Australia bans yet another game: Soldier of Fortune: Payback goes unrated

Bad news for koala bears with a war fetish — Soldier of Fortune: Payback has become one in a long line of videogames refused a rating by Australia’s Office of Film & Literature Classification, resulting in a practical ban. The first person shooter is one of many games banned Down Under, making Australia one of the most rubbish places in the developed world for a gamer to live in.

The OFCL had this to say in justification:

“(The decision was based on) the different ways a player could maim and injure (other characters),” the spokeswoman said.

“The violence is seen to exceed the MA classification.”

The Classification Board Report explains that “the limbs may be shot off, resulting in large amounts of blood spray and the depiction of torn flesh and protruding bone from the dismembered limb”.

And what a lame justification that is, no? War’s ugly, boys and girls — it’s time that certain wannabe societal babysitters learned to accept that.

GamePolitics cites the lack of an R-18+ rating as the root of Australia’s problem. Currently, anything with content too graphic for an MA15+ rating gets refused sale. We know Australia is too busy mourning Steve Irwin like he was a national hero and avenging his death by murdering stingrays to grow up, but come on. Let us evolve a little, no?

Jim Sterling