Australia's decision to ban the popular zombie survival video game DayZ because of in-game drug use has made the country look like "the wet blanket and laughing stock of the whole world", a state MP has said
Tim Quilty, Liberal Democratic Party member of the Victorian Legislative Council, said the "absurd" ban was triggered by Bohemia Interactive's plans to include cannabis as a healing item.
PC Gamer reports that the developer hasn't yet confirmed which in-game item fell foul of the Australian Classification Board, but players can use morphine to heal and the game files mention cannabis.
"What makes this ban especially absurd is that Australia has an R18+ classification for video games ... refusal of classification should be reserved for illegal materials, things like child pornography and snuff films that should never have been created in the first place. It should not be used for zombie survival video games.
"Sadly, the developers of DayZ have caved," he said in the Parliament of Victoria, referencing Bohemia's decision to change the game worldwide because of the ban.
"Australia is once again the wet blanket and laughing stock of the whole world. It's an embarrassment that we obediently let our government treat us like children.
"While the rest of the world is legalising cannabis, we are banning representations of cannabis in video games."
PC Gamer said Bohemia hasn't said how it plans to change the game to comply with the Australian rating system, but as Fraser pointed out it might be as simple as changing item names, in the same way Bethesda switched morphine to Med-X in Fallout 3.
The Australian Classification Board gave DayZ an "RC" (Refused Classification) rating, ruling the game will "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".