As a gamer dad Fortnite is my favourite video game ever – Reader’s Feature

As a gamer dad Fortnite is my favourite video game ever – Reader’s Feature

Fortnite – fun for all the family Epic Games Store)

A reader explains why he started playing Fortnite with his son and how, despite not particularly liking it, it’s become a family favourite.

As a gamer of over 40 years there are certain things you take for granted when talking to other people of a similar age, in terms of reminiscing about the Xbox 360 days, remembering the earlier days when online wasn’t really a thing, and hating everything that our kids are playing today. Games like Minecraft and Roblox are the bane of many parents but they’re even worse if you like video games, because it’s hugely frustrating that your kids play them and not what my friends call ‘proper’ games.

They include Fortnite within that description and I’ll admit that for a long time I did too, but my son is 12 now and like most kids he’s interested in games. He has a PlayStation 4 that he plays on but has shown little interest in most traditional games, preferring to stick to free-to-play games he can play with his friends and which are also on smartphone.

Fortnite is a bit more of a normal game, compared to Minecraft, and since he’s not really interested in my games I decided to join in and play with him, initially in split-screen mode. I’m not going to pretend that Fortnite is a great game – to my mind it’s a fairly mediocre shooter in terms of the action itself – but bonding with my boy has been something else entirely.

The success of Fortnite, and other similar games, is obviously due to them being free but that’s not the whole story. Minecraft isn’t free but that’s even more popular, and while I see my son playing it quite a lot he’s never made anything particularly impressive and never seems to take survival mode very seriously.

Instead, he just uses it as a place to hang out and chat with his friends. I have never seen him play the game without his headphones on, because talking to his pals at the same time is the whole point. From what I’ve seen the game is just an excuse to meet up, so it’s really not the point. All his friends say they like Minecraft but it really seems to be the social interaction they’re enjoying, rather than the game itself.

At 12, he’s starting to get a bit old for Minecraft, which I’m sure will soon start to be regarded as ‘for babies.’ Fortnite has become the game of choice more and more now, but it still seems to play the same role. He plays it properly, although often he seems to be looking for secrets or just doing silly tricks rather than actually trying to win. And, as with Minecraft, it’s always with the mic on, so that he can chat and laugh with friends.

We don’t need that when we’re in the same house, so he showed me the ropes (I let him explain the controls, as if I’d never played a third person shooter before) and we started playing as a team. We even did okay too, because he’d had plenty of practice and I turned out to be better than he expected.

I ended up quite enjoying it too. It seems repetitive at first but with all the side quests and challenges, all of which are secrets hidden around the map, there’s a bit more too it than I realised.

All the paying money for skins thing is still awful (I secretly fear he was only so keen to get me involved because he thought he’d be able to con me into buying more) but as a game it’s okay. As a social experience though it’s amazing. My son jokes that it’s my favourite game now and in a way it is because it’s meant a lot of quality time together.

So rather than scoff, I’d advise any gaming parents to join in with Fortnite rather than dismissing it. Now all I have to do is get him to appreciate the joys of Civilization (the game, not the outside world).

By reader Wrex

Fortnite doesn’t have to be just for kids (Epic Games)

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