Patch 1.12 doesn't sound like a landmark achievement for any game. But for Minecraft, it's a pretty big deal. Though it's bound to be teeming with interesting additions and tweaks, a slight change made in the face of controversy is likely its most talked-about feature.
Topping the Minecraft subreddit as one of the most upvoted posts in the game's long history, players aimed to bring attention to how Parrots are treated in the game and how that could have a negative knock-on effect in the real world.
For some time now players have been able to tame the world's wild animals to receive various benefits - rather than murder them for a quick snack. This usually involves feeding the creature a specific food and/or item. In the case of the parrot, that item is a cookie. A savoury snack that, like most chocolatey junk food, could prove fatal to our flying friends.
The post aims to warn Minecraft's considerable younger audience of the dangers of feeding such junk to a real-life bird. Arguing that children are increasingly prone to replicating what they see or hear in games, shows or books etc, there was concern that younger players may end up killing their beloved birds by re-enacting the activity in their own home. Parrots aren't all too common a pet, but there's still likely a large amount of kids with pet parrots who play Minecraft. It's a precaution best taken.
When quizzed about the post by Motherboard, Mojang responded: "If Minecraft has any effect on children's behaviour, we want it to be a positive one, so we'll change the item used to breed parrots". Apparently the initial choice of having cookies by used on the colourful birds was to play homage to the Nirvana song 'Polly'. The art of irony.