“Fortnite doesn’t hold a candle to my boyhood games of ‘fort night,’” reads the subhead for a recent column at the Wall Street Journal. In it, Charlotte, North Carolina attorney Mike Kerrigan laments that his kids don’t do the same sorts of things for fun that he used to when he was their age. To make his argument, Kerrigan takes Fortnite’s name very literally, and the internet is having fun doing the same.
“I feel sorry for them, but not because Fortnite doesn’t seem fun,” Kerrigan writes. “It just can’t be as entertaining as the real thing. By real thing I don’t mean the combat featured in the game. I mean a memorable activity from the summer of 1980, when I was 9. I mean, quite literally, ‘fort night.’”
And what, you may wonder, is a “fort night?”
“With nothing but a couch, a bedsheet, a broom and a T-shirt, we reveled in the wonder of boyhood. Our joy was pure because it flowed directly from the indispensable and most precious thing a child possesses: imagination.”
Meanwhile the internet has been reveling in Kerrigan’s linguistic games. Proving that imagination isn’t the sole province of children, people on Twitter fired back:
“I hope my boys never lose sight of life’s simple joys,” Kerrigan writes near the end of his column. “I hope someday they have their own stories to tell and look back as fondly on their childhood as I do on mine.”
They’ll certainly have this one.
Correction: a previous version of this article cut off part of the quote “I feel sorry for them, but not because Fortnite doesn’t seem fun” mischaracterizing its meaning.