Earlier today, the Twitter account @FrostbiteEngine — the official Twitter of EA’s in-house Frostbite Gaming Engine (Battlefield 4, Need for Speed, Plants vs Zombies) — sent out these April Fools’-themed messages:
Frostbite now runs on the #WiiU since it is the most powerful Gen4 platform, our renderer is now optimized for Mario and Zelda.
Frostbite will power #HalfLife3, coming out summer 2014! #WiiU exclusive.
Good news, we have finally fixed and optimized our ‘netcode’. Uses quantum entanglement for Zero Latency connections. Exclusively on #WiiU.
These Tweets were taken down pretty quickly.
I didn’t see them. Many people would never have seen them if it weren’t for the swift and plentiful media coverage of the event and the corresponding Twittergasms of those offended or upset. I had no idea what was going on, so I checked out some of the news stories. I was honestly shocked by what I found.
Perhaps in an effort to sensationalize the story, some medium-to-high traffic gaming sites condemned the Tweets with much harsher language than what was in the Tweets themselves.
Here are some examples:
“There’s having fun, Frostbite guys, and then there’s just kicking a console in the balls for the fun of it.” (thirteen1 ‘s news report, the top post on N4G right now)
“These aren’t even funny—just kinda cruel. They’re picking on the weakest kid in class. Maybe Nintendo should tweet something like “Hey guys, Battlefield 4 is working today. APRIL FOOLS.” (Kotaku‘s story, which was the first one I saw)
(Note: If you want just the facts, check out IGN)
I think people felt that the comments were a little too soon given that EA announced last week that its engine had surpassed the Wii U’s computing power. This means no Battlefield 5 for Wii U.
Be that as it may, the response was ridiculous.
Here are my reasons why:
It is April Fools’ Day. It is the one day people should be allowed to make jokes, even if they aren’t funny. People are so wrapped up in political correctness and walking on societal eggshells that we can’t even make good/bad/too soon jokes on A HOLIDAY DEDICATED SOLELY TO JOKING AROUND.
Should an official Twitter with corporate ties joke around like this? Probably not, but I don’t think it is a big enough deal to where this Tweeter’s boss’ boss’ boss’ boss has to pop online to post this:
God of Journalism, Hear My Rant
We should probably keep opinions and colorful language out of our news reporting. Write an opinion piece and SLAM whoever you want for whatever you want (like this), but keep it out of the news. Especially if the angle of your news story is that a company made a huge mistake by saying mean things about someone else on the internet, and then you end your story by… saying mean things about someone else on the internet.
I think the jokes made by Frostbite AND the comebacks lobbed by writers were relatively funny. Both should be hurled without end, especially on April Fools Day. If you are against these mean-spirited interwebs barbs, then scream that from a rooftop. Just be consistent.
Also, calling Nintendo the “weakest kid in class” is basically spelling out in plain English what was only alluded to by the “harsh” Tweets. It reminds me of when some do-gooder would try to discourage bullies by saying something like “Stop it! You know it isn’t Jeff’s fault that he is the slowest kid in class!” I always felt like the defender did the most damage in that situation.
Since When Do Gamers Care About Internet Etiquette and Hurt Feelings?!
I don’t want to over-generalize too much here. A lot of gamers are really supportive and working very hard to improve the conditions of online communities. Some are ACTIVELY attempting to end the bad wrap that entire groups of people get because of the actions of a few.
I post my thoughts every day. I post my work online to various outlets. I get paid to do it. A few people like my stuff. Some people intelligently lay out why they disagree with me or why my work is flawed, and more people tell me to f*$% myself and to never write again– which is fine. Obviously I didn’t listen.
That’s why I was shocked when people cared about this. Some of the same people that are riding Watch Dogs over a few pixels, drove the Fez creator to madness and generally delight in the misfortunes and torment of others are up-in-arms because of a few slightly mean Tweets? Where am I?
No, not poor Nintendo. These jokes wouldn’t be possible if Nintendo created a superior machine. If the company or its employees/fans are irked by this barb, then get out there and fix it. I have some warm, nostalgic fuzzies for the company too, but, as Poet Laureate Janet Jackson once said, “what have you done for me lately?”
Or, take the low road. Sling some mud back. Hire some of these writers to do it for you! Hell, I’ll do it. An EA company talking product quality invites thousands of possible jokes.
The Pot and the Kettle
Now, some of you might be thinking that I am overreacting to an overreaction. That sensationalizing something that was over-sensationalized is contradictory and counter-productive. That I am putting down the people who put down the Twitter account who put down Nintendo, so how is that helpful?
My answer is this: Shhh. Please don’t tell the others. I have a gaming addiction to support.
Originally Posted to Gamer Headlines
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