A Moment of Joy for We Happy Few

It's another example of the disparity between the classification of games here and in other countries.

We Happy Few was recently refused classification due to the use of the drug Joy allowing an easier gaming experience, seen as incentivising drug use and breeching classification requirements. Australia's National Classification Code states that games depicting "drug misuse or addiction ... in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults" will be refused classification.

"A player who takes Joy can reduce gameplay difficulty, therefore receiving an incentive by progressing through the game quickly. Although there are alternative methods to complete the game, gameplay requires the player to take Joy to progress," the board said in its original ruling. "In the Board’s opinion, the game’s drug-use mechanism of making game progression less difficult, constituted an incentive or reward for drug-use. Therefore, the game exceeded the R18+ classification because of the drug use related to incentives and rewards."   

Meanwhile in other countries, including our neighbours in New Zealand, the game received a PG13 rating. The Classification Board received a heavy amount of backlash for their decision to decline the rating and was urged to reconsider, even by the developer Compulsion Games themselves.

The Classification Board announced today that it will consider an appeal of the Classification next month, and extended an invitation to individuals or organizations to "apply for standing as an interested party. The closing date to lodge your application for standing as an interested party and any submissions is 29 June 2018," the announcement says. "Please note that the Review Board can only consider submissions about We Happy Few itself and not any other matters relating to computer game classification policy or issues generally."  

The Classification Board's re-review is scheduled for July 3.

If you wish to lodge your own application you can do so at the following link:


Or via post or email as follows:

Submissions should be emailed to crb@classification.gov.au or sent to:
The Convenor
Classification Review Board
Locked Bag 3
The Classification Review Board is an independent merits review body. It makes a fresh classification decision upon receipt of an application for review. The Classification Review Board decision takes the place of the original decision made by the Classification Board.

"We've received a lot of support since the first decision from the board and we want to thank everybody who has offered us help." -Compulsion Games


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Remutha, or Rem, has been writing for 8 years. Combining this with a love of video games Rem has been writing game reviews for 2 years.

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