You may be thinking that Fortnite is the American way of spelling the word used in the English language to describe a period of time equivalent to two weeks. And there you would be wrong. Very wrong indeed *throws head back and laughs maniacally*
If you haven’t heard of Fortnite you either:
a) do not have children
b) do not have a games console
c) have been living in a hut in Tibet.
Let me try and explain it to you.
Animated characters get on a ‘Battle Bus’, which resembles an old charabang crossed with a blimp, and are dropped on a remote island. Depending on what level you are at you may glide down to earth on a sort of kite thing or if you are further up the food chain you will be floating to the ground using a jaunty parasol. I have no clue why. All the characters look like they’ve been on steroids for a very long time.
Apparently, the aim of the game is to be the last person standing in a shootout/looting competition between 100 players. (You can play as a squad but I don’t want to complicate things any more than I have to). You only have one life and once you’re dead, it’s game over. You can also get the characters to do the dance moves de jour by pressing a special combination of buttons on the controller. Hence your muscle-bound avatar, with a dodgy orange mohican and painfully tight fitting combats, can pull off The Floss or Carlton Dance whilst on a killing spree. Nice. It’s the little things…
The Scoundrels are so in love with this game that Nothing Else In The World Matters.
Such is the all consuming nature of this game that it’s even made the tabloids and daytime telly, with discussions about children becoming evil warmongers and meltdowns galore if it’s hinted at that maybe they’ve had enough after 3 hours of nonstop slaughter.
We’ve always had a rule that there is to be no tech or telly unless you are ready for school. That rule has been amended since the day neither of them had remembered to brush their teeth, bring their PE kits and the youngest Scoundrel was wearing trousers with a huge gaping hole at the front. He hadn’t noticed….
The current rule is no tech or telly in the mornings. This worked well at first. But it seems I have created Another Monster. Now The Scoundrels are up, breakfasted, showered, dressed, faces squeaky clean and teeth so white they can blind a person from 50 yards. They have packed their schoolbags with everything required for the day, including PE kits AND packed lunch and are ready, like perfect Instagram children, by around 8am. This leaves 25 minutes before we need to leave the house. During this time I imagined we would have harmony in the home, maybe time to read a few chapters of our books or savour that first cuppa of the day.
No. They spend that precious time arguing over who has bagsied first on the X Box after school. I swear bribery has been used to try and get me to say one Scoundrel had bagsied it first before his beloved brother.
My house resonates with the sounds of “Rez me, quick!”, “We need to get some wood and materials!” “Use your common pistol!!!” each shout getting more and more frenzied. And should I have the nerve to declare “Tea’s ready!” I am met with tantrums a two year old would be proud of. BECAUSE YOU CAN’T PAUSE THE GAME FFS (they don’t actually sat FFS, but give it time).
I asked The Hair to have a chat with The Scoundrels as things were getting out of hand, and I feared they would both turn to drink and drugs as young adults, trying to get their ‘fix’ of adrenalin elsewhere.
I could here lots of gentle chatter – and then The Hair’s voice started to rise. Pretty soon it was at full Football Coach in a Training Session During a Thunderstorm volume. Hastily I walk into the living room to try and calm him…only to find he is now giving battle plans and tactics from the sofa and demanding The Scoundrels: “Get some cover!!” “Stand still and assess where the enemy is!!” “Use the crosshairs on your sniper and kill him!”
You can take the boy out of the RAF…