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MMO CrimeCraft banned in Australia for depictions of drug use

Gang game is latest to fall foul of country's classification board

Australia's Classification Board has refused the release of MMO gang game CrimeCraft as it depicts drugs having a positive effect on a player's character.

The persistent world shooter from Vogster Entertainment was refused classification last week, reports Gamespot, with the board's main issue being its inclusion of fictional drugs called 'boosts' that players can use in order to enhance their performance.

"Boost 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. The game therefore contains drug use related to incentives or rewards and should be refused classification," said the board's report.

"In addition, the names of boosts mimic the chemicals and colloquial names of proscribed drugs. Examples include K-Dust, Birth, Chimera, Majoun, Betadyne ResistX and Zymek Stim-Ex, as well as the anabolics Raze and Frenzy."

Following a lost appeal by Valve in October, Left 4 Dead 2 was refused a rating by the board for its excessive violence leading to the release of a heavily edited version earlier this month.

Australian Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has also spoken out about the release of Modern Warfare 2, calling for an appeal on the 15+ age rating it has already been awarded.

The country's lack of an adult rating for games means that releases must adhere to what is suitable for ages 15 and above.

Last year Fallout 3 fell foul to similar rules on in-game drug use and its "reward and incentive" for the drug use was subsequently toned down in order for it to obtain classification.

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Kath Brice