Welcome to today’s dispatch from the hell-future we find ourselves in. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, there are indeed parents out there who are paying for Fortnite lessons for their teenaged children, presumably to ensure they are popping off trick headshots at a level beyond their non-tutored peers.
Of course, when a publication seeks to report on a phenomena like this they’re always going to find someone who is doing it, because there is always someone doing basically anything you can dream of – a wonderful side-effect of having a planet with 7 billion people living on it. But it’s still illuminating to know that, yes, parents are paying for Fortnite lessons to make sure their kids git gud.
“There’s pressure not to just play it but to be really good at it,” one mother from England told the WSJ. “You can imagine what that was like for him at school.”
The parents provide a number of reasons for why they’re doing this – from making sure their kids fit in with the fad du jour, to preparing them for a future in the increasingly lucrative world of esports and competitive gaming. It’s definitely a big gamble considering how fast the gaming space moves; it’s entirely plausible that in six months no one will be playing Fortnite and they’ll all be on to the next big title.
Gaming tutors have been a thing for a while, but their clientele have rarely included parents trying to bulk up their kids’ skills in anticipation of a future of fat esports tournament cash prizes. They’ve normally been adults or – heaven forbid – teenagers paying for their own weird games lessons.
“My dad would have never paid for me to take video game lessons,” says 18-year-old Fortnite coach Logan Werner, surprised as anyone about the current trend. Two points from me: 1. Obviously his name is Logan; and 2. This is the future we have created, and now we must bask in it forever.
The response to the article has been… well, mixed.
Dear addicted gamers and your parental enablers. This is stupid. Get offline, go outside, talk to humans, or read a book. https://t.co/2XBfNLTKZe
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) August 1, 2018
I’m not judging. Okay, maybe I’m judging a lot. Either way, I feel damn old. https://t.co/owr4NqMEwm
— Chris Sacca (@sacca) July 31, 2018
Anyway, you can read the whole article here, if you happen to have a WSJ subscription. I don’t know what the overlap is on PEDESTRIAN readers and WSJ subscribers, but I can tell you this: whoever it is, they’re an unfathomably weird unit.Image: Epic Games