Risen Ban Explained

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Risen Ban Explained

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Australia's Classification Board has detailed its reasons for refusing to issue a classification for the upcoming RPG Risen and as expected, the presence of implied sex and pretend drugs is simply too much for the country's sensitive citizens to handle.

News came out earlier this week that Risen, the upcoming RPG from Gothic developer Piranha Bytes, had joined the RC (Refused Classification) parade and thus would not be available for sale in Australia. Speculation on the reasons for the ban focused on the game's "implied" sex as well as the drug "brugleweed," which could be bought, sold and smoked by characters in the game.

Sure enough, the Classification Board confirmed in an email today that sex and drugs - even drugs that sound as though they were lifted straight from a Harry Potter novel - are a big no-no in videogames down under.

"The game contains 'quests' which a player may choose to complete by acquiring sexual services of prostitutes," the Classification Board said in an email. "Though it is purportedly not a necessary element of game play, players gain rewards or advance through the game more easily by engaging in sexual activity with prostitutes. Despite sex being given discreet treatment within the game, sexual activity is clearly linked to incentives or rewards."

The fictional drug "brugleweed" is given a similar treatment. "A player can trade and smoke this drug, which mirrors an illegal 'real-world' drug in its terminology, use and depiction. Dialogue refers to the drug having a 'relaxing effect' on the character. 23 'experience points' are gained by using the drug for the first time whilst every use thereafter leads to a moderate gain of three 'experience points'," the Board wrote. "This direct link between the use of 'brugleweed' and a positive increase in 'experience points' is an example of drug use related to incentives or rewards, which must be classified RC."

Naturally, the decision doesn't sit well with many Australian gamers and industry figures, not least among them Game Developers Association of Australia President Tom Crago, who said he was "embarrassed" by the Australian government's attitude toward videogames.

"It's a joke isn't it? We are once again caught in this awful, ridiculous web of the antiquated classification system that we all have to endure," he told iTWire (via Edge). "It's ridiculous because it assumes that games are fundamentally different to film and outrageous in that it assumes that adults shouldn't be allowed to access adult content in video games."

"And of course it is a fundamentally broken system in that games that should be classified R being shoehorned into the [MA15+] classification, which means you get a 16 or 15 year olds, who really shouldn't be able to play a particular type of game actually able to play that game, under the age of 18," he continued. "[An R18 classification] would solve the problem; it would bring us in line with the rest of the world, and it would ensure that games that are presently refused classification, or shoehorned inappropriately into the MA15+ bracket can be appropriately rated."

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Between Australia and China, I'm just going to chalk up one more reason I'm glad the US doesn't have it anywhere near as bad as some places.

They should have made Brungleweed, Brungleroids and it probably would have passed.

I cried laughing when I read that smoking a drug gives you exp.

I... Feel so sorry for my Auzzie brethren. Ouch, clearly your government are tools.

If a game is refused classification, can you still buy it online and have it shipped in?

Guess this must have been why Atkinson wasn't able to do his own out-of-court settlement for defamation this week, he had to get a lackey to sort it out for him. Oh that's right, and my taxes are paying for the settlement. Election can't come soon enough.

And yes, we can get it shipped in, or digitally download it, though they are trying to change that too, the freedom of speech advocates are fighting that one real hard, can't see it happening anytime soon... "knocks on every piece of wood he can find"

Sucks to live in Australia, unfortunately.

I feel sorry for Australia.. Sort of makes me feel glad that we don't have to put up with (much) of this stuff in America.

Still they allowed Morrowind (i had a good time buying drugs from cat ppl in that game and giving it to my sexy drug addicted sidekick.)

*sry i am getting a little of topic but does the intro remind anyone else to the start of AoC?

Wait they're bannning a game which isn't even out yet?
That's even worse than germany.

Seems to me that Michael Atkinson has struck again...Time to call in Yahtzee

Another good news for all the pirates out there, i guess that the Aussie pirate community grows with each silly ban.

In other news there are still no studies that show a positive correlation between game playing and real life activities.

Good thing that's the case or else that would make banning games for any reason retarded...oh wait...that's backwards...if it wasn't the case then these bans would make sense.

interesting this is banned partially for the implied sexual content. yet the witcher can be bought here

Next stop; Grand Theft Auto.

It's all you damned dirty Austrailians. If it weren't for you guys making the Lord of the Rings movies I'd regret saving you all in the Korean War.

(heres a little game. Point out 6 things wrong in this sentance and you win)

Casual Shinji:
Next stop; Grand Theft Auto.

I'll say it again, are we to believe there are no copies of GTA4 in Australia?!

"Despite sex being given discreet treatment within the game, sexual activity is clearly linked to incentives or rewards."

Yes, and since sex is such a terrible, disgusting thing, lets stick our heads into the australian sand and pretend that such filth doesn't exist.

Is Australia ruled by the pope?

they're almost as bad as England for being a Nanny State, if they did this with more than just video games, they would steal the title of Nanny State from England

Im not enthusiastic about the game at all from the gameplay and trailers ive seen, but i dont understand what all the fuss is about, sure people in the game smoke weed, but people in wow burn and execute each other and its "T" -_- So not a big blow for Aussies but i do agree it should least be released as 18+ like in any normal country, or they can buy imported games via amazon or ebay or something. (or gametraders ROBINA /wink wink)

Between this and jumping spiders, im fairly certain i dont want to ever go to australia...

Although i dont think ill end up playing the game to be fair. Only time will tell!

The main problem I have with this stupid classification system of ours is it's inconsistencies and contradictions. So when you hire a prostitute to sleep with you in Fable 2 and get the same blacked out screen and moaning, that's somehow ok while this game does the same thing and is banned?

Then of course there's how shoehorning games into an MA15 rating just makes games not designed for children ok for them to play. How can ANYONE not see the problem with this system? How can Atkinson ignore that 90% of australians want an R18 rating? Honestly, I look forward to the day he gets elected out of office for being so stupid.

I just mentally facepalmed so hard my metaphorical nose is bleeding.

Danman1:
It's all you damned dirty Austrailians. If it weren't wasn't for you guys making the Lord of the Rings movies, I'd regret saving you all in the Korean War World War II.

(heres a little game. Point out 6 things wrong in this sentance and you win)
Lord of the Rings was filmed in NZ.
You're too young to have fought in World War II.

I win?

Also, I can't wait to see how Australia's views on censorship change on September 9th, or before then if they're smart.

Ahhh, Australia.

Thanks for lightening my day.

Krakyn:

Danman1:
It's all you damned dirty Austrailians. If it weren't wasn't for you guys making the Lord of the Rings movies, I'd regret saving you all in the Korean War World War II.

(heres a little game. Point out 6 things wrong in this sentance and you win)
Lord of the Rings was filmed in NZ.
You're too young to have fought in World War II.

I win?

Also, I can't wait to see how Australia's views on censorship change on September 9th, or before then if they're smart.

Congratulations!

I'm getting this just so I can smoke a lot of that drug and gain massive exp.
That's just stupid though, to ban a game like that.

They will ban this because of the implied drug use and the fact you can hit up a prostitute, but Fable 2 is ok even though it implies sex and allows you to beat your spouse. This is ridiculous I'd gladly buy the game and send it to a fellow Aussie gamer, so they can play an awesome game without the idiotic governments interference.

Oh come on, you live in a place where everything from the bugs to the heat to the KOALAS can kill you.

I'd think they'd want to train people how to stave off these horrible things.

WanderFreak:
Oh come on, you live in a place where everything from the bugs to the heat to the KOALAS can kill you.

I'd think they'd want to train people how to stave off these horrible things.

Ohh we know, but our government is like that overbearing protective mother, we canna fethin urinate without her worrying about disease, injury and that bloody redback on my toilet roof...
on another note ...
Koalas dont kill people, unless they have to.............

We all knew it was going to happen. Good thing it's easy, and often times cheaper, to import games.

Talendra:
We all knew it was going to happen. Good thing it's easy, and often times cheaper, to import games.

Only until the government starts blocking the websites that allow you to do so with their new unbreakable-filterwall-that-is-not-as-leaky-as-China's.

Curtmiester:
I cried laughing when I read that smoking a drug gives you exp.

Oh god yes, it's hilarious. Look mum, I smoked this brugleweed and I leveled up! *Mum runs away crying*

-Joe

Doesn't this just further spread piracy? People who wanted to get the game now can't so they will fire up Bittorrent and will have it soon after it is released in other countries. In fact, isn't the government hurting itself besides the game industry as the games could be taxed?

I don't understand the Board sometimes. I have no interest in this game but banning it because of a drug called brugleweed? Laughable. They obviously overlooked games like Far Cry 2 where you use more morphine than a hospital goes through in a year because WHY?! exactly?
Wish they'd make up their minds. If the Game is rated MA15+ what's the bloody issue? Becuase kiddies get their hands on it? That's a whole other argument. Shit, They can learn from it. Play Far Cry 2 and you have basic Field Medic training... kinda.

These bans are ridiculous, not even Germany bans games that easily.

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