Remember last week when we mentioned that DayZ was running into regulatory problems down under? The reigning Australian games rating board – the newly formed International Age Rating Coalition – denied the now aging zombie-apocalypse title its classification in the country on the grounds that it’s among 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.”
According to Kotaku, the de facto Aussie ban will drive Bohemia Interactive to change the game for everyone, not just players in the affected region:
“We don’t want to separate Australian players from the rest of the world, since many people play cross-region. […] We love that DayZ is the place to meet with friends and experience the game without dramatic regional lag. We don’t want to change that. […] At the moment, we are editing the global version of DayZ so it will fit into the Board’s requirements. The key objective is to keep the gameplay as authentic as it was, so players are not affected by this change.”
So what exactly is the problem? GIbiz speculated last week that it may be the game’s drug content specifically, as Australia denied ratings to State of Decay on those grounds years back. While the board and Bohemia are mum on the topic (apparently the board said they needed to file the equivalent of a FOIA request) and Kotaku’s author didn’t directly draw any conclusions, one Aussie games journo came right out and blasted the country for “reefer madness.”
The fact that weed elicits the same response as other drugs is so fucking cooked. I can't believe Australia is still in the grip of reefer madness.
Anyway glad I've got more than 1000 hours played in a banned game https://t.co/w7fOXyHQej
— Joab Gilroy (@Joabyjojo) August 9, 2019
Parallels to similar nonsense here in the west immediately come to mind. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go blow smoke rings in Middle-earth before ingesting some Star Wars spice.