I’m not sure what it is about the concept of April Fool’s but I deeply dislike it. I feel like it should be totally fine to have fun and make jokes on other days but for whatever reasons, companies end up pulling “pranks” on social media that are mediocre at best and cringy at worst. Similarly, some people try to be funny… but they ultimately fail at doing so and can even end up hurting others’ feelings.
Note: For this post, I’ll allow myself to use both spellings of this day. Both are correct, after all, I think? I mean, both make sense and some people prefer one spelling over the other. Hence this post has both spellings/punctuations (Grammarly hates me for this): April Fools’ and April Fool’s.
Still, I love what game devs. In Satisfactory, those dog thingies are incredibly tall now while the tall landwhales or whatever they’re called are incredibly tiny. Furthermore, everyone’s head is big. It’s nothing too special. It’s just kinda fun when you see it and that was that. Mojang actually releases a special version of Minecraft every year that features some unique mechanic of sorts. Last year’s version featured wallpapers and screen savers included in “Minecraft PLUS!” which was a fun idea and throwback. The year before that, they added infinite dimensions that are filled with easter eggs and weird happenings… and this year, they removed the inventory. Completely. You cannot craft or eat anything. Tools are used up immediately. You can pick up one item (and put one on your head/off-hand, I guess?) as well as mobs and stuff. Grabbing a chicken works like a paraglider. Meanwhile, everything is incredibly janky and different and I found it hilarious to see how SmallAnt1 actually tried beating this unique version of Minecraft (see video below). According to other bloggers, Guild Wars 2 added dogs that can be pet, which is pretty neat.
But at the same time, while some of these mechanics and ideas and whatnot are pretty fun, sometimes it creates situations where players want to have some of it in the actual game and not just as a joke. In League of Legends, “URF” or “Ultra Rapid Fire”, a mode with 0 mana costs and 80% cooldown reduction was introduced as a one-time event but eventually added as a rotating game mode. It was released on April Fool’s Day in 2014 and because the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive, it stayed there a bit longer and eventually got changed to “ARURF” or “All Random Ultra Rapid Fire” with some minor tweaks to it to ensure that games aren’t too frustrating. It’s honestly a good example of something that initially was just supposed to be a joke but was eventually changed into a semi-permanent thing. Joke modes aside, there were other jokes that were rather harmless, like one year where all messages sent in all-chat were changed to “meowing” and “barking” based on what side you’re on. Similarly, the meowing and the barking were also localised into the different languages, which was pretty great. Those, however, didn’t result in anything permanent.
Honestly, I feel like I would love this whole thing more if it was actually more meaningful. I mean, Yakuza: Like a Dragon being announced as a joke but then getting such an overwhelmingly positive response and eventually being realised into an actual game was amazing. If you were to introduce a mascot as some company for April Fool’s and if it were to actually stick around forever, that’d be hilarious. It’s the same with updates or patches or announcements that nobody is 100% sure about because it’s April Fool’s.
Twitch actually did release a “Silent Reading” category onto their platform where people are supposed to read… in silence… and others can watch them… And that’s it really. They also did declare that it’s suddenly “Mod Appreciation Day”… on Trans Visibility Day… which is quite scummy… and in some timezones, it looked like a super bad joke because of how they pushed this and how it was April Fool’s in some categories. Either way, kind of stupid?
My point is just that having something permanent and positive come out of a joke is pretty great. It’s different. It’s innovative. Making a joke announcement of Lost Ark closing down or something like that on April Fools (btw that was just a joke, I have no clue if there was something like that) would be tasteless because a lot of people still love Lost Ark so much. I dislike it personally and don’t really do anything on April Fools. This time around, I added a few post-it notes onto my flatmate’s door with affirmative and positive messages. “As a prank” that is quite weak. I mean, literally, the only “prank” about that is that he has to take them down, I guess? But all of them are nice. I’m not good at this. Maybe that’s why I dislike April Fools?