Today Kotaku Australia Will Be An April Fools Free Zone

Angus Kidman, Editor of Lifehacker Australia reminded me that today was April Fools' day and I groaned. Audibly.

No. Don’t do it. Think twice.

Think twice before you write that headline. Think twice before you hit publish. Think twice before creating that fake ‘news’ story. Think twice before developing some elaborate ruse for the ‘epic lols’. Yes, it’s April 1. I get it. Who gives a shit? April Fools' jokes in games media stopped being funny after I spent weeks trying to unlock Sheng Long in Street Fighter II and it hasn’t been funny since.

I know what’s coming. I know that today, and possibly into the April 2 as a result of the US time difference, I should expect literal, actual lies on the homepage of video game websites. I should expect it and tolerate it. I should be on my guard.

What a day. What a weird day. A day in which the media is not only allowed to test the boundaries of trust with its readership, but is actively encouraged to invent news. To try and mislead its audience instead of informing it.

It’s funny? Is that the point? Well, obviously that’s the point, but is that funny? To lie to your readership? I’m certain there have been well put together, funny April Fools' jokes on video game websites but, at this precise moment I’m struggling to think of one.

It’s a strange balance. If the fake-news in question is too real, it’s probably not funny. It’s probably too close to the bone to be good for a laugh. If I were to report – a story fabricated out of thin air — that EA was planning to publish Titanfall on the PlayStation 4 would that be funny? Probably not. If I were to report that and later say, ‘April Fools you goddamn idiots’ – would that be funny? Of course not.

If I were to report that Optimus Prime was going to be made available as a playable Titan in Titanfall, would that be funny? I guess maybe, but the hilarity of that joke would be completely dependent on a certain subset of your audience being actually misled by Kotaku Australia, a news outlet it should be able to trust.

The balance is delicate. 95% of April Fools stories simply aren’t worth the effort. They’re either way too silly to be realistic and, hence, fool no-one, or they mislead your audience, and that’s just shit. I’m not in the business of trying to mislead my audience and I don’t think anyone should be.

Sure, I’m being a killjoy. Yes, I’m on my proverbial high horse, but I’d like you to know that today Kotaku Australia will be an April Fools free zone. There will be no bullshit. No invented stories. No made up news for our own self-indulgent amusement.

I hate to be the party pooper, but today it will be business as usual.


    Is this a pre-April Fools day cleanser to make us more susceptible to actual April Fools BS when you do it tomorrow?

    Am I being too cynical?

      You can never be too cynical. You can only be cynical enough.

      That's what I thought! This is clever! Is he luring us into a false sense of security??? Is that the April Fools Joke?????

    'Cause it's another day for you and me in paradise

    When it comes to the internet, I found April Fools Day to come every second year. It's full of many, even great jokes for the day. The following year there's not as many jokes and the ones that do make it are so lame there's no point in paying attention.

    The whole goddam internet is just one big April fools joke.

    Thanks Mark...Thank you!

    I wonder if IGN will create another Zelda movie?

    Just remember to cull all the US stories that will be reporting all the April Fools shenanigans also to keep Kotaku 100% Aprils Fool Day free

      I wish there was a way to cull Brian 'Japan nonsense' Ashcrafts stories every day.

        Be careful talking like that. All the pretentious neck beards will come at you. I made an anti bashcrap comment the other day, and had some ass hat kid crying like a bitch because of it.

          I just don't understand it, cant he put that sh*t on his facebook or something, 99% of it isn't even gaming related.

            Couldn't agree more. He treats kotaku like his own personal blog. Whereas it's meant to be for gaming related news and reviews, or so the header states.

      I was thinking about this, too. Is Kotaku AU allowed to filter the US stories? If they "accidentally" leave the filter active afterwards, I can't say I'd be too disappointed...

        Probably not, considering we get Aus stories reposted after the US reposts them to US Kotaku.

    In other news. Kotaku AU simply sources it's "Articles" from other websites. So expect plenty of crap tomorrow.

      I think you are confusing Kotaku AU with Kotaku US.

      The AU articles are very good.

    I'm not taking any chances. April first is and always will be the day I stay off the internet.

      Better get in now then...

      Nintendo making games for PS4!

      Ryu starring in the next Mortal Kombat!

      Nathan Drake getting a sex change to become Natalie Drake! Still voiced by Nolan North!

      WBGames announce Batman Arkham Inbetween Origins and Asylum exclusive to PS2!

      Xbox One officially renamed to Xbox Bone!

        Damn, I shouldn't have announced my strategy. I shall have to accelerate my plans to include today... But I shall nevertheless be anticipated next year, and have to accelerate again...

        This will no doubt lead to a slippery slope, whereby I will never be able to connect to the internet again, for fear of deliberate misinformation! Fie on you! So long internet, I enjoyed the time we spent together, but your neverending stream of lies could not be silenced. Farewell!


          Nolan North also gets sex change to become Nolanie North!

          World of Warcraft bought by Facebook!

          Half Life 4 announced!

          WiiU outsells all competition!

          Mark Serrels revealed to be faking Scottish accent the entire time!

        Nathan Drake getting a sex change to become Natalie Drake! Still voiced by Nolan North!

        Upvoted just for this.

        Last edited 31/03/14 4:14 pm

    Well fucking said. April's Fool pranks are never funny. I've only ever found them irritating.

      Albeit the jokes themselves aren't something I find funny. It's when people fall for the jokes that are blatantly wrong and feel adamant that it's true, that's the funny part, enjoying the fact that there are people that lack the capacity to analyse whether a joke is real or not.

    Thanks Mark! I agree totally on this point.

    I have never understood what's funny or amusing about April Fool's shit. You state something untrue, and then people find out it's not true. Moreover, it happens on a predetermined day each year to remove any spontaneity.

    I just don't get it. But then I don't laugh at people getting injured or harassed either, so I guess I should just leave the internet's video sites alone if I want entertainment.

    Blizzard does April fool day jokes the best. It's obvious that it's a joke and it is funny.

    If I could upvote your article Mark, I would.

    and possibly into the April 2 as a result of the US time difference,

    This is the bit that annoys me the most about April fools day and the internet.

    The tradition was that April fools only lasted until midday. If you tried to prank someone after midday, the joke was on you.

    Due to the time difference, we get the US April fools pranks not just after midday, but actually a whole day after.

    April 2nd is not April fools day. I don't care what time it is on the US, I care about the time here in Australia. This is why anything that relies on specific dates doesn't work on the internet.

      I've personally never had a "Day" that lasts only until midday. Do you celebrate Christmas Day until midday? Boxing Day? New Year's Day? Labour Day? I'm reaching by this point, and not trying to be deliberately antagonistic, I'm just trying to make the point.

      The "tradition" goes back far longer than modern times -'_Day - and a day is a day is a day. Personally, I think the "celebration" of jokes until midday is solely so that workplaces don't lose too much productivity to pranking and can just get back to business as usual.

    What? No fake half life 3 announcements tomorrow?

    Actually, I can live with that. (I'm sure someone somewhere will still do it though.)

    But it's so hilarious when game companies announce something they know we all really want even though they're never ever actually going to do it. Haha, Half-Life 3 on Steam with free beta keys for a 500GB download that always gives you random sarcastic error messages when you try to install. What could be funnier than Blizzard announcing Warcraft 4?

    April Fools pranks need to be more personal. If someone tricks me specifically that's funny, but when you're just doing a blanket prank on an extremely broad audience that's almost certainly sitting there by themselves that's not particularly funny. Especially when the joke is 'haha, you thought us actually doing this meant that we were actually doing it'. 'We had our marketing team working for months on this fake, global campaign advertising the new Metal Gear as an XBOX 360/XBOX One exclusive, and you fell for it you dumb bastard!'. 'We actually made a Smash Bros build with Master Chief in it and put it up as a demo on the eShop, ha!'.
    Trolling like that requires you to toe the line between a convincing lie and outright telling the person you're lying. Everyone around the victim needs to instantly know it's fake. Someone taking a wooden nickle is a chump, but someone thinking your perfect replica counterfeit note is real is just someone who doesn't submit every note they're handed to a barrage of deep tests.

    That said there's a lot of fun stuff that goes on. I just think most of the good stuff doesn't really fall into the 'joke' category. There will be a sweet Google toy or a gadget that ends up actually getting made.

    Last edited 31/03/14 1:41 pm

    humanity is the eternal joke, its the secret fate of all life

      A lunatic for every comment section.

        I see a few people haven't watched True Detective yet. It's almost a direct quote from the show, I don't actually feel that way. downvote away through, I wanna see how low this sucker can go

        Last edited 01/04/14 3:22 pm

    It's the perfect day to try out your critical thinking skills. A reminder to question everything we read and hear.

    so we can expect articles on Half Life 3 and Fallout 4? Plus news that Nintendo will be developing games for other consoles and that the Xbox One is digital only again

    Now I got "Another Day in Paradise" stuck in my head. Fuck you, Phil Collins!

    To be fair though, we have actually gotten some good games and features out of April Fools' jokes that became real.
    So, when you say that KotakuAU will be an April Fools free zone, is that AU content only, or will we be able to have the US content vetted for it as well?

    Yep, fair enough. Warning is good. :)

    Also, as 'fun' as they can sometimes be, they're also a little exhausting. Look, I come here to chill, not think.

      Last week, my bosses in Adelaide announced that they will be coming up for a meeting tomorrow. Fingers crossed THAT'S an April Fools Joke. If they do show up, I'm sure the meeting alone will be enough of a joke to qualify though!

    better just filter Kotaku AU to Mark Serrels articles for the next 2 days then!

    Well written Mark. I'm also so over years of April fools jokes like my friends informing that a Deadpool movie starring Ryan Reynolds has been finally green lit from the studio. 9 years of this lie, and I get caught out by this lie every time and it always happens before my morning coffee. Damn you internet. Damn you friends. I'm going to go dark side on anyone that thinks they can fool me tomorrow!

    B1ack Sword out! *mic drop*

    I enjoyed Riot's April Fools in the past, I'm excited to see what they do this time around. But everything else seems pretty lame.

    Skim read, skim read. OMG Optimus Prime in Titanfall! :D

      As long as there's also a Rodimus Prime that plays The Touch every time I get out. =P

        And the pilot should look like the matrix of leadership when the titan opens up

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