Here's A Contender For The Dumbest Gaming Hot Take Of 2019


We live in an economic era in which everyone needs to publish their opinion on everything (oh, hello). Sometimes that leads to weird disconnects, like BuzzFeed having surprisingly in-depth original reporting. But amazingly, it can also go the other way, especially whenever esteemed old media has to have a word about video games. And their message seems to be that kids should get off their computers, go out, and play on the lawn, just so these fogies can yell at them to get off it.

Writing for The Wall Street Journal, attorney and opinion-haver Mike Kerrigan, whom we'll refer to as "Old Man Kerrigan" from here on out, offered a sage salve for children's game sickness: Have you tried just using your imagination? In the piece, Old Man Kerrigan laments how his two young children spend all their time playing Fortnite, which in his wizened 40-something hands "doesn't seem fun." He then goes on to wax nostalgic about the simple days of yore (that is, the '80s, a time when video games most definitely existed), when he and his buddies had "fort nights" with "a couch, a bedsheet, a broom and a T-shirt." Ironically, he ignores his own privilege -- how he never had to play "forth knight," the medieval game whereby a kid would assault an imaginary fort with nothing but a stick and some mud.

Naturally, the internet had a field day dunking on this, creating a meme parodying all the other video games Kerrigan had ye olden day equivalents of. Our safe online bubble assumes this is just another example of a tone-deaf commentator not understanding the world today. But a quick peep at the comments left by subscribers (who we'll assume are all a bazillion years old, by virtue of having WSJ subscriptions), suggests that Old Man Kerrigan is right on the money in turning Fortnite into the new avocado toast. Or old one. Boy, Millennial hate is getting as confused as the sundowning people who generate its clicks.

Most worrisome of all, a dad of two young kids can't relate to their favorite pastime just because it involves digital guns instead of ones made out of cardboard tubes is a dad who isn't trying hard enough to relate -- and, worst of all, one who underestimates their intelligence and creativity. Especially since Fortnite has pinched so many creative gameplay mechanics from other sources that it's basically all games at all times.

And in a time when game addiction is recognized as a mental illness, parents like Kerrigan should stop hiding in their pillow forts and start engaging with their children's confusing hobbies. Seriously, people, this is the story of literally every human generation ever, going back to when some caveman started blowing air through a carved stick and the clan elders exiled him for lampooning the wind.

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