Setting records, Fortnite evokes community, distraction

Gavin Canzanese

Fortnite is an addictive game taking over students’ free time this year.

I open my parachute and glide down into an abandoned town. I land in front of a destroyed house and run in. I hear someone land on the roof and I will my character to go faster so I can defend myself. I run downstairs and see it. The ever-elusive, legendary SCAR. Heart racing, I check to see how much ammo I have because the footsteps are getting closer.

Taking a defensive position, the other player starts down the stairs but I am already shooting, eliminating him in seconds with one of the best weapons available in the game. I take their loot and then run upstairs, calculating my chances for a win against the 98 other players I’d have to go through. I decide to leave the house to try and find some more gear to protect myself, and the second I open the door to leave, CRACK! And suddenly my character drops and the words telling me I was just eliminated come onto screen.

I am angry for a moment, but several seconds later I click “Ready” and the cycle begins again.

Fortnite is a free, online multiplayer third person shooter/battle royale video game created by Epic Games. According to The Guardian, over 40 million players worldwide are engaging in Fortnite play. The game recently became the number one viewed and broadcasted game on Twitch, a video live streaming platform.

Fortnite has taken much success over the fact that the game is available on three of the most popular gaming platforms, Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC. This ability allows players all over the world to connect with their friends on their system of choice.

The game is fast paced, able to get your adrenaline running, and the feeling of winning is comparable to playing sports in the real world. There are jump pads, defenses to be built, and games to win.

In the game’s current state, it features two game modes: Save the World and Battle Royale. Save the World is a purchasable game mode that is a single player survival mode where you fight to survive hoards of apocalyptic zombies. Battle Royale is the more popular version of the game because of its free-to-play nature and the ability to play with friends.

In the Battle Royale game mode, you can have up to three teammates and are thrown onto an island consisting of various biomes, towns and cities with a total of 100 other players. In the game you loot for weapons ranging from crossbows to rocket launchers to eliminate other players and you only win if you or your team are the last alive.

The game has not only taken over lunch table conversations but social media has been ridden with various Fortnite “meme” accounts as well as players’ personal accounts with the game. A recent phenomenon includes players taking to their Snapchat Stories and posting pictures of the “Victory Royale!” banner to flaunt their triumph to their friends.

Fortnite has gained a lot of traction here at Malvern. Many people enjoy the game, which is easily seen through the conversations held in classrooms and the lunch table. This game seems to have brought about a certain kind of unity with kids by providing common ground for almost everyone in the school.

However, the game does not result in all positives.

“It’s honestly very distracting,” junior Anthony Papa said. “The people I know are just absolutely addicted to it. And it’s time to stop.”

Junior Dan Dougherty takes a slightly different stance.

“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do, playing it in class,” Dougherty said. “But if you have no work, if you want to do that, that’s what you can do.”

Junior Will West, an avid player of Fortnite, confirmed that he has played it in class.

“It’s a great game, yes I play it in class, and it definitely is a distraction,” West said.

However distracting it may be, Fortnite clearly sets a high standard for video games. In early February, the game surpassed the record for highest concurrent players, setting a new record at 3.4 million players.