If you have a teenage child and he was in front of the computer this weekend he probably wasn’t doing homework: he was playing Fortnite.
Indeed, he was in line to take part in the great “Fortnite Big Bang” event, which closed one season and opened another, with new scenarios in which to fight.
The queue to access 10 minute show with Eminem it ranged from two to six hours from what I could see. Reason? The Fortnite servers were sizzling with how many accesses there were: there are no official data yet but there is talk of around eleven million simultaneous players, for a total that will easily exceed 200 million.
Now I ask myself: how many events in the world are capable of catalyzing so much attention? The World Cup final? The opening ceremony of the Olympics? Well, we are in that championship there, that of planetary events. With the difference that we adults, with some exceptions, know nothing about Fortnite. We know almost nothing about the cultural consumption of our children (yes, I said cultural: video games, like it or not, are a cultural phenomenon). And we look at them rather with superiority and distrust. As if they were a waste of time – sometimes they actually are – and in any case bearers of wrong values.
The fact of having a “battle royale” with a shotgun does not make our children future serial killers any more than having played cowboys as children has made us exterminators of indigenous people; or thieves if we played cops and robbers.
The same goes for literature; and for music. In recent days there has been a lot of talk about the harmful influence that the lyrics of certain rap songs would have on young people. I don’t underestimate the risk. But when I was a boy we listened The sky in a room yet there was still the Circeo massacre. And at the time in which Cortellesi’s film is set, which poetically describes the patriarchal society of feminicides, Rabagliati sang Crumbs of Love e Good night my Love. But the beatings from their husbands didn’t hurt any less.
This is to say that it is complicated to say what is the cause and what is the effect of the evil that surrounds us. In the meantime, however, we try to talk more with our children.