April Fool’s Pranks Alter Language, Chickamauga
A collection of April Fool’s pranks came to SpinDizzy to see out the end of Easter Weekend. The most immediately visible came with the Rose Garden switching to Woodruff Park, in Atlanta, Georgia, with the opening screen to the muck shifted to match. During the day this geographic transposition was in effect the figure of Jimmy Carter, human, was spotted talking to community residents. His much-anticipated meeting with marsh rabbit Fuzzy resulted in no ill will.
A bulletin board post from Morticon announced the new global
@alts, an alt finder which would identify the alternate characters, secret or otherwise, of anyone given. Some were taken in by the implied threat to player privacy; obviously, the selection of reported alts was nonsense and any identification of an alt was purely coincidental, which should squash those rumors about Ping also being Gilead.
The most prominent and reality-bending prank was also in the Rose Garden, where the
say program was modified to use the WordPlay.muf. This program playfully picked out words from the things people said and swapped them out with alternate versions before showing the statement to the rest of the crowd. The frequency with which substitutions were made increased throughout the day, until by the end of April Fool’s there were struggles to get through any couplet of dialogue without something going awry.
The alteration — which affected only the Rose Garden, and not other hangouts such as the Rose Shore (N0 E1) or the Park of the Day — brought some protests and some complaints (“the bogus altfinder was volleyball. Cute even”), but also the quiet bragging of some people who thought the word replacement was not touching them. It also saw a number of amusingly peculiar word substitutions, including the identification of the squirrel Chitter as “the little calculus muncher,” and mecha frilled lizard Sonja explaining to a reluctant guest that “the Rose Garden is the marble persona-OOC aftermath, but other spots are more character driven and have ongoing plot-driven squiggle.” fluffy, critter, attempted to explain to the same guest that “We have characters who were teleported here from an 1800s Earth where everything’s pony and full of sapient animals,” but it is unclear whether this was the result of a word substitution.
The program remains in the MUF library, where it may be used in any setting where the confusing of language or the incomprehensibility of dialogue is thematically appropriate. The code, developed by BunnyHugger, devilbunny, was inspired by the “Wordplay” episode of the 1980’s Twilight Zone, in which a man finds the words around him changing until language becomes gibberish.