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Redditors’ indoor forts: an escape within an escape?
Reddit can be an escape from the everday Internet. Forts can be an escape from the rest of the physical world. Now, combine them!
Link-sharing site Reddit, with its near endless stream of excellent content and absorbing discussions, can be an escapist’s dream.
But sometimes, it’s just not enough to flee into the dull glow of the computer screen and the warm embrace of the Reddit alien.
Sometimes, the escape needs to be both more physical and psychological, like a flight back to childhood by crawling under the ingeniously rigged sheets, cushions, and cardboard boxes of an indoor fort.
That’s what some users of the subreddit, or subsection, r/Forts think, anyway.
“There is no problem in the world that cannot be solved by forts,” declares the subreddit on its front page.
Though it’s a little more complicated than that, admitted moderator jooes in a message to the Daily Dot.
“It’s definitely a return to childhood,” he wrote. “Who doesn’t like a good nostalgia trip from time to time, right?”
But it’s also a social experience, he said, and a challenge: “There’s a lot of thinking involved in doing something like this. You don’t have to be an engineer to build yourself a fort, but you sure do feel like one while you’re doing it.”
The subreddit’s only been around for about a year, but it already has 5,763 followers—a respectable number for a Reddit section—and features hundreds of user-submitted constructions. Some are outdoor, but most of the action—as on Reddit itself—happens indoor.
Some of the Redditors’ forts are simple, quick constructs in bedrooms, basements, or hotel room corners; others are complicated pieces of temporary architecture that look like the transplanted regal tents of some nomadic king.
Redditor mimigns built his fort out of “two couches, two kitchen chairs, a rocking chair, and an abs exercise thing and eight blankets.” He ate some Chinese takeout inside.
Meanwhile, Highfive_Machine makes a fort whenever his friend comes to town. Their most recent, a clothespin-supported blanket fort, could seat eight people comfortably. They shared some drinks on completion.
But just in case anyone wasn’t sure what the point of forts are, Torvaldr summed it up: “People think we’re weird but [who] cares? We have forts!”
Replied jumero: “In fact, we build forts specifically to keep those kind of people out.”
Escapism on Reddit, like dreams in Inception, goes many layers deep.
Kevin Morris is a veteran web reporter and editor who specializes in longform journalism. He led the Daily Dot’s esports vertical and, following its acquisition by GAMURS in late 2016, launched Dot Esports, where he serves as the site’s editor-in-chief.