Yesterday we noted that Australia's Classification Board stamped an "MA15+" rating on Left 4 Dead 2, and Gabe Newell was in the process of appeal. Valve's boss had offered two versions of the game for consideration, and it looks like the heavily edited one has passed.
The Classification Board released additional information on the edits in a report, but still warns this game may be excessively violent. Dismemberment and other details have been cut, and zombies now disappear when you kill them. Looks like the Board is still pretty worried though, even citing the sound effects as a reason for concern:
The game contains frenetic depictions of violence as the player fights his way through hordes of "the infected." who are human infected with a rabies-like virus that causes them to act violently. Weapons used include projectiles such as pistols, shotguns and assault rifles or melee weapons, which include swords, axes, crowbars or chainsaws. During the player's attacks on the infected, large and frequent blood splatters are seen as the infected fall to the ground. No wound detail is shown and the implicitly dead bodies and blood splatter disappear as they touch the ground. The associated sound effects accompanying the acts of violence contribute to the strong impact of this game. It is the Board's view that the interactive nature of this game and amount of bloody violence results in a strong impact, thus warranting an MA15+ classification.
The Board notes that the game no longer contains depictions of decapitation, dismemberment, wound detail or piles of dead bodies lying about the environment.
So then, making violence less real also makes it more acceptable somehow. Let's make a note of that, even if it doesn't make any sense! Unfortunately, this means we can't rely on video games to teach our children accurate body physics.