After I had to go in for surgery in May (don’t worry I’m fine now), I was kind of back to square one for a bit in terms of the rehab. Stuck in a boot, not very mobile. But that did give me a chance to do a little gaming.

Like everyone else, I’ve become a little obsessed with Fortnite.

I have to admit, I was kind of late to the party with this one. In fact, I was definitely a Fortnite hater at first. I didn’t want to get into the game. I felt like it was too slow. There wasn’t enough action. I was playing a lot of Overwatch and big into the Overwatch League (which I still do follow a lot).

But every one of my friends was playing Fortnite, and they finally got me to get on it a little bit. And now I’m addicted. If you were to ask Robyn, she would say, “He’s addicted.”

But Daddy’s always happy when he’s gaming, so it’s all good.

I’m a natural gamer, so once I got into it, I was pretty good pretty fast. I’ve got natural, good instincts. I’ve played a lot of Overwatch, so FPS shooters are pretty easy for me to pick up. I love playing games like that. I recently did an event with Xfinity in Boston for the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and got to play with some fans, which was awesome. I definitely recommend checking out Black Ops 4 to anyone who loves FPS shooters. It’s intense!

I also watch a lot of streams in my free time, and everybody is streaming Fortnite right now. To me, that is the best part about Twitch. You can watch the best players play every day, and pick up the same strategies that they have. Personally, I think watching streamers play is the best way to get better, other than practicing yourself. So I watch Ninja, Tfue, DrLupo. It’s easy to watch what they do, and try to emulate it.

Fortnite is definitely a good game to play solo and try to be the last man standing, but it’s also a good game to play with friends and just relax.

I play with my buddy Will Fahrenbach a lot. He’s a guy that I actually met through playing video games in Utah. There are a couple guys from Utah I play with. Then there’s my group of friends from Brownsburg High School that I still play with, Boris Golubov and those guys. There are also three or four people that we play with that I’ve never met in my life, but I’ve played video games with them for a while.

 

And I’ve been playing a bunch with Witt Lowry, who I met in the past year or so over Twitter. We connected over video games, and I was able to stream Fortnite with him for HyperX a few months back, which was a good time. So I play with a good mix of people.

The games are really fast too. So when Robyn is yelling up the stairs that it’s time for dinner, I know that I can play one more and then go down to eat. She won’t get too mad.

Sometimes when she’s ready for me to be done, she’ll bring the girls in. There was a thing that went viral where I was streaming for HyperX and she brought Charlie in, which was pretty funny.

That’s one of her favorite ways of reminding me that I’m a dad—just bringing one of the girls up and drops them on my lap like, “Hey. You have a couple of kids here. It’s time to get off!”

 

It works pretty well, I have to say. They will sit there and watch, and they are actually pretty entertained for five minutes. But then they just go ham on the keyboard, and there’s no playing after that.

FORTNITE EXPLODES

Fortnite is actually a pretty interesting study in how a game can just blow up.

What has to happen is, you have to have something that is easy to watch and easy to play, it has to be fun and engaging, and you have to have somewhat of a buzz.

Fortnite is pretty easy to play. There is not much of a learning curve. It’s not that complex of a game. It’s also fun, games are quick, and it’s competitive because you’re trying to outlast other people. It really has a lot of what everybody likes, and it’s all in one game.

I think that’s what makes it so popular.

The buzz actually came way later though. Fortnite actually came out in 2011, and people started playing it maybe a year ago. And then I think it really hit the scene when Drake was playing and Ninja was streaming.

Now, they’re pulling in better numbers on Fortnite streaming than all of the Overwatch League.

It’s everywhere now. Everybody plays it. Bleacher Report came out with some article, saying Fortnite had just taken over NBA players’ lives. Pretty much every athlete I know has at least played a little. Everybody on our team plays.

A lot of them play on consoles. Most of the athletes I know play on console. I don’t know as many people that play on PC. But another thing that is cool about Fortnite is you can play cross-console. So you can have someone on PS4 and they can be playing against me on PC. People on XBOX can be playing against people on PC. That’s pretty cool. There’s not a lot of games that are like that, and it gives a chance for PC players to play against console players.

To me, PC is the highest level of play, the best console you can have. These games are made for PC, supposed to be played on PC. It’s also, like once you get used to it, it’s actually better. It’s easier to aim and easier to build on PC. You have to get over some of the awkwardness of the keyboard, but once you do that, you can’t beat mouse and keyboard. You just can’t beat it.

I was supposed to be in the Fortnite Pro-Am event, which is in LA right around E3, early June. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it because the second surgery had me immobile for that period of time. I heard it was a really cool event. They paired 50 pros with 50 celebrities.

But it would be actually really fun to have an all-NBA Fortnite match or something. I’ve been playing for a few months now, so I’m pretty confident I could come out on top. In fact, I’d almost guarantee it, and I’d be happy to take on anyone from any other sport, too.

Anybody up for the challenge?