Saturday Night Live’s latest sketch hones in on Fortnite starring none other than Adam Driver of Star Wars’ Kylo Ren fame and the familiar cast of SNL comedians. Playing a single father eager to improve at the game to outdo his son’s stepfather, Driver joins a match and squads up with two younger players, played by Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney, who must do their best to guide him through his first foray into Fortnite. As you’d expect from SNL, things don’t quite go to plan and Driver exhibits the all too familiar rookie mistakes despite the squad’s best efforts.
Interestingly, rather than being a opportunistic jump-on-the-bandwagon grab at Fortnite’s popularity, the parody successfully references elements familiar to devoted fans of the battle royale shooter. Squad based in-game chat shenanigans are portrayed to great effect, as is the inherent difficulty of landing with an inexperienced squad mate. In a clear effort at authenticity on the part of SNL’s writers, the incessant jumping every seasoned player does, pretty convincing recreation of in-game skins and props, and genuine sound FX are all incorporated.
In a rather meta way, the video also paints a convincing portrait of how parents relate to their children in an age where gaming has become an integral part of growing up. For many who grew up when computers and consoles were in their infancy, finding a way to navigate this oft confusing landscape can be an overwhelming experience and the video does well to highlight this. Notably a game where violence is central to the game play loop. Driver’s flagrant fumbling with the controller, walking into walls, and him being the reason for his squads premature demise are all captured perfectly.
Over the summer it emerged that parents in the United States were employing tutors to help their children improve at Fortnite, sending the craze into new territory as it carves out a permanent berth in popular culture. Reaching mass appeal TV shows is another sign Fortnite isn’t primed to slow down anytime soon.
Hats off to Saturday Night Live for a sketch that should satisfy both Fortnite aficionados and non-gamers alike.