Has your child, teen, or grown-human companion been spending a little more time than usual playing the X-Box, computer, or other video game device? And sporadically yelling at the absolute top of their lungs like a crazy person while doing so?
Well, they’ve probably been playing a new-ish video game called Fortnite. You have questions. Here are some answers. Let’s go.
What kind of game is Fortnite?
Fortnite is a shooter game with a pinch of Minecraft, where the hook is that players get dropped onto an island with 99 other gamers, and try to be the last one alive. It’s one of the first games in this new genre.
*Technically, there are two modes of Fortnite, the ubiquitous “Battle Royale” mode, with 100 players all trying to murder each other, and the much less popular “Save the World” mode, which is played against computer-controlled monsters, not other gamers.
What’s the big deal?
No one knows. Scientists have yet to weigh in on the game’s burgeoning popularity, although early reports suggest that at the very least, being addicted to a video game is more understandable than wanting to twirl a fidget spinner.
But why do they have to yell while they’re playing?
The knuckleheads play in groups and use their headsets to communicate with each other and strategize. Oddly, because of the intense gameplay and noise-cancelling effect of their headphones, this leads to more full-throated yelling than a youth basketball game with a bad ref.
Don’t they have enough common sense to realize that they’re screaming at the top of their lungs for hours on end?
No. Remember the water bottle flipping craze of 2016?
Good point. Does this Fortnite thing have something to do with how much time my kid/companion is spending on YouTube?
Why would watching someone else play video games be entertaining?
What am I, a wizard? I still can’t figure out how they can organize walk out protests nationwide over social media and harness the power of their phones to make well-produced videos but at the same time think Drake makes quality music.
Is Fortnite hyper-realistic and technologically advanced?
Not really. It actually looks like a cartoon.
And as for realism, it still suffers from those weird video game things where you can build a flight of stairs on the run or vaporize a wall with a couple whacks of an axe, and the jumping…. Video games have come such a long way in my lifetime.
They can recreate the precise facial expression of Lebron James in perfect detail, or race through the streets of famous cities accurate to the smallest detail. But if you’re playing a shooter game, your character will be able to effortlessly jump 20 feet in the air while firing a weapon as big as a mid-sized SUV.
Hmm. Maybe we could play. I used to be quite skilled at the Legend of Zelda and Excitebike.
Settle down, Big Time. Kids playing Fortnite wield their 42-button controllers with as much speed and vigor as the Toyota sales dork during a sale on Camrys.
I’ve never felt older than when I tried to follow along with my son playing Fortnite, save for that time the radio started playing the New Radicals, “You Get What You Give,” and I spontaneously half-rapped along with that one weird part near the end (“Health insurance rip off lying, FDA big bankers buying…”).
Yikes. I bet the kids would think you’re a weirdo!
Or maybe Fortnite players just want to bust out and express themselves too….