After Saints Row IV, Undead Labs open world zombie survival horror is the next game to be refused classification.
Pills are apparently too awesome for classification in Australia – at least when featured in games like Undead Labs’ State of Decay as a measure of incentive or reward. The ratings board recently banned the indie open world survival horror due to “drug use related to incentives or rewards”.
The full report, courtesy of Kotaku Australia, states that, “The game contains the option of self-administering a variety of “‘medications’ throughout gameplay which act to restore a player’s health or boost their stamina. These ‘medications’ include both legal and illicit substances such as methadone, morphine, amphetamines, stimulants, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, codeine, aspirin, ‘trucker pills”‘, painkillers and tussin.
“Of these, methadone, morphine, and amphetamines are proscribed drugs and the term ‘stimulant’ is commonly used to refer to a class of drugs of which several are proscribed. Players obtain drugs by scavenging for them in the environment or by manufacturing them in a ‘Medical Lab’.
“When players find drugs in the environment the name of the drug appears onscreen and the drug is also represented by a visual icon such as a pill bottle or syringe. Within the ‘Medical Lab’ players are prompted to make substances such as ‘Potent Stims’, ‘Mild Stims’ and ‘Painkillers’. The laboratory includes a ‘research library’ and ‘chemical dictionary’.
“When administering drugs, the player is briefly depicted moving a pill bottle toward their mouth. The sound of pills rattling in the bottle accompanies the depiction. The name of the drug appears onscreen along with its representative icon.
“Consumption of the drug instantly increases a player’s in-game abilities allowing them to progress through gameplay more easily. The Applicant has stated that a ‘player can choose not to make any drugs or scavenge for them, but it would be very difficult to complete the game without some form of medication’.
“In the Board’s opinion, the game enables the player’s character to self-administer proscribed drugs which aid in gameplay progression. This game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards and should be Refused Classification.”
Too late to use the excuse that “it’s just a game”? We think so.