I have avoided the depths of distraction that ensnare millions of people who download Fortnite. I don’t play much. But I do get the emails telling me people are trying to hack my account and have finally done something about it.
A quick survey of Kotaku staff indicates that getting security warnings from Epic is A Thing. Those of us who simply created an account with Fortnite maker Epic Games have subsequently received emails with the subject line “Epic Games - Help Protect Your Account,” followed by the disturbing news that Epic “detected a series of unsuccessful login attempts for your Epic Games account.”
I’ve received that email three times since 4 July, when I first logged into an Epic account to play Fortnite. Each time, my “friends at Epic Games” implored me to enable two-factor authentication, which supplements your password log-in with a second code transmitted via an app, email, or text. Any sensible person, myself included, has two-factor activated on their numerous online accounts. I just didn’t have it on my Epic one and, like the fool Fortnite player I am, did nothing about it as the storm of apparent hackers out there closed in.
Fortnite’s newest patch dangles a reward if you turn two-factor on. I saw a Tweet about it last night and, I’ll be damned, this is what got me to do it: it would unlock an emote in the game.
Again, I barely play Fortnite. I pay attention to it. I watch my nephew play it. I’ve tried a few rounds. I just have other games to play and have unlocked nearly nothing in it. The only dance emote I had as of 9am was the common starter one called Dance Moves. As of 11am? I’m two-factored and can now do the epic-rarity Boogie Down, too.
The Boogie Down emote is new to the game, by the way. It was created as part of a contest launched by Epic last spring, with the winner announced in April and now added to the game in this most unusual of ways.
People are all kinds of terrible about their internet security: They use obvious passwords. They don’t turn on two-factor authentication. Perhaps most recklessly, they don’t even click on all the images in the security grid that contain cars in them. What if all it took to get us better at this stuff was an unlockable reward? What if the key to better personal security was a video game unlock? Two-factor that Nintendo account and up that missile capacity in Metroid Prime 4 by five? Make a stronger Xbox Live password and get a tank in Forza Horizon 4? These are just suggestions. Epic might be onto something here.