World Wide Sims April Fool’s day joke – interview with Charles Star
On April fools day this year, many sims took part in a shared April fools joke that is probably the most widely spread in simming history. You can see the threads about this on Band of Brothers here and Before the Mast in the screenshot below. The joke was orchestrated by Charles Star from Independence Fleet who I’ve interviewed him about the joke.
Hi Charles, could you answer a few questions about your April fools day joke?
It’s good to be here, David. I really appreciate the opportunity to sit down and talk with you today. I love what you guys are doing over here at Ongoing Worlds.
What gave you the idea to do this particular joke for april fools day?
Well, the idea for World Wide Sims (WWS) actually first came to me while I was planning the Super Space Command 3000 (SSC3K) joke last year. Robert Seldon and I had jointly developed SSC3K and, along with James D. West, originally pulled it back in 2003 on our club Independence Fleet (IDF). It went over really well, and we got a great reactiob from the fleet. A lot of people had fun with it.
Fast forward eight years to 2011… By then, IDF membership had turned over almost 100%. I figured not too many people would still remember SSC3K. Anyway, I asked fleet CO AJ Wheeler what he thought about trying the joke again. He wasn’t just supportive of the idea, he thought it was fantastic. I then invited several other sim leaders to join in too. Ultimately, Tavey of Starfleet Legacy Alliance and Kathryn Burke of Theta Fleet decided to participate, and all three clubs pulled the SSC3K joke last year. Just like in 2003, it was a lot of fun and we got some great responses. It was more of the same, but just on a bigger scale. Actually, one person (who will remain nameless) fell for it in both 2003 and 2011. Fortunately, he was a good sport about it.
So like I said earlier, I thought of WWS while AJ and I were planning SSC3K last year. It’s a similar idea, but still different. AJ liked WWS and we decided to make it this year’s joke. Three other sim leaders also joined us (Harbor Master of Band of Brothers, Elena Vasilescu of Before the Mast RPG, and Jonathan of Stargate Command Sims). In addition to the announcements from the clubs, I had also pasted a few fake news stories on the net should anyone decide to google it for confirmation.
How well do you think it went?
It went very well. Among the four clubs that participated in WWS, we got lots of great responses. What made it funnier was that some people who recognized it as an April Fools’ Day joke still played along. The WWS graphics, what really made the joke work, were designed by Caroline Marion.
How many people do you think fell for it and didn’t realise it was a joke straight away?
Hmm, good question. I don’t have any hard data, but if I were to guess based on the responses I’ve seen so far, I’d say about 40-50% seemed to fall for it at least initially.
What was the reaction when those people realise it was a joke?
People who fell for it were angry or dismayed at first–just as the joke intended. Then it was like a sigh of relief once they realized it wasn’t real and that there is no WWS. And that’s how a good April Fools’ Day joke should work–It should end with people being happy, not disappointed, that something isn’t real. 95% were good sports about it and took it as it was intended. Though we did have one IDF sim that started deleting its characters… fortunately they didn’t get too far before we told them it was a joke.
How many Sims took park in this particular “world wide Sims” joke? Were they easy to get onboard with the joke?
Gosh, I don’t know. We have over 20 sims in IDF, but I’m not sure about the other three clubs. And the thing that made this more believable was that the hosts weren’t in on the joke… we got genuine responses from them too. Suffice it to say, I think this was probably the most widely circulated April Fools’ Day joke in simming history.
If you want to read more about World Wide Sims, there’s been an entry created in SimEnc here. What was the best roleplaying April fools joke you’ve ever seen or heard? Please let us know in the comments below!