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A Letter To The Fortnite Weirdos Who Play Past Midnight

To the ones who killed me with seconds left in Apex Legends, the dance emoters, the lovely weirdos, I remember you

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Image: Epic Games / Kotaku

Dear Weirdos Who Dance Emote Past Midnight,

Writing to let you know I remember you. I remember the sounds of battle, character catchphrases, the way I tracked your fading footsteps. I remember the hours spent building silent friendships, silent betrayals. If body language is 90 percent of communication, then we say a great many things. We cry-emote mourn the prematurely disconnected, cheer while watching remaining frenemies, and flex rare emotes while feeling, as hours ooze by, that we’re all we have in these moments. But before I get too real or too melodramatic (maybe too late for that), I’m writing to let the battle royale marathoners who stuck by my side know that I miss you. The following are some quick open letter statements to archetypes I encounter again and again in these midnight hours. Maybe you’ll recognize a few, maybe you’ll recognize yourself.

To The One Who Killed Me With One Second Left In Apex Legends,

Feelings. Wanting to yell, wanting to laugh, only exhaling a little faster than usual because I didn’t want to wake the whole house. Listen, my plan was perfect. You were supposed to turn the corner and get murdered. Not come up behind me like that. Do you know how terrible that feels? You must, since I aimed for you FIRST in every match after that! After some time, it felt like the other squads set up this situation on purpose, just you and me at the end of the match. Like a Western. I got you or you got me. I can’t explain the strange sadness I felt when you disconnected.


To the Person Who Used The Same Character as Me in Overwatch’s Elimination Mode,

Know that I am the Superior D.Va. Except for those two times at the end there, when we stopped trying to kill each other. We saw each other, turned, and killed that Moira instead. Remember the moment where we called a silent truce? Why did we do that? Was it respect we felt? Were we tired of the one-up game? I don’t remember if you called the truce by waving from your mech or if it was me. (P.S. My skin was better.) That wave back and forth did get us killed by other people, but at least we died understood.


To The Weirdos Who Play Battle Royales Just to Dance,

I get it, we’ve all been there. But HOW did you get on that platform. No, seriously, how? Is it a map glitch? And how do at least three of you know to do this. It takes me two matches (and a quick search on my phone) to figure out how you did it. But once I’m with you, I dance to show I know the secret now too! Nothing really matters but being in this moment for a round or two. It’s zen. Until That One Person shows up.


Last, but not least, To That One Person,

Could you not resist the temptation of our sweet dancing bodies? Is nothing sacred?! “It’s BR Mode!” “It’s just a game.” Of course! We know! But didn’t you feel the weight of the silent truce? Or even worse, did you feel the truce and kill us to remind us of our place? I write to let you know: if you had danced with us, we would have accepted you. With a close eye, of course, but we would have let you stay.


Not that it would be better if we all were dancers. Strangely, a battle royale map full of fatigued dance-emoting players is only a peaceful space if it’s functioning as an understood chat room. Otherwise, the repeated queue becomes tiresome and frustrating, especially if I just want to play but keep ending up with the same peaceful people. Not to discourage the late-night chat room function of midnight battle royales or elimination modes too strongly. Some of my closest friends have been made this way. Xylane, I’m looking at you. We played over three hours of battle royale mode in S4 League. Our friendship started as one of mutual respect. We both brought melee weapons to a gun fighting battle royale. She taught me how to bounce off a tree trunk and land safely, hidden in branches so I could better jump and slam down into someone who got too close, without getting caught out. I, in turn, showed her some of my favorite places to crouch and wait. Thanks to S4 League’s simple chat function (listen, the game is from 2007), we were able to shove emails and phone numbers at each other before the servers shut down in 2021. It’s kind of funny. The most we spoke was the night it became apparent we might never see each other again.

And what prompted this letter. A callout to the people I’ve frenzied with in Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. A scream to the people who murdered me in Fortnite and my squad in Apex Legends. We shared highs, we shared lows. We played and betrayed until all the normies had gone to bed and time flowed syrupy slow. I suppose what I’m trying to say is: Thank you. We shared meaning, and I look forward to killing you again. Affectionately.


Until next time,