For those of you familiar with Patrik Laine, the NHL superstar in the making who is playing with the Winnipeg Jets, you will know that his bread-and-butter goal-scoring has gone someone AWOL this season.
The forward who was chosen second overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft behind the Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews, has seen his production drop from 44 goals last season to just 29, so far, this season which is still fantastic, but for a player of his skills, there was expectations that he was going to score close to 60-goals this season.
His play has looked somewhat uninspired, and his plus/minus has taken a beating this season on a very, very good, Jets team.
Through Laine’s struggles media reports circle back to comments he made about FortNite, the uber-popular video game, which the Vancouver Canucks has tried to ban in order to prevent their players from playing too much and not being prepared for games.
Maybe Laine is not playing well because he’s playing too much FortNite…
Or maybe not.
The purpose of bring up the addictive nature of this game is to loop in a personal story about being late for work.
Earlier in the school year, and on more than one occasion, I had sent of my wife and 2/3rds of our children to school, and was going to drop the 3rd one off on my way to office, when suddenly, I noticed that he was no-where to be found.
As the clock continued to click, and time slowly went by, it became quite obvious that he was going to be late for school, I was going to be late for work, and the very real possibility that he was not feeling well started to creep into my head.
After spending a few minutes yelling instructions throughout the house – “I’m leaving!”, “If you want a lift to school, you had better get to the front door right away!” and “Hurry up, you’re going to be late”, I decided the better parenting technique would be to see if he’s really okay (at least that is what I imagined my wife asking me as I relayed this story to her).
I walked upstairs to his bedroom, and it was empty.
Maybe he left on his own, took transit to school, and I’ve been standing in the front hall yelling to myself…
So I called his name, and received a muffled, downtrodden response, “I’m in the bathroom… I don’t feel well.”
Ugh. Poor thing.
So I started to notify my clients, my network and my wife that this was the case and that I would contact his school to let them know he was sick.
Every couple of minutes I would check on his, asking him through the door how he was doing, if he needed to stay home, and what hurt.
It was his tummy.
He would not need to stay home.
He just needed a few more minutes…
I gave him 20-minutes, and kept checking on him to see if there was anything that I could do to help him feel better.
He re-assured me that he was good to go, and just needed a few more minutes.
Then I heard it…
It made me stop in my tracks…
I might even have stopped breathing for a few seconds…
He said; “YES! Victory Royale! Okay, Dad… Let’s go to school.”
He was playing FortNite.
Locked in the bathroom.
Feigning illness, making himself late for school, me late for work, and for what? A Victory Royale?!?
I shook my head, told him he can’t do this, and restricted his morning access to video games (it’s never been an issue before) and on the ride to school I got to hear the details of his win.
Then I started thinking about Laine… the Vancouver Canucks, other parents, that I need to change the password on my iPad, and that someday this FortNite craze will be over. All the kids will suffer withdrawal symptoms and then life will go back to normal.
That was the expectation until I was informed today by my son that “Apex Legends” already has 50-million players, or about 1/4 of the number of players that FortNite has, but Apex has only been out for one month…
So much for this being the exception and not the norm…
This is a NJN Blog Post (No Judgement Necessary)