Yesterday, I watched quite a few people appear on Twitter and ask other people on their feeds to stop being so negative about April Fool’s Day gags. The new mantra, thanks to Social media, appears to be ‘let people enjoy stuff’ and yeah, I get that completely. When your friends are the ones creating the Official Blizzard gags, you absolutely want to let them do that without passing comment, and you swallow your own feelings along the way.
We have come a very long way from the 2014 April Fool’s gag that denigrated Draenai women and in turn a large part of the Warcraft player-base. I remember back then too people turning to each other and pointing out ‘it’s just a bit of harmless fun, why are you taking it all so seriously?’ and wondering why having a difference of opinion mattered when it was clear that the company making the game didn’t grasp the damage they were doing. Since then, there has been a distinct sea change, which is undeniable and very welcome.
Looking at this year’s ‘jokes’ there really wasn’t anything offensive at all. Fluffy bunnies and doggos as mounts, clever micro holidays… it’s all safe and harmless fun. Then there’s the by-now traditional comedy patch notes, and there’s always something to laugh at there. There’s also no ‘but’ coming here: I’m not about to complain this has become too soft, or that any of this is wasting time that should be redirected to getting the Expansion out faster. I sense that for many players, the fake news they have to deal with on the other 364 days of this year is probably what’s making them less than amused with one day a year where it’s okay to be pranked (I was) and then wish half these ideas were in fact implemented already.
What yesterday reminds me is that Warcraft remains an important part of Blizzard’s IP stable, even when there’s no new content on the horizon. These jokes have become as much of the landscape as Expansions themselves, and matter a great deal to a lot of people. So, asking others to ‘let people enjoy stuff’ isn’t unfair, or unreasonable. If you insist on being a miserable fucker about this you’ll be moaning about other stuff that really, nobody wants to hear about either, so if you could do everybody a favour and stop it, that would be great. Let the people who love this game just do what they want without pissing on their fireworks.
If you can’t say anything nice, shut the fuck up.