Fortnite Essay

Length: 9 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Technology Type: Essay
Excerpt from Essay :

Abstract 

The video game Fortnite, which was originally released July 21, 2017, has become increasingly popular over the last two years.  In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that Fortnite is the video game of the summer of 2019.  Children of all ages, but especially younger children, have spent their summers playing this video game.  However, many adults, especially older generation adults, really do not understand what the Fortnite fuss is about.  This tutorial covers the basics of Fortnite.  It answers questions like: what is Fortnite; how do you get Fortnite; how do you play Fortnite; and what is a Fortnite tracker?  It also discusses commonly used terms, such as battle royale, Fortnite skins, Fortnite costumes, and Fortnite dances.  Finally, it discusses the impact of Fortnite on society and on the development of the children who play it.  

Introduction

Even people who do not play video games have heard of the popular game Fortnite.  This game, which has become the rage among video players, especially younger video players, has become a pop culture sensation.  Gamers play the game, but even non-players may have incorporated elements of the game into their everyday lives.  For example, popular dances like The Floss went viral because of the game.  In this way, Fortnite has done something that only the most popular video games are able to do; it has passed beyond the world of video games and become a larger part of popular culture.  

What is Fortnite?

Fortnite is a video game, which was released by Epic Games on July 21, 2017.  Although now popular as a free game, Fortnite was initially released as an early access game.  That means that the game was still in development, but could be purchased at the time of release.  Its initial release price as $59.99 (LeBoeuf, 2018).  In the paid version, the game was designed as an open-world survival game, set on a modern day Earth with a drastically reduced human population.  It was a survival game, with elements somewhat similar to the very popular game Minecraft, in that players had to “collect resources, make tools and weapons, and try to stay alive as long as possible” (LeBoeuf, 2018).  

What is Fortnite Battle Royale? 

While the initial Fortnite game saw modest popularity, the game really began to hit its stride when Epic Games released Fortnite Battle Royale.  First, this release was free, making it accessible to all gamers, which undoubtedly contributed something to its popularity.  However, the real secret to its popularity is probably the difference in game play between the free Fortnite Battle Royale version and the original Fortnite game.  Rather than just a survivalist game, the Battle Royale version pits play against player in a game type known as the battle royale.   

A battle royale game is a game “that has strong elements of last man standing gameplay.  Players are often locked in tussles with opponents, with the core objective being that you must be the only competitor who survives the action” (Plarium, 2017).  In Fortnite, these battles are epic; 100 people begin the fight for survival, and only one of them can win, which is accomplished by outlasting the other players.  This competitive type of gameplay is taken very seriously; unlike many other online multi-player games, collaboration is strongly discouraged in Fortnite.  In fact, unless a player is in teams mode, a player can be banned for collaborating with other players.

While the initial Fortnite game was popular, Fortnite Battle Royale became a huge hit, with millions of players within weeks of its release.  In fact, Fortnite Battle Royale has become so popular that it has become synonymous with the game, itself.  When most people are discussing Fortnite, they are really referring to Fortnite Battle Royale.  

How Do You Get Fortnite?

Fortnite is a free, downloadable game.  To get the game, a player can download the Epic Games launcher, and go to the Fortnite page.  Because the game is free, a player can simply install it.  The game is available in multiple platforms, including: computers (PC and Mac), X-Box, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices.  If a player wants to be able to play in save the world modes or other non-multi player modes, there is still the option to purchase the original game.  

How Do You Play Fortnite?

One of the reasons that Fortnite is so popular is that, unlike some other online multi-player games, players do not have to customize their characters in order to play the game.  The game comes with default characters, known as skins, and players are automatically to a skin, which may switch, when they open the game.  In addition, players can purchase different skins.  

Fortnite skins are an important element of the game.  There are five basic types of skins: legendary, epic, rare, uncommon and common.  Skins may also be referred to as outfits.  In addition, some people may refer to Fortnite skins as Fortnite costumes, but this usage is less usual.  Instead, the term Fortnite costume probably refers to an actual physical costume.  While the different skins can make players look very different from one another, it is important to realize that they do not actually impact game play.  All of the various skins have the same abilities and weaknesses, regardless of their physical appearances.  However, players can gain additional capabilities by being able to use the different weapons and tools that they gather.  

Players begin in a lobby, where they can choose a mode.  Modes include teams, duos, and solo players.  After a player chooses a mode, the player hits the play button, which results in the player being placed in a map.  Once there are enough players in that map, the players get onto a battle bus, which is above the map.  The battle bus takes players around the map, and the player chooses where to drop into the game.  The drop is quite literal; the players skydive from the bus down to the physical location on the map.  

Players begin with one melee weapon: a pickax.  With the pickax, players can harvest materials from buildings to make their own structures.  These structures can serve as a home base or as a place to escape from other players, but other players can enter these structures and the structures can be destroyed.  However, a player with a pickax is unlikely to be the last one standing; it is important for players to go searching for other weapons, tools, and other types of loot such as bandages and shield potions.  To find these extra items, players need to search over the map, in buildings, for chests.  All chests will…to the game Fortnite as the Floss emote, and quickly went viral.  Not only was it incredibly popular within the game, but also within real life, and it was possible to see people everywhere doing this dance.  The appeal of the Floss was partially due to its apparent simplicity.  Not even involving any foot movements, it seems like a basic combination of hip and arm movements, but it can be surprisingly challenging, at least for those without any inherent dance skills.  Other popular Fortnite dances, which you are likely to see in real life, as well as in the game, include: Infinite Dab, Zany, Wiggle, Groove Jam, Swipe It, Disco Fever, The Worm, the Fresh, Take the Loss, Dance Moves (the default Fortnite dance), Best Mates, and the Electro Shuffle. 

However, while the Fortnite dances are incredibly popular, they are not without their own controversy.  In 2019, Epic Games faced a series of lawsuits centered on the Fortnite dances.  These lawsuits alleged that Epic Games stole people’s intellectual property in the form of dance moves, and then profited by selling those dance moves.  While many of these lawsuits were dismissed, the future outcomes of them remain to be seen.  However, even if the lawsuits are successful, the result will probably be a profit-sharing model, rather than requiring Fortnite to discontinue selling emotes.  

Another way that Fortnite has snuck into popular culture is with the popularity of Fortnite costumes.  For years, fans of different books, movies, TV shows, and video games have used Halloween as an opportunity to dress up like their favorite characters.  However, over the last decade or so costumes have come out of the closet, as the cultural phenomenon of cosplay has exploded.  Now fans feel free to dress up at various times throughout the year, and can even meet up with other fans of cosplay and Fortnite at conventions and meet ups throughout the year and across the country.  People can find popular Fortnite costumes at huge vendors; Spirit Halloween even offers its own collection of Fortnite costumes and accessories, such as the pickax, the brite bomber, the boogie bomb, the skull trooper costume, the party animal harvesting tool, the rainbow smash harvesting tool, the crackshot costume, the cuddle team leader costume, the black knight costume, the dark voyager costume, the rex costume, the tricera ops costume, and the pumpkin launcher.  In addition, many people make up their own costumes and accessories.  

Conclusion

Fortnite is an extremely popular video game that is currently dominating much of popular culture.  Many parents are worried about how invested their children are in Fortnite.  This is due to the fact that between the colorful graphics, problem-solving challenges, and fun extra elements like skins and emotes, the game can be immensely entertaining.  However, for parents, the game is nothing to worry about.  If played in moderation, it is not only not harmful to children, but can actually be beneficial.  In addition, the community-building benefits of the game transcend game play and can be seen by how ubiquitous some elements of the game, such as the Fortnite dances, have become in modern culture.  

References

Brooks, Mike.  “Is Fortnite Ruining Your Kid?”  Psychology Today.  18 September 2018.  

shttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-happy-life/201809/is-Fortnite-ruining-your-kid.  Accessed 10 August 2019.  

Kaufman, Sarah.  “The Dances in ‘Fortnite’ Have Become Nearly as Contagious as The 

Game.”  The Washington…

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