I imagine moms across the country, including myself, have quite a few words for the developers of Fortnite, the video game that has stolen our children. It’s the pied piper of digital content. Sure, Fortnite gave me a peaceful, boredom-free summer. And yes, it invokes a camaraderie in my three boys the likes of which have never been witnessed before. I will even concede that it gets them up and moving . . . those hips aren’t going to floss themselves.
But if I have to tell my kids to “DIE RIGHT THIS SECOND AND GET YOURSELVES DOWN TO DINNER” one. more. time . . . .
No, I’m not wishing my children a literal death, but dying is the only way to quit that darned game. I have a few things I want to say to the developers of Fortnite (whom I simultaneously despise and adore) that will help moms out a bit.
Create a Dinnertime Black-Out
Please shut down the game from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. every night. If I’m stealthy enough, we can eat dinner and get homework done during that time. You have to shut the whole game down during this time. Kids across the world have to stop at the exact same time — otherwise, the children will not be able to focus on quality family time or school work because they will sense in their bones that things are happening in Tilted Towers without them.
Provide Helpful Consequences
Instead of picking up health packs, teach kids how to do the dishes, clean the bathroom, and do their laundry. If you make it part of the game, I will never have to nag my children about this again. Seriously, you can have all my money if you do this.
No More Flossing
I’m done with the flossing, thank you very much. If you aren’t familiar with the game, I’m not talking about teeth. Flossing is that crazy annoying (hilarious) dance in the game. Please, for the love of all that is holy, teach them a new dance. Or better yet, make them do some yoga or jumping jacks.
Teach Them to Cook
Listen, I get that you are teaching my kids how to survive the zombie apocalypse, but they are going to have to know how to do more than what you’ve got going on, so throw in some hunting-and-gathering lessons. If you teach it, I feel confident they will survive. They might even be able to help me survive because I’ve already decided I would just let the zombies have me. While you’re at it, you can throw in some algebra and geometry. I tap out at fourth grade math, so that would be super helpful.
Make a Siblings Rule
You have to do this. Please . . . I’m begging you. Make it so siblings cannot under any circumstances break or steal anything belonging to their brothers and sisters. You may have created a bond in my children that I don’t understand, but you are also ripping my family apart. I have never seen three people go from laughing-so-hard-I-worry-they’ll-sprain-their-abs to psycho-angry-children like I have when my three boys play this game. Screen time is supposed to give me a chance to catch up on Netflix, take a shower, and maybe even a quick nap. I should not have to be putting out fires you created.
Institute a V-Bucks Limit
Make it so that the only way to get V-Bucks is by doing your chores, coming down to dinner before I lose my mind (and start screaming for my children to die already), and by offering mom foot rubs. I will absolutely write you a check in the amount of their allowance if you will just help a mom out. It would also be helpful if you teach them how to save 20 percent of their V-Bucks for a rainy day.
Listen, I appreciate that you have provided me with the opportunity to use the bathroom without interruption and to take a shower every day. I love that you have my three boys playing together and cheering each other on. I could kiss you on the mouth for seriously diminishing the number of times I heard “I’m bored” last summer, but come on. I miss my kids. Just a few simple tweaks to the game, and you and I can be allies in this. It takes a village, right? Come over for dinner tomorrow night from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and we can talk about it.