The Classification Board frequently cops a lot of flak whenever a game falls afoul of Australia’s tight classification guidelines — but thanks to Cyberpunk 2077, the Board actually received some positive feedback for once.
The feedback was mentioned during the Classification Board’s annual report, which was filed to the Federal Government last month. The report covers the general operations of the board, the current board and review board members, numbers on how many decisions the Board made in a year and comparisons to the workload with previous years.
COVID-19, for instance, resulted in the board having classified substantially less material, with a 19 per cent reduction in games classified, 29 per cent fewer games classified through the IARC online tool and even a 21 per cent drop in titles classified through the Netflix tool.
Part of the report also includes notes on how many pieces of correspondence the Board gets every year. To the absolute surprise of nobody, video games generates more interest than everything else the Board classifies:
|Board media type/classification tool||Number received|
Most of the correspondence was in the form of complaints, although for a nice change of pace there was some positive feedback. The annual report noted that amongst all the complaints, there was “several compliments and expressions of thanks” for the Board’s decision not to ban Cyberpunk 2077, along with some anime:
During the 2019–20 reporting period, the Board received in excess of 250 pieces of correspondence including complaints about film and computer game decisions (either that the classification was too high or too low), several compliments and expressions of thanks (in relation to the classification the Board gave the high-profile computer game, Cyberpunk 2077 and for classifying certain anime in accordance with the Film Guidelines), and several inquiries about older classification decisions about films classified 30+ years ago. Commentary received from members of the Australian public in the classification process is important and valued.
The report doesn’t note what anime was classified, or any particulars about the correspondence. (Australian privacy law most likely would prevent the Board or department from releasing those emails, in any case, although the individuals who sent them could always publish them online freely.)
Still, it’s nice to note that some people actually took the time to say thanks. And that was amongst the 175 complaints, a massive increase from the 39 received in the 2018-19 financial year. And considering how frantic COVID has been for most people, if you’re playing an R18+ game later this year — Cyberpunk perhaps — it might not hurt to email in and say thanks.