Modern Warfare 2 safe for sale down under

Australian Classification Board report shows censors knew of contentious civilian-killing mission.

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With the recent controversy over the Modern Warfare 2 massacre, Aussie gamers could be forgiven for getting a little anxious about the game running into classification trouble.

Although Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was rated MA15+ for "strong violence" by the Classification Board of Australia in September this year (under the title "Bloodhunt" to throw off nosey journalists), the possibility of the Board revoking its rating decision in light of the recent leaked footage was all too real.

One need only look back to 2004 when the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas "Hot Coffee" mod probed an inquiry by the then Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) into what distributors must show when getting games classified.

According to Australian Classification Board regulations, when a distributor applies for classification of a computer game in Australia, it is required by law to provide the Board "with access to all content within the game, as well as particulars of contentious material and the means to gain access to such material."

But Aussie gamers can rest easy, at least for the time being. GameSpot AU has obtained the original Australian Classification Board report for Modern Warfare 2, which shows that the Board was well aware of the contentious terrorist mission.

"The game contains violence that is strong in impact and justified by the context," the report states. "[In a mission], a player goes undercover with the terrorist Makarov and may (but is not required to) assist in the massacre of Russian civilians at an airport. During this mission, several civilians are shot with blood-burst bullet wounds; civilian corpses are strewn across the airport floor, often in stylised pools of blood; injured civilians crawl away with lengthy blood trails behind them; however, corpses disappear at random and no postmortem damage can be inflicted. The impact of this depiction of violence does not exceed strong, and in all other levels, the killing of a civilian will result in immediate mission failure."

The good news is that gamers can pick up their copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 today from Aussie retailers nationwide.

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