Physical versions of DayZ have been effectively banned in Australia

3 min read
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Which is super weird because the game has been available digitally through Steam since 2013 without any problems at all.

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Despite being known as the country where literally every living creature wants to see you dead through the use of excessive biting, kicking and various forms of neurotoxin, Australia is also known for having one of the strictest boards of regulation when it comes to video games and the content shown within them. Australia has banned plenty of games for including content that was deemed inappropriate and vulgar, including Fallout 3, The Witcher 2, Mortal Kombat and Manhunt. Thing is, I can understand why those games were banned (even if I don’t agree with it), what puzzles me is games like Katana Zero, State of Decay and We Happy Few (which was reinstated a few months after people came to their senses). The latest game to be hit by the Ban Hammer in Oz is the zombie survival simulator DayZ.

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Which is kinda confusing, considering the game is readily available for purchase on digital storefronts like Steam and the PS Store. Apparently the Australian Classification Board took issue with the physical version of game and immediately clamped down on its release, stating that the game was unsuitable for public consumption as it depicted “matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified”.

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DayZ is known as being one of the most robust and complicated communities available to join in video games with the options offered to players on how they may interact with others in the world resulting in long-lasting alliances, town ownership and even taking new players prisoner and making them fight others to the death. While DayZ is known for players often acting inhumanely to others, it’s believed that the game’s use of morphine as an item to heal wounds was the main culprit behind the game being refused classification as the Classification Board are notorious for taking active measures against drug use in video games; This was also the reason We Happy Few was initially banned.

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As for why the digital version is still freely available, all games that end up on digital storefronts are classified by the International Age Rating Coalition which Australia has very little influence over. However, physical copies fall well under the Classification Board’s jurisdiction thus resulting in this confusion. So if you have a physical copy of DayZ and you’re planning on emigrating, might be best to trade that boy in.

Last Updated: August 8, 2019

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