Minecraft dev sacrifices Nirvana in-joke to save players' parrots
Minecraft developer Mojang is making a show of changing how the game's new polygonal parrots can be enticed into breeding in an effort to avoid inadvertently encouraging players to poision actual parrots in real life.
It's an odd, interesting story of how a developer is being actively mindful of the impact its work can have on players, one that starts with a recent Reddit post warning Mojang that allowing chocolate chip cookies to remain an avian aphrodisiac in Minecraft would likely lead some of the game's many young players to try and feed chocolate to actual pet parrots.
That's a problem because chocolate is in fact toxic to parrots -- though to varying degrees depending on the variety imbibed, as Parrots of the World pet shop co-owner Marc Marrone recently told Motherboard.
The outlet also contacted Mojang, and received assurance from Minecraft lead creative designer Jens Bergensten that the studio would change the in-game parrot breeding item before the next update (1.12, which will be the official debut of the parrots) because "if Minecraft has any effect on children's behavior, we want it to be a positive one."
"Our reasoning for originally using cookies was twofold; it gave cookies a reason to exist within Minecraft, and it was a subtle reference to the Nirvana song 'Polly,'" continued Bergensten. "However, we didn't consider what the chocolate ingredient would mean to real life parrots!"