It’s summertime in Boston. The house is just starting to wake up, and my wife is about to take the first sip of her morning coffee when, without warning, our home is consumed with the shrieks of our tween boy screaming, “WAIT, WHAT??? HE’S A HACKER, HE’S A HACKER, HE’S A HACKER!!!”

As her face contorts to one of utter annoyance, I look at the clock. It’s 8 a.m., and she’s already at the end of her rope with Fortnite.

The “her” is my wife, and I have written this blog post to help her and all you moms out there understand the craze that is behind Fortnite.

After all, once you understand the why behind those constant screams and begs for V-Bucks (Fortnite’s electronic currency for purchasing skins so you do not look like a noob), you might not hate it so much. Although, I do realize that is a tall order.

Now, in case you haven’t heard, Fortnite is the latest video game craze. It is a first-person, battle-royale-style game that puts 100 people in real time on an island. The last one standing wins. Think of it as The Hunger Games without all the drama or blood. My son is really into it. And, to be honest, I am too.

But my wife hates Fortnite. As do ALL the moms she talks to.

But why do they all hate Fortnite?


My wife hates the goal of the game, and, to be clear, I get it. Playing a game with weapons and a goal of eliminating other players by shooting them or blowing them up is a very controversial topic. However, this isn’t a game of senseless violence (like Grand Theft Auto) that sensationalizes attacks on victims who never saw it coming.

This is player vs. player combat, where everyone in the game knows what they signed up for. Kind of like laser tag or paintball. There is no blood and no gore. When a player is eliminated, they just disappear.

So, while I get why she loathes the killing aspect, I remind her that as children, my friends and I played many a fight-to-the-death game, including Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. And while the graphics were horrible, the pixelated blood and gore were much more present than in Fortnite.


My son and I have been cursed blessed with the competitive gene. There can only be one winner in Fortnite, so passionate frustration sets in about every seven minutes. Since winning is very difficult, when we do win, you can expect to hear about it for the next 127 hours.


Every time a game ends, an unbearable shriek that could break glass is bellowed from deep within my son. Examples of said shrieks vary by event and by each child, but they include such phrases as, “This game is doo doo!” “NOOB!” and the ever popular, “HACKER! He’s a HACKER!” All screamed on repeat.

Trash talking

Fortnite allows you to play on teams with other REAL people (in our house, only people my son knows in person), and through a headset, players talk to each other. Our son and his friends cannot go a single game without calling each other “noobs” (a noob is a player who has no idea what he is doing, has a bad outfit, landed in a bad spot, missed his shots, doesn’t know the names of anything in the game, the list goes on and on).  


This may be the biggest frustration. Time flies when you are on Fortnite. And there’s never a good time to stop. She says it’s time for dinner, he responds, “But mom, there are only four people left!” She says it’s time to leave, he responds, “But I have great loot!” It has become challenging for our son to leave the game. Ever.


While the game is free, Fortnite offers a variety of different outfits, accessories, and dances that can be purchased to ensure you are not a noob. They are all awesome and totally worth the money. Just saying.

The problem? There are constantly new items (every day, actually), resulting in the question of, “Can I get some V-bucks so I can buy (fill in the blank)?!” at least four times a day. The answer is always no.


As dads, we may not know it, but we play a huge part when it comes to our wives’ sanity around Fortnite. If you are a male with a pre-teen son, you have had at least one argument with him about whose turn it is and how your turn ended too soon and you’re going to need to play again.

This argument drives my wife insane. To avoid this, I’ve learned a trick: Play after the kids go to bed and pitch it to her as you giving her some much-needed alone time. Word to the wise, though, keep track of your time, as she will not be happy if you slip into bed at midnight after a three-hour Fortnite marathon.

Technology is evolving, and so are the ways our kids play with each other. While I (we) held out on Fortnite (literally, our son was THE LAST child his age to get the game), we decided we could fight it and be those parents who justified the fight with statements that began with, “When we were kids . . .” or we could accept it. We’ve had it for a month now, and we’ve set some pretty solid ground rules. And I’ve actually enjoyed it. Now I’m waiting for my wife to come around.


Jacquelyn Eckmann
Jacquelyn (Jakki) is a Texas native who made the Greater Boston area her home several years ago. Jakki is the founder of Social Betty, a social media management and consulting agency, and runs the company with her husband, Chris. She loves the flexibility that being self-employed gives her, and truly appreciates that she is able to attend mid-day school events for her children, Caleb (11), and Kennedy (6). A lover of the written word, music, and makeup, Jakki enjoys a good book, concerts at small venues, and discount shopping. Though life is busy for her family (overcommitting to extracurricular activities regularly), Jakki and her husband make it a point to get to the city and enjoy a ride on the T, a craft beer, and dinner at Legal Harborside or Boston Burger Co.- both with the kids and without.