouldn’t be able to sell the game, anywhere to anyone, if the children could be killed. I’m not using that as a scapegoat. We never wanted the game to offer any incentive or desire to be blowing kids away, so from our initial designs, we didn’t know how we were going to handle if you shot them, we just knew it was going to be a big no-no, especially with a system like VATS and the graphic fidelity the gore has. Anyway, when attacked, all children flee and any regular NPCs friendly to the children will instantly attack you, so it feels good in the game, in that there is an appropriate response. ‘


    Triple post, with content, take that netiquette.

  7. FoxmanZEO says:

    I’d like to add that I don’t realy believe that it’s because of the morphine use. I’d say, if anything, they’re getting whiny over the fact you can shoot the invulnerable children. (Confirmed on the Bethesda blog during the last Q&A I read there, no link sorry.)

    Bethesda or a representative thereof stated that there were children in the game, and that while incapable of dying, they can be ‘hurt’, and will run and get adults. Obviously, they’d be entirely pedestrian, and themselves would never actualy be armed. I’m guessing that the board or commsion or organisation or reich decided that this would train people to shoot children or something. Despite the general agreement that brutalising those of highschool age and over has no permanent/a negligable temporary effect on people’s real life behaviour or values.

    Then again, maybe it’s because the virtual children weren’t seen doing their virtual homework, and this flamboyant spit in the face to virtual human rights forced the good natured council to block the game. They stand bravely in the face of these oppresive developers for the rights of these innocent virtual nine year olds to have the education and care they deserve!

    After all, it’s the security of our future virtual society at stake. Virtual children are our virtual world’s greatest virtual resource, next to dragon porn.

  8. FoxmanZEO says:

    Honestly, I think the only reason they’re snobbing these games is to feel big. As if the board can somehow look and feel as if it’s doing more by this. So they say ‘NO MEANS NO’ and cross the arms and pout the lips and stamp a foot, it’s all an act though, and that which was once a blow against society is all well and good once they’ve got their soft serve ice cream, in the form of some minor token edit, that didn’t matter anyway.

    Bethesda will probably have to do no more than change ‘morphine’ to ‘morphene’. Or like, have it scratched out in the graphics or something. Maybe make the toes on the mutants a slighly warmer shade of ‘horrifying rage green.’

    Or, they want to ensure the country is kept ‘nice’ for all, but can’t actualy treat adults like adults because they managed to avoid growing up entirely. Seeing a shocking image shocks them, they don’t understand it, and decide that this thing is horrible and bad and tasteless and an insult to all of the people they valiantly shield from having to think about things aside from cake, fuel prices and those nice people down at the media controll office.

    Rant over, hopefuly I’ll be able to drop it now, so I can spend more time working.

    (As an aside, I wish there wasn’t so much stupid garbage like this in the world, so I could have remained a happy little knob who thought the best of everyone. Instead of being sad and angry so much, realy it’s stuff like this that makes me not feel so bad when someone get’s butchered. ‘kay, now it’s over.)

  9. James Gunn, angry and you should be too says:

    Sent off an email to the OFLC:

    I would like to inquire about the decision to rate fallout 3 with an RC rating for its use of drugs, particularly on the use of morphine. Specifically, im curious about why the classification board believes that; a) the game’s drug use isn’t justified by the games context of treating wounds in a post-apocalyptic world thus preventing an MA rating, b) that the game promotes illicit drug use even though it balances it with disincentives and incentives and has no relation to real world drugs except by name, c) that this game is any different to other games that weren’t rated RC, that features drug use; be it GTA, Rainbow Six Vegas (morphine shots revive your team-mates), Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl, Haze, Call of Cthulu, Half-Life 1 & 2 (where your suit administers morphine when your character is hurt), or even the original fallout games.
    Lastly, how is this offensive to standards of decency in Australia?
    I seriously think that this game is being rated too high, and sincerely hope that the review board reconsiders this.
    This censorship of Fallout 3 is a hypocritical slap in face for gamers, counter-intuitive to economic growth in the Australian gaming industry, and belittling to the intelligence of gamers, as we are being told we cant handle mature themes such as drug use in games, considering that the average age of gamers here is now 25.
    Any reply would be greatly appreciated.

  10. ConstantNeophyte says:

    And it was all downhill from there…

    -ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.

  11. HalfShadow says:

    Kind of funny how Australia is all anal about game ratings, being as the place started out as a prison colony…

  12. ConstantNeophyte says:

    Goddamnit Australia, if NZ ends up with a crappy censored version because of you I will justify every negative stereotype of gamers by KILLING YOU DEAD.

    -ConstantNeophyte: always the newb, ALWAYS.


    P.S: In case my stealthy sarcasm escaped anybody I have no plans to commit geocide (note: NOT genocide, geocide) yet. When I figure out how, france will be the first to know

  13. importFTW says:

    serious, that little pot smoking hippie from South Australia is really getting on my nerfs lately. how can this one clown have so much control on this issue? over 80 percent is for R18 the average gamer is 28. and no, i dont feel the urge to rape a mother eat her baby and then stab the father in the throat after playing a computergame. but its cool, i just import the fuckin thing then.

  14. Untouchable (To lazy to log in) says:

    So then, yet another game that I’ll have to import. A game angled at adults, who would more likely than not have played the previous Fallout games (therefore guarenteeing that people will be majorly pissed at these developments) and actually understand what teh game would contain.

    I echo all of the fuck the goverment statements and I wish that it wasn’t illegal to just not vote.

  15. Ben says:

    So now, like with GTAIV, I’m going to be sold a ‘child-safe’ version of the game. As an adult I find that terribly insulting.

    Also, I was planning to buy this on Xbox as I don’t think my PC will be able to run it at a decent frame rate. If however it’s region locked like many 360 games then importing is not an option.

    "You, a responsible adult, cannot play this adult game – designed and marketed for adults – because it is inappropriate for children."

    Can anyone find any logic in that at all?

  16. Acubra says:

    good thing i have my copy pre ordered from play-asia then. but yea, this does indeed kinda sucks. the fact that this complete retard from South Australia has so much power on this subject is borderline surreal. 

  17. Black Dragon says:

    My deepest sympathies to our friends down under.

    It’s idiotic that any game, no matter its content, should be banned for sale to adults, and eagerly await the day when such disgusting regulatory blockades become the relics of a sad, confused era, like segregation or serfdom.

    (Looking forward to busting some radscorpions soon)

  18. Gate into Blue ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

     It is illegal in some places in Australia to own it (people keep yelling ‘you’re wrong!’ but read WA’s censorship act). Fortunately i also travel to the other states regularly! So i’ll just have to spend an entire holiday playing fallout 3 – *not that i wasn’t going to anyway*.

  19. Ohma says:

    I’ll try to stay out of another "’the US isn’t magically better than every other first world nation’ ‘nuh-uh, it so is’" argument as they tend to go nowhere. (and for some reason people refuse to believe that I’m a US citizen…and for some reason that would make my arguments moot)


    However no, it is not illeagal to own the game, in fact (due to massive idiocy surrounding most forms of imported entertainment media in Australia) it’s often cheaper to import a console or game from the US or Canada, or Europe, than it is to buy one in a store in Australia.

  20. Jonathan says:

    "I would love for developers to just say "Screw Australia" every time a game is refused classification. Perhaps then, the population would get ticked off enough to put the necessary pressure on the government ot add the new rating."

    If I ever get my own game development company that’s what I’ll do and I’ll even critize the Austrailian goverment too :).

  21. wengler says:

    On the contrary, we elect bozos but we also have a First Amendment. That is when we are willing to protect it.

    Does this Classification board actually ban the ownership of the game, or do they just ban its sale?

  22. Ohma says:

    Nah, I’m pretty sure the ‘australian family values, screw those dirty brown people’ majority bogan vote is what keeps stuff like this in place. (and what gets morons like Howard & Rudd elected to office…not that Uh-mur-ik-uh is any better unfortunately)

  23. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The trouble is the profit to break a game they made to get it sale in that region is to much and most companies will bend sooner or later, so they should make ultra heavily censored game for all the fussy regions just 1 version of it minus everything that would cuse a fuss then add a disclaimer as to why you had to buy the censored version in the manual with a link to the ite giving info to your regional government so you can redress the issues locally.

    The outrage over paying full price for a half a game will force the issues to come to a head in each area, while the dev/pub makes some profit. while laying the ground work to make normal profits once the local gov gets its head out of its ass.

    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  24. Loudspeaker says:

    Consumers could help as well by simply refusing to purchase games within Australia as a protest against this censorship.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  25. Ohma says:

    You should get a bunch of people together to complain about what a nuisance the ratpope’s motorcade is causing. 😀


    It’d be fun at any rate.

  26. Father Time says:

    "Offend the standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults: Wouldn’t be Fallout if it didn’t."


    Why didn’t anyone tell me about this series? And here I am wondering which version of manhunt 2 I should get (yes I realize the game is very old by now).

  27. Artifex says:

    "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults"

    Sex: Check

    Drug Abuse and Addiction: Developer recently stated that it’s a major gameplay element. Check.

    Crime: Check

    Cruelty: Check

    Violence: Check

    Revolting or Abhorrent phenomena: Plenty of Mutants and Ghouls that I’m sure would be more than happy to do all of the above (to you or themselves). Check.

    Offend the standards of morality, decency, and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults: Wouldn’t be Fallout if it didn’t.

    Well, that prettymuch sums up Fallout. So yeah, sorry Austrailia. Don’t feel too bad though, there will be plenty of other countries that will join you in their censure spree. If any Aussies do decide to import, please please please send your OLFC and governmental representatives a letter stating that you have decided to import the game and circumvent your own country’s economy because they ignorantly decided to ban this game, forcing you to seach elsewhere. They wont change their behavior until they understand the damage that they’re doing to their own economy.



  28. Oz says:

    A current issue in Australia is a state govt introducing laws/powers so police can arrest and dish out $5500 fines for anyone that causes an annoyance or disturbance to Catholic pilgims in World Youth Day, technically anyone that sells condoms at their local store could be up for fines if somebody complained they found it offensive (and I wouldn’t put it past a few of them to do try it).  Police deny powers will be abused but there have been reports of police calling known protesters giving the impression they are trying to get ready on who to target. These laws are nothing but censorship that have been condemmed by not just the people, but by non-police people who were granted these powers and members of the Catholic Church to their credit.

    Another recent example of our free country.

  29. wengler says:

    This is true but it doesn’t prevent ratings of AO or NC-17 from being the retail kiss of death. Most retaliers won’t even sell them so there is a soft censorship at work. Hopefully direct download will solve this problem. Curiously American ratings boards also tend to be oversensitive to sex while allowing almost any type of violence imaginable without invoking the AO rating. This tells us that American culture finds sex to be very dangerous while violence is not. And don’t get me started as to why there are separate MA and AO ratings.

  30. Shih Tzu says:

    A really quick search on "free speech in Australia" turned up an interesting analysis on the Australian Parliament’s own website.  According to the author, "the Australian Constitution does not have any express provision relating to freedom of speech. In theory, therefore, the Commonwealth Parliament may restrict or censor speech through censorship legislation or other laws, as long as they are otherwise within constitutional power."  (Australians may already know this, but I’m an ugly American and had never looked into their country’s Constitution until now.)

    In the U.S., the industry has managed to challenge these kinds of things on First Amendment (free speech) grounds.  Looks like Australia isn’t set up that way.  Uh… Good luck, guys.

  31. DarkReaper says:

    Another example of a government who thinks its a parent of the people.  Just rate the damn game and let people play it! 

  32. TheEdge says:

    It’ll only be a matter of time before there is an outright ban on games in Australia.

    After that,they’ll be conquered be Muslims and we’ll be callin it "Austrabia",much we’ll be calling Europe "Eurabia".

  33. Mr.Tastix says:

    Eh, seems rather contradictive. They don’t ban Grand Theft Auto, which has much worse than Fallout will ever have. GTA has all the things the Australian OFLC should ban.

    "depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults"

    Grand Theft Auto has all that yet, it wasn’t banned? I hope this doesn’t affect what it’s OFLC rating is in New Zealand. The Australian gamers really need to speak up because this is getting really ridiculous.

  34. Stropp ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, I’ll be buying it from Amazon and getting it shipped in, even if a censored version is released here. As I said on my blog, the OFLC can kiss my pale hairy arse.

  35. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I would love for developers to just say "Screw Australia" every time a game is refused classification. Perhaps then, the population would get ticked off enough to put the necessary pressure on the government ot add the new rating.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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  36. ZippyDSMlee says:

    they should jsut make heavly censored versions for gremany and all the other pansy goverments it would save them some money skipping extra locolization in speffisic regoins.


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


  37. Krono says:

    Huh, so now it’s official that it’s banned?

    I wonder if they’ll start making Australia only cuts, or if they’ll just say "screw Australia".


  38. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Wont stop it from being imported and bypassing "protection" all togather, you FAIL!


    And we all know why it was baned caluos tone+ gore+  drug use and sexaul talk(?) oh my!


    I is fuzzy brained mew =^^=
    (in need of a bad overhaul)


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