It’s been much longer than a fort­night

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Editorial - Steve Bartlett

I’m in an un­known land. I just jumped off a fly­ing bus, sky­dived for a while, and go-go gad­geted on a glider to a soft land­ing into this no world.

This hap­pened, but in a vir­tual world so it’s not real. (You’d never catch me sky­div­ing, or on a glider, or a fly­ing bus.)

I’m play­ing Fort­nite, this year’s hottest video game, the free down­load ex­pected to make its par­ent $2-bil­lion dol­lars this year.

And I feel hip again.

It’s been a long time since I played a video game.

Too long, es­pe­cially since my gen­er­a­tion were video game pi­o­neers.

We had the first Atari games, mak­ing us the first to play Pong, As­teroids, Break­out, Cen­tipede and Pac-man.

We were masters of joy­sticks, hy­per­space and evad­ing ghosts.

We thought we’d be play­ing video games for­ever.

We be­lieved we were never go­ing to grow up, at least we weren’t go­ing to act like our par­ents.

But we did grow out of video games and into adult­hood. Sigh.

Yes, we bought the first Nin­tendo con­soles and mas­tered Mario, but we pretty much said good­bye to gam­ing, ex­clud­ing a few hours of Candy Crush and An­gry Birds.

But, as I play Fort­nite, I’m say­ing hello again to video games. It’s quite fun.

I com­pletely suck at it, but it is chal­leng­ing and brings me back to my gam­ing child­hood. Happy mem­o­ries.

I’m quickly hooked on the game — it’s like a time ma­chine that trans­ports me to the care­free days of child­hood

Af­ter a few cracks at it, I have to leave my new ad­dic­tion and at­tend a fam­ily party.

I’m quite ea­ger to talk about Fort­nite with any­one who’ll lis­ten, a break from adult dis­cus­sions about the par­ent­ing, the pro­vin­cial econ­omy or Don­ald Trump.

The get-to­gether is great, but Fort­nite is on my mind.

And my kids are hav­ing blast and want to stay.

I’m think­ing that’ll tire them out, make them fall asleep faster and give me more time to play Fort­nite.

Sounds like a plan. a

So I wait un­til they seem tuck­ered, walk them home, get them asleep and bee­line for the base­ment to play Fort­nite.

But the game asks me to punch in a passkey with strange sym­bols on the con­troller.

I’m con­fused and can’t fig­ure it out.

I google but still can’t solve it. I no longer feel hip or young. It’s now more frus­trated and an­cient.

I’m in an un­known land.

Steve Bartlett is an ed­i­tor with Saltwire Net­work. He dives into the Deep End Mon­days to es­cape re­al­ity and Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde. Reach him via email at steve.bartlett@thetele­

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