Saturday Night Live's 'Fortnite' Sketch Is Like a Reverse Uncanny Valley
Saturday Night Live performed a Fortnite-themed sketch over the weekend, and the results are bizarre. The spoof features Star Wars’ Adam Driver playing a single dad getting to grips with the game, along with the help of players portrayed by Pete Davidson and Kyle Mooney, with actors mimicking the gameplay in real life.
The video is kind of like a reverse “uncanny valley,” the phenomenon where computer-generated images of humans look so close to human likeness that their flaws become more prominent than less realistic depictions, making them seem more unsettling than less faithful recreations — a flaw only a handful of computer images have managed to escape. Fortnite itself uses bright cartoonish avatars during gameplay, and the SNL actors use vibrant costumes and exaggerated poses to recreate its unique art style. But similar as it may seem, the actors inhabit that space between perfect recreation and clear imitation, even as Driver’s in-game character inexplicably dances away while his teammates are slaughtered by the invading forces.
Fortnite has maintained its considerable popularity as it enters its sixth season of content. Developer Epic Games released version 6.00 update patch for the new season on Thursday, with a round of content set to include pets that players carry around on their neck as well as new cosmetic skins for vehicles and weapons. The update was almost immediately met with controversy after players discovered new breast physics, a feature Epic Games claims was a mistake.
The sketch has proven a big hit with the community. Reddit user Slinky12345 wrote that: “As a father who learned how to play, and love Fortnite based off my son, that is how I started. I loved it and laughed my a off.” YouTube user BananaJamana wrote that “the way he holds the controller is my favorite part.”
The second week of season six challenges are set to go live on Thursday, October 4. Players looking to get on board with the new round of content can pay 950 V-Bucks, equivalent to around $10, for the new season pass.