The video game too explicit for Australia
IS THERE anything more liberating than turning 18 years old in Australia?
You can legally buy ciggies, spend all of your time down at the pub getting blackout drunk or even have sex with a prostitute at one of our many brothels.
However, if you are think turning 18 will allow you to spend your time playing a video game that encourages drug use, matters of sex, violence or crime you had better think again.
The Classification Board has once again ensured adult gamers can't be treated like grown-ups by banning the release of indie survival and exploration game We Happy Few.
Set in a dystopian society and based on an alternative timeline of events from World War II, the game follows one of three characters who refuse to take a hallucinogenic drug known as "Joy" which leaves them constantly happy, easily controlled and lacking morals.
Once they stop taking the drug, they must try to survive long enough to escape the city before the impending social collapse.
While you might think this all sounds pretty harmless, Australia's Classification Board has different ideas.
The "National Classification Code" states games 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 to the extent that they should not be classified".
And this is exactly why We Happy Few has been denied classification in Australia, even though the country introduced an R18+ rating for games back in 2013.
The decision report from the Classification Board listed the use of the drug "Joy" as one of the main reasons the game will not be released locally.
"Computer games will be refused classification if they include or contain 'drug use related to incentives and rewards'," the report reads, reported Kotaku Australia.
The board also explicitly mentioned how drug use is related to the difficulty of the game as one of the driving forces behind its ban.
"A player that takes Joy can reduce gameplay difficulty, therefore receiving an incentive by progressing though the game quickly. Although there are alternative methods to complete the game, gameplay requires the player to take Joy to progress," the report reads.
This is not the first time adults in Australia have been denied access to video games, with
Fallout 3 being victim to the same rules in 2008.
The game was initially refused classification because you could inject yourself with morphine to negate the effects of injuries, but when the developers changed the name from "morphine" to "Med-X" it was suddenly it was A-OK.
In 2014, South Park: The Stick of Truth was denied release until developers submitted an altered version that removed five anal probing scenes and two scenes where the player undergoes an abortion, and in turn performs an abortion on Randy Marsh.
The South Park creators agreed, but hilariously poked fun at the censorship board by including a picture of crying koala in place of the deleted scenes.
Other banned games include:
• State of Decay: Denied for its use of illicit drugs. The game was later resubmitted with "stimulants" now described as "supplements" and was approved.
• Manhunt:This game was actually released in Australia before it was banned one year later because of extreme violence.
• Saints Row IV: This game was originally banned for drug use and visual depictions of implied sexual violence. A censored version was later released.
Do you think we should be able to buy enough booze to kill ourselves or visit a brothel, but not be able to play this game? Continue the conversation in the comments below or with Matthew Dunn on Facebook and Twitter.