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April 1st is a dangerous time to be on the Internet. It’s already hard enough to tell fact from fiction on the web on any normal day, but on April Fools’ Day, you can trust no one. Everyone and everything is out to fool you, from your friends on Facebook to even big companies like Sony and Samsung. Luckily, most of these jokes are light-hearted and obviously fake. Jokes like these show even the most serious folks in tech can have a little fun once in a while. Here are some of my favorite Internet jokes from April Fools’ Day 2014.
Netflix’s Delicious Originals
Rotisserie Chicken was a Benjamin Button-affair, a 73-minute long film of a chicken roasting on a rotating spit. The catch was the video was in reverse, starting with a fully roasted chicken and ending with raw poultry.
The film garnered 173 pages of viewer reviews. Here’s an excerpt from an insightful 5-star review: “Hesitated in giving this a try, based on the skewering it received from other critics. A riveting tour-de-force that kept me on the edge of my seat… Don’t chicken out on catching this masterpiece while you still can.”
If you didn’t have 73 minutes to spare watching a chicken cook in reverse, Netflix had you covered with Sizzling Bacon, a 20-minute video of bacon frying in a pan.
In this humorous video, YouTube previews their upcoming viral video trends for 2014. They poke fun at the ridiculous nature of viral videos and jokingly reveal it as a sort of science by reproducing them in crazy new forms, such as “baby shaming” and “kissing dads.” Their new fad of the “glub glub water dance” is guaranteed to be a hit just because it’s in a foreign language.
Watch the video yourself and see how YouTube essentially deconstructs how great and stupid the Internet can be.
Kodak never wants you to miss out on a “Kodak Moment,” no matter your location. The Kodak Alaris is a hovering picture kiosk. The drone delivers high quality prints that “fall right out of the sky.” Simply call or text and the drone will come to you no matter where you are.
Kodak even provides the most interesting interpretation of a “cloud service” to date. Just look up at the sky and frantically thrust your arms through the air, and the drone just might notice you for some quality printing service action.
I had to include at least one video game-related prank, and this is one for a game that ended up being one of my favorites from last year.
For months, Capcom had teased a brand new character for their upcoming Ultra Street Fighter IV. Fans spent a lot of time speculating as to who this new character could be. Could it be a character from the days of Street Fighter 1? Maybe a return of a fan favorite! No! Instead, the mystery ended a few weeks ago with the very disappointing announcement that this new fighter was Decapre, a clone of Cammy, essentially a very simple copy of a character that was already in the game.
This leads to April Fools’ Day 2014, when Lab Zero announced that the PC version of their own fighting game, Skullgirls, was getting a brand new character. Instead of disappointment, fans were left with gleeful excitement.
As a jab at Capcom, the Skullgirls character reveal was a parody of Capcom’s own character reveal trailer. Like the Street Fighter announcement, Skullgirls’ new character, Fukua, is simply a differently colored version of Filia, a character that’s been present in the game since its original release in 2012. The difference is Lab Zero didn’t spend months teasing it. It came as a genuine surprise, much to the delight of Skullgirls fans.
The best thing about it is that Fukua has officially been added to the game’s roster as a playable fighter as of April 1st. While Street Fighter fans are still waiting on Decapre, Skullgirls fans can already duke it out with the palette-swapped Fukua. Skullgirls developer Mike Z claims it took less than a week to create the character. Lab Zero says that, if Skullgirls community ends up liking the character, Fukua will remain playable in the game after April Fools’ Day’s end. If that’s the case, Fukua will eventually see release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
So in the end, the joke turned out to be real!
The Google Chrome team added Emoji to Google Translate. If you’re wondering what Emoji is, it’s essentially graphical representations of emoticons. The Chrome team thinks of Emoji as “next phase of linguistic evolution,” and they sought out to condense the written language into expressive pictures, often resulting in a ridiculous and almost incomprehensible series of images.
Ever wondered how to express the complex emotion of “laughing so hard you’re crying, and you’re a cat” without using words? Google Chrome found a way.
A couple of months ago, Twitch played Pokémon, but now Google wants everyone to get in on it with probably the most elaborate April Fools’ prank of the year! Google put together a promotional video on March 31st, the day before April Fools’ Day, advertising a new career opportunity at Google entitled “Pokémon Master.”
In the video, Google Vice President, Brian McCledon, introduced the Google Maps Pokémon Challenge. He challenged Google Maps users to seek out and capture as many Pokémon as they can using the Google Maps application on mobile devices. His ridiculous instructions were accompanied by dramatic video of mountain climbers and other adventurous individuals encountering computer-generated Pokémon at various global landmarks and locales.
As with Skullgirls, the best April Fools jokes are the ones that turn out to be somewhat real. The reality of the Pokémon Challenge is a little less grand than the video, but it was indeed real to some degree. The Google Maps application on iOS and Android devices updated to include an option to activate the Pokémon Challenge. Upon doing so, various Pokémon would spread out around the virtual globe contained within Google Maps. Finding a Pokémon and tapping on them would allow you to “capture” them, with 150 unique Pokémon to collect in all.
Following Google’s prank, thousands of Internet users collaborated in their search for these exotically fictional creatures. Users found Pokémon placed in specific geographic locations. For instance, one could find Pikachu in the Akihabara district of Japan, and Scizor could be caught in the middle of the campus at the University of Texas in Austin. Many of those who sought the title of Google Pokémon Master were willing to work together, sharing Google Docs of Pokémon locations and more. It was fantastic to see Pokémon fans working together across the globe once again with a common goal, all thanks to Google’s elaborate April Fools’ Day prank.
By Alfredo Dizon, eParisExtra