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Wasteland 3 was almost banned in Australia before its release

The third entry in the post-apocalyptic series was almost banned in Australia because of a drug-related item.

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Wasteland 3 is a very unique journey filled with all kinds of inappropriate jokes, sexual references, and of course, lots of profanity and violence. At one point, players can even recruit a swearing parrot. Despite all this, though, the only thing standing between the game and its release earlier this year was when Australia refused to classify the game back in February of 2020. The reason for this refusal? An item called “Rocky Mountain Mousegrass”, which was basically the post-apocalyptic version of marijuana.

According to a report from Kotaku, the original reason for the refusal was because the National Classification Code which Australia uses states that “1. (a) as computer games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with 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.”

Now, that broad statement doesn’t really tell the full story. Thankfully, it doesn’t end there. The board breaks it down further in its annual report for 2019-2020, stating,

“During the game, characters are able to smoke a drug known as ‘Rocky Mountain Moosegrass’, which appears to be a strain of cannabis. The drug is denoted by an icon of a cannabis cigarette or joint in the player’s inventory that is accompanied by captions that attest to the cannabis-like effects of the drug. One caption features the text, ‘It’s like… man. It’s like a fresh mountain breeze. You gotta try some.’ Another caption states, ‘Smoke to take the edge off. Like… way off.’”

Following the refusal of classification, inXile removed the interactiveness of the item, allowing it to finally obtain the R18+ rating that it launched under. It seems weird that the Australian Classification Board would take such an issue with the game including a useable item based on marijuana. What makes it all even sillier, though, is the fact that you can visit a brothel in the game and have sex with a goat to pick up a skill buff.

Of course, not everyone is all for the limitations that the current Classification Board places on games. Kotaku also mentions that former director of the board, Margaret Anderson is just one of many lobbying for the classification system to be modernized. Unfortunately, there is no telling when or if things will actually change.

For now, we’ll just have to enjoy Wasteland 3 knowing that there could have been an item that allowed us to get high and procure yet another skill buff that we probably didn’

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

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