Has your house been invaded by this Fortnite trend? Have you been trying to figure out what the hell’s going on? I thought T-man could enlighten us a wee bit. You’re welcome.
me: Today’s interview is the Fortnite Edition. We’ll call it Fortnite for Dummies because, y’know…you’re doing a public service for parents everywhere.
me: Because we need help. Our kids love Fortnite and we don’t get it, generally speaking. So, in twenty words or less, what is Fortnite?
T-man: It’s a Battle Royale game with a hundred people in it. You drop in. At this point you try to get as many kills as possible and win the game.
me: Alright, so besides being the last one standing, what do you consider a win when you play?
T-man: That’s it.
me: That’s the only way to win.
me: So when you’re playing the game why does it sometimes sound like you’re freaking out in there?
T-man: ‘Cause we get killed by something stupid and annoying because the game glitches out a bunch.
me: What are some terms we need to know to understand Fortnite?
T-man: There aren’t any terms.
me: Oh, I beg to differ. “Drop in.” What does that mean?
T-man: When you’re flying in. When you drop out of the battle bus.
me: What’s a battle bus??
T-man: I just have to show you, I can’t explain this!
me: I need you to imagine you’re talking to people who’ve never seen Fortnite. So some terms you’ve used with me – drop in. That’s when you enter the game?
me: Alright. What else is important?
T-man: Probably skill and how fast you can think because if, say, like a Duo or something runs up on you – that’s another gaming term – if they try to kill you you have to be able to think fast. So say there’s a guy on top of you, like literally right on top of you, you have to figure out how to break out and get on top of him because higher ground always has the advantage.
me: Okay. What’s a Duo?
T-man: So there’s multiple modes. There’s Solos, Duos, and Squads, then there’s Playgrounds and 50v50. Playground and 50v50 are Limited Time Onlys which is really annoying because I love them.
me: What are some of your tips for players out there?
T-man: Don’t worry about the skins. It’s not the skins, it’s not a pay-to-win game. Since Playground mode is in right now just practice your skills, and practice in Solos. Get good. Building is the whole game.
me: What do you mean by building?
T-man: If somebody’s shooting at you you can build a wall or ramp or something and block their shots. So you can keep building up to get high ground on people –
me: And high ground has advantage.
me: Why do you think this game is so popular?
T-man: I have no idea! Maybe it’s the fact that there’s so much creativity to it.
me: So if you could program anything new into the game what would it be?
T-man: Probably a new gun. Or maybe a system feature to make building easier because building’s really hard.
me: Okay. Let’s say parents think video games are bad for you. Can you think of any reasons why letting your kid play Fortnite is a good thing?
T-man: It certainly unleashes their creativity because they have to think quickly. And it gives them something to do for a while if you want them to get off your tail.
me: Are you going to be successful in Fortnite if you’re only solving the problem right in front of you?
T-man: What do you mean?
me: Like in chess you have to think twelve steps ahead to win the game –
T-man: Yes, if you’re in the moment there’s no way you’re gonna win the game. If you’re not thinking ahead…
me: Alright. How can parents help their kids have fun and still be safe with online gaming?
T-man: Some parents like parental controls with online gaming. If you’re a certain age, like below eight, say there’s no party chat so you can’t talk to random people, you can only talk to your friends.
me: What are some questions parents can ask their kids about their game play? We like to be interested but we don’t know how.
T-man: “How do you build?” There’s also switching guns and – there are so many aspects to the game that it’s hard to – you can’t really catch on unless you’ve been playing for a month.
me: It almost sounds like you’re saying the best way to ask questions is to play yourself.
T-man: Yeah. There’s no way to – well, there is a way but it’s really really hard. You should play.
me: Thanks, man.