Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is the latest video game in a long line of censorship casualties in Australia.
The game launches on March 30th for PlayStation and Stadia owners but the Australian government has banned it from sale in the country.
The Australian Censorship Board hasn't specified exactly why Disco Elysium's been banned and developer ZA/UM has yet to publicly respond on this. However the core gameplay mechanics prominently include drugs and alcohol and which is a bit of a no-no
for the country's censors.
Update: Criticising Australia's archaic games censorship
29th March 2021. Thanks to Daniel. See
article from theguardian.com The banning of video game Disco Elysium
from sale in Australia has renewed calls for the Australian government to overhaul the classification system to move away from the moral panic associated with video games.
The chief executive of the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association,
Ron Curry, told Guardian Australia:
The Australian Lawyers Alliance said in a submission to a public
consultation on the government's upcoming internet censorship bill named the Online Safety Bill:
Games are treated differently and the classification guidelines do not hide it. In spite of the government's own research to the contrary, when an R18+ classification was introduced
for games they still insisted on making interactivity a determinant in classifying games, unlike film and publications.
There are also other restrictions levelled at games around violence, sex, drug use and incentives that aren't
applied to film.
The sad reality is that the national classification system applies a stricter set of rules for video games than it does for pretty much every other kind of content, reflecting the early 1990s era in which those
rules were written, when video games were associated with a moral panic and certainly not treated as the mainstream medium and artistic discipline that they are.
The online classification system needed review, which should be done before the online safety bill passes. This bill should
not be reliant on such an outdated classification system. The ALA therefore submits that this legislation should not proceed until such a review into the [classification scheme], incorporating community consultation, has been undertaken.