Fortnite video game takes high school by storm



Fortnite players have the ability to earn money through their gaming expertise. The video game has become increasingly popular among the younger generations.

Evan Porco, Staff Writer

Over the past few months, a new craze has taken over the high school by storm: not a musician, trendy article of clothing or dance, but the video game Fortnite. It has been the main topic of mainstream media, with 3.4 million concurrent players worldwide, according to developer Epic Games.

The incredibly popular video game connects a variety of people and serves as an enjoyable hobby.

Fortnite is a free to play game for computers, Playstation 4, Xbox One and iOS devices. In each round, 100 players are placed in a massive island marked with various points of interest where a group of one to four players can land. The game is won by outliving all of the other players, which is typically done through combat.

English teacher and avid gamer Kevin Wang said that the game has built off the success of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, a similar game.

“I don’t play these games, but it started with PUBG. My friends started messaging me recently saying ‘you should get Fortnite, you should get Fortnite,’” Wang said.

Freshman Gabe Adande, who plays anywhere from three to seven hours every school night on his computer and Playstation 4, enjoys Fortnite because it is free and allows peers to socialize.

“It’s free. You can play with friends. It’s just so much fun, I don’t know how to describe it,” Adande said.

Sophomore Griffin Uhl, who typically plays on his Xbox One for an hour or two each day, said that Fortnite is a captivating game for him.

“It’s kind of addicting. It’s got this aspect to it that draws you in,” Uhl said.

According to Wang, Fortnite is constantly discussed in his classes.

“Everyone’s talking about it. They’re talking about it nonstop. Talking about their [kill-to-death] ratios, whether or not they’ve gotten a win, that sort of thing. It’s definitely interesting,” Wang said.

Wang likes that Fortnite establishes social connections across a broad group of people.

“I like the fact that people are doing team games together,” Wang said. “I like the fact that it appeals to everyone or nearly everyone. There are people in the hallway that I’ve seen that are talking about Fortnite that I didn’t even know play video games.”

Uhl says that Fortnite’s audience can be categorized into two groups: those who are serious about the game and those who play it just for fun.

“Some are crazy about it and act like it’s a livelihood. For the kids that just play it for fun and it’s just a casual thing like how me and my friends play it, it’s pretty chill,” Uhl said.

Wang also said that with the game’s widespread appeal, it is important to note potential negative social impacts caused by the game.

“At the very minimal level, people can get into each other by trash talk. When it gets to the point of actual hurtful words and threatening violence, which I’m sorry to say I can anticipate, it becomes dangerous,” Wang said. “It’s really important to draw a distinction [that] when the game stops, it’s over.”

Fortnite has also been incredibly popular on the website, Twitch, where people can broadcast themselves playing Fortnite for their viewers, who can donate to the broadcaster if they wish. Adande streams on Twitch every day for his viewers.

“Every day I stream for a couple hours after I warm up for a bit. People donate if they want to play with me or something,” Adande said.

In March, popular Twitch streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins played with musicians Drake and Travis Scott and football player JuJu Smith-Schuster. The livestream peaked at 628,000 viewers.

Uhl said that he enjoys the idea of connections between streamers and celebrities.

“I think it’s pretty cool that it’s giving streamers the experience to meet those people. It’s actually bringing people together like that,” Uhl said.

According to Adande, Fortnite has become a sort of omnipresent force.

“It’s something just everyone is doing no matter where you are,” Adande said.