Two days ago, a strange post appeared on the Fortnite Battle Royale subreddit. User jamielliottg (Jamie Elliott) posted a video of himself playing Fortnite while asking Alexa for updates along the way. The smart assistant would inform him how many players remained alive in the match, how many resources he has, and more. This, understandably, sent the subreddit into a frenzy, with the top comment being: “Yeah, I’m gonna need you to put this all on GitHub.”
Elliott said he wanted to make his experience more immersive and thought he could do so through the use of smart home technology. When he glides down from the battle bus, Alexa activates a fan that blows in his face. The question on almost every person’s tongue was simple: How? Linking a smart home to a video game is a brilliant idea in theory, but difficult to do in reality. Elliott posted a 15-minute video to YouTube explaining his process, but a word of warning: It is thorough and deep.
For those interested, the video can be found here or at the top of this story. In the beginning of the video, he raises a question that has plagued Fortnite players for the past six seasons: “Many of us just aren’t that good at Fortnite. But is it our fault?” He goes on to explain how he used Python and various other scripts to work with an Alexa skill.
While we aren’t sure more immersion is what Fortnite needs (we aren’t dying to experience the Hunger Games, after all), the smart home setup is incredible, if a bit outside the amateur level. At any point, Elliott can ask Alexa for his shield or health amount and be told exactly how much of either he has. Alexa will also throw in words of encouragement, such as, “Keep up the great work.”
The future is here, ladies and gentleman. Virtual reality can bring a certain level of immersion, but if gamers like Elliott get their hands on the necessary technology, they might just bridge the gap between sitting on the couch with a controller in hand and achieving total, realistic immersion in a virtual world.