The sky is red as are the walls of the scientific research facility I’ve been exploring for the past few days. Demons roam the bloody hallways, hiding, ready to jump out and meet my machine gun. A lot of meetings have taken place here. Meetings featuring the roaring of my personal arsenal and demons flooding in from a gateway to Hell. Teleportation science run amok.
Walking down a dimly lit corridor, I know that there are demons waiting for my brand of clean up. I go to turn a corner and….
AHHHHHHHHHH! Someone touched my back… someone is behind me!
I rip my headphones off only to hear laughter from the guys on my dorm floor. I’m shaking with adrenaline. That day in college, I learned a few valuable lessons:
- Always face your computer to where no one can sneak up on you.
- Headphones, while cool, are not always your friends.
I’ll never forget how scared I was to play Doom 3 after having the guys sneak up on me. I did not play Doom 3 after that incident. The magic and the tension were gone.
What was the last game that scared you?
“Get on the Battle Bus, dad.”
“I’m not jumping out of that.”
“Just get on the bus.”
[Later, having exited the bus, we are now parachuting over an island that doesn’t appear to have a name…]
“Where should we go, Wyatt?”
“Umm… Lazy Links? Tilted Towers?”
“Just set a beacon and I’ll meet you there.”
“I’ve got a gun for you, dad. You’re going the wrong way! LOOK OUT FOR THOSE MONSTERS!”
“Where are you? How can you tell if there are enemies around?”
“There are enemies dad!”
“I don’t know, I just heard one.”
[Somehow, we both end up in a gas station. A fellow player notices us and starts shooting.]
“Wyatt, there is a guy outside by the gas pumps.”
“THERE! He is right there! Get HIM!”
Pew. Pew. Pew.
“Guess we are dead? Should we go back to the lobby?”
“Yeah, dad, let’s play again.”
Wyatt and I tried to get Fortnite, on the PS4 and the Switch, to communicate a few weeks ago, shortly after crossplay was enabled. For some reason, we couldn’t receive friend invites at that time and thus couldn’t see each other in-game. So last night, we checked again and found that crossplay is now running in a stable manner. We were able to quickly become friends and enter into a match together.
So there we were:
- Me, playing on the PS4 hooked up to the living room TV.
- Wyatt, playing on the Switch, sitting next to me on the couch.
We ran around the cartoony world and kept dying. But the boy was super excited to be playing Fortnite with me. One of those moments where I wasn’t super enthused to be playing the game, but I was happy to just be hanging out with him.
Last night, I was reminded that often, as a parent, you have to do things your kids want you to do. You have to suck it up, quit being the boss, and enter into the worlds of play your kids are inviting you into. Whether that is playing LEGO, shooting each other outside with NERF, or playing Fortnite co-op, you are making memories with your kids. You want your kids to say: “My dad used to play with me.” Gotta remind myself of that.