While the Australian government dawdles on changes to the country's classification guidelines, games continue to be "refused classification" on the grounds they exceed the maximum rating of MA15+. The latest game on the chopping block? Left 4 Dead 2.
Yup, Valve's Zombie shooter has been refused classification, which means it can't be made commercially available in the country. Not quite the same as a banning, but it has the same effect.
We've contacted Valve for comment, and will update when/if we hear back. Previous games to have suffered this fate usually receive an MA15+ rating later down the line after edits have been made to the offending content.
UPDATE - Here's why it was "refused classification":
* The game contains violence that is high in impact and is therefore unsuitable for persons aged under 18 to play.
* It notes that this violence is "inflicted upon ‘the Infected' who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently."
* The report singles out the use of melee weapons as those that "inflict the most damage" and cause "copious amounts of blood spray and splatter (sic), decapitations and limb dismemberment… or even cause intestines to spill from the wounds."
* In conclusion, the Board finds that the "interactive nature of the game increases the overall impact of the frequent and intense depictions of violence. This coupled with the graphic depictions of blood and gore combine to create a playing impact which is high."
* Interestingly, the report also reveals that it wasn't a unanimous decision and that "a minority of the Board is of the opinion that the violence is strong in playing impact and therefore warrants an MA15+ classification" instead. However, the majority voted to refuse classification.
"It notes that this violence is "inflicted upon ‘the Infected' who are living humans infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently". Remember, kids, these are the people refusing the game classification. People who think zombies with limbs missing and their guts hanging out are "living humans".