In an announcement made by the Australian Classification Board, the dystopian survival game We Happy Few has been refused classification. The game has effectively been banned as a result of the country’s ruling.
Drugs are bad, mmkay?
The most likely reason We Happy Few was refused classification is because of how it depicts the usage of drugs. In We Happy Few, the citizens of the city the player explores take a drug called Joy. This drug makes them joyful and cheery, but extremely violent towards Downers, a name for those that don’t take it. The player can blend in with the citizens to a degree by taking some Joy. However, taking too much Joy will fill up your Joy meter and cause you to overdose. The fact that the game incentivises taking drugs (to an extent) is likely the main reason the game has been refused classification.
The Australian Classification Board reason for refusing classification is “Games 1(a)”, which reads:
The computer game is classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Computer Games Table, 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.”
As you read this it’s important to know that We Happy Few isn’t the first game to have problems with Australian censors. Some games have had to make changes to avoid trouble in Australia. The action sandbox roguelike Streets of Rogue recently changed the names of a couple of drug-themed items. Sugar and muscly pills replaced the old speed and strength-boosting cocaine and steroids, but still for people that train steroid are an option, since there are some great supplements for this, and you can find more info here about this. The country has handed outright bans to other games. Australia also refused classification for Hotline Miami 2 under “Games 1(a)”. Humorously enough, developer Dennation Games responded by encouraging Australian players to pirate the game.
Source – PC Gamer
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