April Fool's Day is Only for Fools

April Fools is done right by Bohemia Interactive and CD Projekt Red, but almost no one else. April fools is terrible, but why am I scrooge about it?

April Fool's day is the worst. It's a day when everyone can say something stupid, and exclaim, "but it's April Fool's." That's like saying you were just joking, after saying something racist, offensive, or down right hurtful. It doesn't make it ok, it's just foolish. There are some times where April Fool's jokes are actually funny and creative, but most are someone saying, "hey, lol it's April 1st, so lets say this stupid thing and we will get away with it." Here's some of the dumb stuff that developers, and journalists, do for this awful holiday:

'Adding' random things to a game, or pretending to

Saying you are going to add something to a game isn't funny, because adding things to a game is a real thing. Doing this is just lying, some of them are actually genuinely good ideas, but they are just "lolz, April fools gotcha" bait. This isn't entertaining, it's just lying. April fools is about having some fun with jokes, not leading people on.

Optimus Prime in Titanfall? Would actually be something nice to have, as a special bonus every so often, or having a Transformers themed mode. But no "lulz April fools."

optimus prime titan fall

Call of Duty: Ghosts had some 'joke' names added to the match names. With "YOLO" being Search and Destroy, "PEW PEW" being Team Death Match, there was even a mode renamed to "new s**t" which appears to be a sector control mode, but I'm unsure of the original name. The worst offense is "bro, do you even cap?" Why is this funny? It's not even clever -- merely adding some random internet slang isn't intelligent or satirical. Being the thing isn't funny, it's just being the thing.

The few times I've found this funny is with the Pandaren race being added to World of Warcraft. While it was initially an April Fool's joke, it has actually been added to the game. That's the part I find strange. The initial idea was humorous, but why add it to the game? Why is that a good idea? Pandas are great, and Kung Fu Panda probably made people want it, I just don't see why it was needed as a paid expansion.

Fake announcements

Ever hear of the PlayStation Flow? While it may be a joke on peripherals, there is no subtlety in the jokes. It's an idea which is an ok joke for the first 20 seconds, and keeps going, and going. It just screams, this is the worst.

Knights of the Old Republic 3 is supposedly coming to Xbox One and PS4, this isn't funny, or a good prank. It's just annoying, confusing, and upsetting.

Kickstarter dropped the "e" to make it Kickstartr and acting like it's real. April Fool's isn't about making people angry or confused, but about making them laugh. And what about dropping the "e" is actually funny? It's not.

kickstarter kickstartr

I'm not all scrooge, I can laugh... seriously.

We all remember Arma 3's "Karts DLC". You don't? Oh... well let me remind you. The first piece of DLC for Arma 3 initially started as a joke. While funny at first, the fun quickly wore off. And then karts were added to Arma 3. This is an example of something being jokingly added, and then actually charged for. Unlike Blizzard with Mists of Pandaria, all proceeds were very kindly donated to charity by Bohemia Interactive -- something I respect them for, as they aren't taking it too seriously, and giving back. This year, Bohemia has gone a step further by selling a new fragrance, Eau De Combat, in a genuinely funny satirical take on perfume adverts.

We all know Roach, the horse from The Witcher 3, has some odd bugs. Well, turns out they were put there on purpose, because the horse simulation was just too good. Bugs are a way to remind players that the game world isn't the real world, so they aren't really bugs, are they? This is April Fool's done right, where someone is taking something and parodying it. It's an obvious joke, and not just there "for the views, but mostly lulz."

Another great example came from 2014, when CD Projekt Red showed that the Igni sign is real. This received a clap from me.

For another (and final) April Fool's joke done right, we can look to Tom Francis, the creator of Gunpoint who's currently working on Heat Signature. He has changed all the art and music for Heat Signature, due to legal trouble with John Roberts, the artist. Why is this good satire? Because it says "[untrue]" in the title. There is no confusion, you know it's a joke from the outset, so you can laugh at everything.

Fools of April isn't always a total bust

Those are just some examples of why April 1st has been renamed to "fools of April". There is, thankfully, some light at the end of the tunnel, with some spoofs, laughs, and good gags to be had. But why can't we all just be a bit more creative? And please stop selling these so called 'jokes', because that isn't funny. I would go watch a comedian if I wanted to buy humor.

Do you like, hate, or otherwise feel ambivalent about April 1st? Let me know in the comments below.

Published Apr. 1st 2016
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