Steve Farrelly over at Ausgamers attempts to unravel the apparent inconsistency in two recent decisions of the Classification Board in rating computer games: refusing classification to Left 4 Dead 2, but granting Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 an MA15+ rating, where in most other jurisdictions it was rated as suitable for adults only.
Farrelly argues that:
the system itself is flawed, because in [the Classification Board's] arguments against classifying Left 4 Dead 2 they cite many things that you are currently able to do in other games, specifically Dead Rising, which encourages the use of creative melee weapons to dismember and kill the undead. The Samurai sword, as the best example, offering equal amounts of locational damage also showing off zombie insides; a game quite easily marked with an MA 15+ upon submission. And that is but one example.
The problem here then is there's no such thing as precedent. In the Board's eyes, despite releasing both Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising as MA 15+ games (among many, many others), they hold no ground to how they should treat Left 4 Dead 2, which is why it's entirely fine to walk into an airport in Modern Warfare 2, kill innocent people and watch piles of bodies build up on the floor around you, but it's not okay to smack a zombie in the face with a frying pan.
This is an interesting point - it certainly seems as though there is great difficulty in the potential for inconsistency in the Classification Board's case-by-case approach. The Board does have guidelines which it follows quite closely, but when cases like this seem to lead to inconsistent results, it lessens confidence in the system.
If you have some comments, head on over to the Ausgamers weekend discussion and add your voice.