I was wrong with Fortnite

I was wrong with Fortnite
Written by ga_dahmani
I was wrong with Fortnite

I can’t remember exactly when I decided to hate Fortnite so much so that it made my flesh rot like Emperor Palpatine, but I’m true it started around 2018.

2018 was an amazing year.

2018. The year Drake played Fortnite with Twitch streamer Ninja and broke records across the board.

2018. The year I downloaded Fortnite out of curiosity, played a match, was viciously erased by what I assumed were nasty kids before quickly deleting the game from my PS4, never to be summoned again.

But 2018 gave me plenty of reasons to hate Fortnite. There was Antoine Griezmann, the French striker who scored a penalty in the World Cup final before sullying the greatest occasion in sport with a celebration that featured the emotional Do the L dance from Fortnite. Four years later, I still haven’t forgiven him.

Nor have I forgiven my son, who, also in 2018, made the decision, in front of all our friends and family, to strip completely naked during a barbecue and run around the garden while dancing to The Floss.

Fortnite has a lot to answer for.


I, in 2018, I was wrong about Fortnite.

Ian Knighton/CNET

Since 2018, my son had been begging to play Fortnite, using language familiar to most parents: “But all my friends everyone’s playing it.” “I promise I won’t ask for V Bucks.” “I definitely won’t talk to strange men on voice chat.”

But I held back. For years. Fortnite was a forbidden word in my home. Mainly because he didn’t think shooting games were suitable for kids. And I was worried about the online communication element.

Also because I thought Fortnite sucked.

I thought Fortnite sucked, especially in 2018, because it felt like the passing of the guard. The harbinger of a new kind of video game. A single game black hole that absorbs all IP and light. The free nonsense, complete with microtransactions and infinite skins, felt exploitative, especially for kids. So I played it safe: “No. There is no chance. Didn’t you hear me the first time? The answer is No.”

But four years later, in 2022 to be exact, I went bankrupt. All it took was a surprisingly decent report card. I buckled down and told my 9 year old that he could play Fortnite.

And as I watched to make sure everything was going well, I was surprised. Fortnite seemed… kind of incredible.

mandalorian fortnite

Fortnite is sucking up all the IP into a single-game black hole. Sure why not.

epic games

I missed it during my first unlucky encounter with Fortnite, but I was surprised by how good Fortnite looked. Its clean and colorful aesthetic. Admittedly, I was taken aback by the bloated option that occurs when a game is indebted to a zillion endless updates, but as I watched my son take his first hectic steps into a whole new world, I thought, damn, this video game looks like fun. .

Guns seemed fun to shoot, movement felt heavy and tactile. It also seemed… appropriate for children. at least for me child, a 9-year-old boy with limited exposure to video game violence. After watching for about 30 minutes, I was not only sure that my son would be safe playing this video game online with his friends, but I wanted to play it myself.

Which I did. When the kids were asleep, I turned on the Xbox, plugged in, and started getting some games. It was great.

Part of the appeal for me was Fortnite. Relatively new no-compile mode. Normally, Fortnite allows players to frantically build structures during the game, to defend or traverse. For middle-aged people like me, with impaired reflexes and zero capacity for change, building felt overwhelming and terrifying: a whole new world I had no idea how to navigate. With No Build mode, I was able to focus on the things I was relatively familiar with: photographing people.

And make no mistake, Fortnite is a highly polished online shooter.

As someone forged on the battlefield of old-school shooters, playing Fortnite No Build was a balm. It was also a great opportunity to play video games with my son in balance. One of the most shocking things about parenting so far has been how divergent our tastes in video games have become. For my children it has been Minecraft or bust, a game for which I have neither time nor patience. Fortnite has been one of the few times that we have been able to connect through video games.

The first time my son and I played together was legendary. Me, still fumbling with the controls and…general understanding of what the hell was going on; him confident and in control. It was an interesting role reversal: my 9-year-old son drove me through an online gaming experience.

Halfway through I got shot, my son revived me and threw some spare bandages at me to heal me. We stayed together for the rest, spotting enemies, taking them out one by one. I had eight kills, he had 10. With only three people on the map, I wasn’t sure what would happen next. Would I have to kill my own son? Dammit…


The whole aesthetic of Fortnite is very good. I was wrong about that too.

epic games

When the third player came out of a nearby hiding spot, my son turned around and took him out with a couple of well-timed shotgun blasts. We won! We didn’t have to shoot each other, we had to share the loot from a Victory Royale. High five crazy throughout the year. Strengthened parent-child bonds.

It was honestly one of the most satisfying video game experiences I’ve had in years.

So yes, I am a changed man. Fortnite is good.

Do not misunderstand. I have residual problems. I still hate Antoine Griezmann. I still think there is a time and a place to participate in the Do the L dances and the World Cup final is not one of them.

I still don’t understand why my son stripped naked and did The Floss in my back garden.

I still have issues with the whole V-Bucks economy and the way people are encouraged to buy skins and emotes, but I’m happy to admit: I was wrong about Fortnite. 100%.

And, at the end of the day, at least my son is not a Roblox guy. That’s a win in my book.

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