My 15-year-old son has spent every second of his free time during this pandemic hanging out online, playing video games with his friends. He started by ranking up to the elite tiers of Apex Legends.

I am told this is quite a feat. Honestly, I believe it because it took him and his friend six hours a day for a week to rank that high.

After that came Sea of Thieves. He joined up with more friends and sailed the digital oceans until piracy lost its shine. Also, when two friends started arguing during the game.

Two nights ago, they made a plan to meet up as a big group on Fortnite. None of them really play Fortnite much anymore because the crowd is a little younger. But they didn’t want to work too hard at playing, they just wanted to hang out.

Last night, six of them met up again to hang out and play. They were goofing off, doing stupid teenager stuff, when they met a solo player named “JamMaster.”

Sometimes if they meet solo players that are pretty “chill,” they’ll join forces. JamMaster seemed pretty young, but he was by himself, and they were having fun showing him what they knew about the game. They invited him to join their crew.

Pretty soon they discovered that their first impressions were correct. JamMaster was much younger than they were—only 10 years old. They also discovered that it was his birthday in the morning.

The boys realized that JamMaster had been hanging out by himself all night, on the eve of his 11th birthday, which he would be spending by himself in quarantine.

CLEARLY SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE.

Y’all, they threw him an 11th birthday party.

They took him on a bunch of adventures, gave him all the loot they could, helped him win a few battles, and made him stay up until midnight so they could all sing happy birthday to him.

This morning, as my son told me about their adventures and all the fun they had, I started to cry. I was trying to say something like “Oh that’s so nice,” but tears just started spilling down my cheeks. He could not understand why.

BUT CAN YOU IMAGINE?

The disappointment of being quarantined for your 11th birthday only to be met by a random six-pack of teenage gamers who decide you’re awesome and want to throw you a birthday party?

What a roller coaster. What an experience. What an incredible thing to do for a young gamer.

In conclusion: video games, heck yeah.

 

Tiffany Pitts

Tiffany Pitts is an award-winning author of speculative fiction. She’s also a freelance travel writer focusing on the strangest places she can get her family to visit. As a native of the Pacific Northwest, she enjoys dogs, rain, and camping with her kids.