And so, the epic saga comes to a close – Fallout 3‘s OFLC report has been made available to IGN AU; the contents outline the reasons behind the reassessment of Bethesda’s post-nuclear RPG in Australia by the classification board.
The biggest points to take away with you are that the essential nature of drug use in the game has not been altered dramatically:
“The drugs depicted are fictional; drugs are depicted as stylised icons on a menu with the drug use itself not depicted. Whilst navigating a post-apocalyptic futuristic landscape, players can invoke the use of a variety of “chems” listed by fictitious names which include “Buff”, “Rad-X”, “Psycho” and “Ultrajet”. Within the context of the game’s narrative, the player may choose to make use of these “chems” to alter the physiological characteristics of their character in the game.”
The report is vaguely worded, but it suggests the drugs are still present – though, perhaps relabelled and not shown to be imbibed by the player’s character. Is that a big deal? If the end result is the same and you still get the nudge-nudge nature of drug-use and abuse in the game, then we’d argue it’s not. Does it still undermine the artistic process? Or does the decision impact social freedoms? Well, that’s up to your point of view.