California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) police were called yesterday after an email asked a professor to cancel a class “for the good of humanity” for an ominous “once-in-a-lifetime event” that would be occurring at the same time — that event turned out to be today’s Nintendo Direct showcase.
Yes, this is a very, very goofy story. CSUF Acting Chief of Police Scot Willey released a statement in the middle of the night about the matter (via Gene Park), explaining that detectives had investigated the matter as a potential threat to campus security, but they soon determined that the event occurring at the exact same time and date as the professor’s class was just the February 8 Nintendo Direct. The person who sent the original email (presumed to be a CSUF student) even sent a follow-up email to the professor admitting it was just a “bad joke” about the Direct, but CSUF police are increasing security today anyway out of an abundance of caution.
— CSUF Police Department (@csufpd) February 8, 2023
It sounds like everyone behaved quite rationally in this situation, except the goofy kid who sent this ill-conceived email in the first place. Nonetheless, I sympathize with the individual. No Nintendo enthusiast would want to be stuck in a university class during a Nintendo Direct, but sending a weird joke email to cancel class that can be misinterpreted as a threat and investigated by the police isn’t necessarily the best solution.