A Middle-Aged Man Plays Fortnite For The First Time, Discovers It Is Fast-Paced

What is Fortnite?

I feel silly typing this since the game is so popular, is accessible to so many people, and it is difficult to imagine that anyone wouldn’t know. But then I remember that I didn’t fully appreciate what the game was when I picked it up to record this video.

Fortnite is a multiplayer player-vs-player (PvP) game that is available for free on the Epic Game Store, and is also available for game consoles. For PC, the game is free-to-play (where Epic makes all of their money by charging real-world money for virtual goods). Kids love it because it is fast-paced, lets them play as compelling characters, let-out energy through competative matches that are really accessible regardless of skill level, and doesn’t require physical skills like hand-eye coordination.

So, in that regard, it is like any game in that space: a way to gank someone in a safe way and have some competitive fun.

Where Fortnite is different is the nature of gameplay. Epic developed the game with multiple interesting modes to keep the gameplay unique and diverse. They change the game to offer marketing tie-ins with popular characters like children of the 80’s and 90’s did with corporate tie-ins to McRestaurant foods and Saturday morning cartoons.

We found it fun then, and they find it fun now. Honestly, I find it fun too! I just wish I were a better player.

Lessons From Playing Fortnite

My first lesson was that we really do lose our ability to move quickly as we get older. I had to miss many opportunities in my life for quick reaction, and struggle with it due to limitations in my vision. So games like this are kind-of torturous. Most of the time I can’t even identify what kills me in the game level.

What makes Fortnite astonishing is the different parts of the mind the game makes its player use to succeed. What other game did you play as a child where you had to observe the world, aim, pick a weapon, fire, and then build something in a meaningful, constructive and strategic way so fast that if you blink, you’ll miss the building itself? It is a rather remarkable set of skills to pick-up. It’ll be fun being a senior citizen watching how games evolve from this point.

Things I Wish Were Easier

The hardest part I had when trying to play was navigating the silly game. And, I am not the only person. A loved one who is very, very adept at games and is very good at them also had difficulty navigating the interface for the first time. Now I know, but that will only last until the next unfamiliar interface comes along.

All the concepts were alien to me. When we’re children it is exciting to investigate and explore. As adults, it can get stressful quickly, though. I had no idea that there would be a hub where teams could post their own custom PvP maps and host their own games. It also wasn’t familiar to me that Epic had just rolled-out a PvE chapter to the game which turns the mechanics of the game on their side. Hey, Epic, explain this stuff, will ya?

Would I Return?

I don’t have a ton of time in life, but I will definitely enjoy playing it again when the time comes.

A Note

I have a nephew, and his name is Christian. Christian: I made this video for you, and I hope you remember it when you’re older in life, looking back at the universe like I am looking at your life. The world is very different at your age. May you hold on to what matters from your age better than so many of us have.

Always enjoy playing, and having fun with friends. Try to cherish every moment.

With love,
~David