Original L4D2 Again Denied Classification by OFLC

Australian gamers will have to make do with a modified version of Valve’s Left 4 Dead 2 as the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) board again denied the title classification following a re-review of the game.

A three-member panel of the board declared that the game could not be accommodated within the MA 15+ classification, reaffirming an earlier decision. Valve and distributor Electronic Arts had appealed the earlier judgment, but as a backup they also submitted a toned down version of L4D2, which received an MA 15+ rating. The edited version removed depictions of decapitation and dismemberment.

Further commenting on the original, Refused Classification version, the board said:

…it was the Review Board’s opinion that there was insufficient delineation between the
depiction of general zombie figures and the human figures, as opposed to the clearly fictional
‘infected’ characters. This was a major consideration of the Review Board in determining the
impact of this game on minors.

A media release on the subject from the OFLC can be viewed here (PDF).

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  1. strathmeyer says:

    Because apparently dismembering animals is better behavior for a child than to defend yourself from attacking zombies?

  2. Erik says:

    Can we fault them for quite actively keeping an "R" rating from being made?

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  3. Murdats says:

    they did not deny the rating on only one thing, they denied on the grounds of multiple things. if games got banned for killing zombies plants vs zombies would have been banned, some of the reasons it is banned is;

    rewarding drug use and depicting injections

    gore and violence


    and I believe there is some corpse mutilation in there as well that bumps the rating up


    however one of the large points of valves contention was that the zombies aren’t humans, if the game was the same but the zombies were either undead or aliens then it would probably be MA, but they ruled that because they are just sick, pissed off people with a necrotising disease it still deserves an R rating, but wait, we don’t have an R rating, so its banned.


    and this game does deserve an R rating, you can’t fault them for that

  4. count23 says:

    It IS the fault of the Board, not the AGs. They denied a rating on the game based on one thing only, the dismemberment of zombies and the persistance of corpses, now they’re denying the appeal on the "zombies look too human" which was NOT an issue in the original statement.

    It’s beaurocracy gone mad, an appeal regarding any ruling is ONLY on the original ruling which was the "corpses and dismembering", the zombies looking human was not an issue originally and in any real field of law, would not be admissable in an appeal.

  5. hellfire7885 says:

    It’s not really the review board’s fault actually.

    It’s the fault of ONE of the attorney generals. ONE AG who beleives he knows better than an entire country.

  6. fetidchimp says:

    "…it was the Review Board’s opinion that there was insufficient delineation between the
    depiction of general zombie figures and the human figures, as opposed to the clearly fictional
    ‘infected’ characters."


    ah, isn’t everything in the entire game fictional, and obviously fictional due to the fact that it is being presented as a computer game, this obviously overlooked fact may have provided them with the clues they need…..

    to me that says that they are not "clearly fictional" somehow, when they are characters in a computer game……i’m going insane.

    I’m thinking we need a new review board….one that doesn’t think they are going into a meeting with kirby and zelda

  7. Thomas McKenna says:

     So they refused classification because zombies looked like people…

    Zombies looked like people…

    Does anyone else find this reasoning asinine?  Isn’t that the point of zombies?  That they used to be people and now are undead?

  8. axiomatic says:

    Yeah I pretty much agree. The OFLC is asking you all to pirate the real game instead of buying the watered down version. Nice job making pirates out of gamers OFLC. You deserve a cookie.

  9. hellfire7885 says:

    As an extra jab they can release an Atins mode, where all the zombies become white haired politicians.

  10. Kabyk says:

    I remember from a previous thread someone said this.

    Need to put a disclaimer type screen right before the main menu of L4D2 expalining why Australia doesn’t think the person playing is capable of handling a little bit of blood and why they have to get a baby-ized, sugarcoated version of the game.

  11. Wormdundee says:

    I wouldn’t hate on the OFLC for this, they’re simply doing their job. I’m sure they would love to give it an 18 rating, but as you said, it doesn’t exist. Direct your ire towards Atkinson.

  12. Kabyk says:

    "This was a major consideration of the Review Board in determining the
    impact of this game on minors."

    That’s what an R18 rating would be for, so the kids don’t play it…..boy, common sense sure is hard to come by these days.

  13. Erik says:

    Or rather it is how their government sees them.  "Now now children, let big brother decide what is proper for you.  You just go sit in the corner and moan to yourself".

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  14. CyberSkull says:

    Is the censored version interoperable with the uncensored or are Australians locked into playing only with themselves? 

  15. GoodRobotUs says:

    Does go to show that, just as one man can change the world, it’s equally possible for one man to hold an entire country to ransom with his own prejudice. Kind of depressing that he stays in power when he obviously has nothing but contempt for the intelligence of the average Australian.

  16. nighstalker160 says:

    I wouldn’t even go so far as to slam the government. From what I’ve seen and read it’s literally ONE Attorney General who’s trying to score points by "thinking of the children." Most of the other AG’s are fine with an R18 rating.

  17. GoodRobotUs says:

    It’s difficult because the board don’t have the very tool they need to pass games like this, an R18 rating, and the Governments head-up-the-arse attitude towards modern technology, and it’s complete lack of faith in the ability of its own voters to be able to think and judge for themselves, and the assumption, evident even in the statement above, that everyone who plays Video games is a ‘minor’ are all conspiring to make the country look a bit backward in that respect.

    I don’t think there’s any one culprit, except possibly Atkinson, who is, nowadays, just stubbornly living with his head in the sand, refusing to even publically defend his prejudices.

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