Harry's hot takes: Fortnite turned this boy into a horrible gelatinous blob
by Harry Slater
There have been a lot of scandals about videogames over the years, but they've all been missing one important component - I didn't make any of them up. Well, it's time to change that, because this scandal is one hundred percent made up by me.
By which I mean it's based on rigorous scientific research, eyewitness testimonies, and interviews with the people who survived the horror.
I should tell you now, before we start, that some readers may find the imagery in this piece disturbing. I've done that on purpose, since I made this scandal up. The tabloids love a bit of grossness. I honestly think this might be the scandal that ushers me in to the big leagues. Fingers crossed.
Videogames turned my son into a gelatinous blob
Marcie Trammel is a normal mother of three. She pays little or no attention to what her children do when they're on their phones or consoles, and she buys them games with age ratings way above what she should, because her kids have got the skills to handle even the most difficult challenges.
But all of that changed one fateful June morning, when she went to awake Connor, her eldest son, to feed him his breakfast of thin, burnt pig slices and reformed factory floor meat mixed with sawdust.
"I couldn't believe my eyes," Mrs Trammel would have told me if she existed. "I'm used to some pretty awful sights when I open up my teenager's door, but this was beyond anything I'd ever experienced. I instantly vomited all over myself and the floor."
The terrifying vision that Trammel saw will haunt her for the rest of her days. Where before her son was an obese cretin, prone to outbursts of screaming violence, with zero social skills and the bleary eyes of someone who spends too much time on 4Chan, now he was something else - something much worse, depending on how you look at things.
Sometime during the night, Connor had transmuted into a pulsating blob of goo. Where before he had been vaguely human shaped, now his form was more like the residue of a giant sneeze. He had no arms, no legs, just a hole for food and two blank eyes filled with terror.
"It's just not like him at all," Mrs Trammel probably would have explained if I hadn't made her up. "I mean he's never been an active sort, but he used to berate me multiple times a day. Now he just sort of oozes along, green tears dripping from his horrible eyes."
When asked why she thought her hypothetical son had succumbed to this disgusting new way of life, Mrs Trammel almost certainly would have said this, if she wasn't a figment of my imagination.
"I blame videogames entirely. His father, Terry Trammel, and I have always been loving parents. We fed him anything he wanted, gave him all the presents in the world. Terry even spoke to him sometimes.
"The only thing that could have affected our son is the videogames he played. I mean, sure, the world is a horrid place, and our children have unfettered access to the bleakest human viewpoints thanks to the internet. Plus it's unlikely any of them will ever have meaningful lives thanks to the neverending march of capitalism. But it was definitely the games."
I wondered what games Marcie thought might have contributed to the problem, if the problem was real, which it isn't. "I expect it was something like Fortnite," she didn't reply, "that's the one all the newspapers are talking about."
When asked for his own take on the incident, the bulbous, putrid swelling that is now Connor Trammel (or would now be Connor Trammel if any of this had happened) replied by hocking a stream of phlegm into this reporter's face.
But Marcie Trammel is always one to look on the bright side. "He definitely smells better now," she told me over entirely made-up cups of tea in her definitely-not-real house.
Her son might have been turned into a horrifying, squelching beast (if this had happened), but Marcie Trammel refuses to let that knock the smile off her face.
Harry Slater 24 June 2018