In today’s news roundup we hear about the Australian board of censorship's inability to stomach virtual drugs. We bring news from Infinity Ward creative strategist Rob Bowling who warns cheaters and hackers to stop spoiling the fun for Modern Warfare 2 gamers. Lastly we hear of the Navy’s new initiative to make learning more fun for sea-soldiers by replacing books with PSPs.
CrimeCraft banned in Australia
Few countries have tougher censorship laws than Australia, and the latest game to find itself refused classification Down Under is the online shooter/ role play game CrimeCraft. Apparently the game’s depiction of brutal gang violence and warfare was fine, but its use of a fictional drug called ‘Boost’ - which the player is encouraged to take in order to gain specific rewards during gameplay - has really upset the Aussie board of censorship.
They argued that even when taken in virtual reality, drugs can’t be tolerated, and explained how Boost supposedly ‘parallels the names, chemical elements, administration, treatment, and addictive elements of real-world proscribed drugs, and when used provide quantifiable benefits to a player's character.’ In conclusion they added, ‘The game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards and should be refused classification."
CrimeCraft has now been added to ever growing list of games currently banned in Australia. It contains pretty much every GTA title (banned or censored), Manhunt1 + 2 and Left for Dead 2 (although a censored edition will be released). The reason why the Australians have such strict censorship laws regarding video games is, in part, due to the fact they have no 18 + classification for games so everything must adhere to a 15 certificate. [Eurogamer]
Infinity Ward bans MW2 PC cheaters
Although Infinity Ward stated their move from a Modern Warfare 2 dedicated server model to its ‘peer-to-peer IWNet alternative’ would offer a more effective means of keeping out hackers and cheats, thousands of PC gamers have been detected using invincibility, unlimited ammo, and XP boost hacks. 2,500 of the worst Modern Warfare cheaters are about to be booted off Steam permanently, whilst creative strategist Robert Bowling reassured honest gamers that cheating won’t be tolerated and insisted ‘our best people or on it…’ [Gamerblips]
Navy using PSPs to study at sea
According to statement from Lieutenant-Commander Mark "Beasty" Williams, the navy is looking into the idea of to educating sea-soldiers with PSP consoles rather than boring old books. The navy came to the conclusion that – despite the fact these are people are in charge of guns - it was unfair to expect them to read as ‘looking at a book is seen as dull and boring’.
HMS Collingwood in Hampshire was just snapped up 230 PSP consoles which are currently being passed out to naval engineers. Initially, the idea was that all the consoles would have no UMD drive and be incapable of playing games but this has now been reversed as ‘Command believed sailors would better keep their PSPs if they could use them to play games.’ [MMORGA Blog]