Fallout 3 to go on sale in Australia

Violence, sex and gore -- but slightly fewer drugs

After a fortnight of confusion, the highly anticipated video game Fallout 3 has been approved for sale in Australia by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Last month the game was refused classification by the board for allegedly portraying the use of drugs in a way that benefited players. Due to the explicit drug use the game was unable to qualify for an MA15+ rating — the highest rating offered by the OFLC.

With no adults-only rating available for video game content, the game was refused classification and banned from sale within Australia.

The Fallout series of post-apocalyptic role-playing games is renowned for its gritty, pessimistic portrayal of a world torn apart by violence. In previous games characters have been able to use 'chems' to boost abilities and proficiencies, although often with negative side effects.

Fallout 3 was the first game of the series to feature these chemicals with realistic names and depictions, prompting the OFLC's reaction.

After Fallout 3 was denied classification, the game's developers Bethesda created an edited version and resubmitted it to the classification board. On Monday morning the game was granted a rating of MA15+ — meaning it will now go on sale within Australia.

Bethesda and the game's Australian distributor Red Ant are refusing to comment on what content was removed.

Fallout 3 is the latest game to be edited specifically for an Australian release, after the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto 4 had some visual elements removed.

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