Fortnite hype

Sarah Grier, Pulse Editor

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If you somehow do not know what Fortnite is, the simplest thing I could compare it to is “The Hunger Games.” In Fortnite Battle Royale, 100 individual players are dropped into the map and fight to the death.

The map consistently shrinks from a storm into smaller and smaller zones to force the players to kill each other. A big part of the game is to collect gear through finding chests and looting opponents after eliminating them. There are various strategies to the game, debates on the best spot on the map to land and the coolest skins (which are purchased by completing challenges) but above all, Fortnite has remained a top video game of 2018.

“Fortnite is the first free game I have seen with such a large amount of players,” Michael Cooley ‘18 said. “It is hard to walk through the halls or eat lunch without hearing about it.”

According to the developer, Fortnite has drawn in more than 3.4 million concurrent players. This makes it the largest game of 2018, even Drake plays it! (Drake literally broke YouTube’s viewership record for a livestream as 628,000 people watched him play Fortnite for several hours). The fact that it’s a free downloadable game on any PS4, PC or Xbox One is arguably the largest reason for this.

Fittingly, this year is the first year that the World Health Organization is recognizing video game addiction as a diagnosable disease. Studies done by the journal Psychological Science have estimated that 8.5 percent of U.S. youth between 8 to 18 who play video games show signs of addiction.

So, are you addicted?

The WHO characterizes it as a true addiction if an individual loses control of gaming habits, prioritizes gaming to other life interests and continues to play video games despite negative effects. This will often lead to impairment in personal, familial, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of daily functioning. If this behavior continues over a year, you are officially addicted.

Like tobacco, the video game companies will continue to profit on their addicted consumers. The developer company of Fortnite, Epic Games, is working on expanding the already large player base by adding more global nations and the release of their IOS app. Epic Games released their “Fortnite mobile” app on March 16 . Within the first day of the release they profited one million dollars from in-app purchases of a $10 battle pass. As part of the Fortnite expansion they hope to add Android and Nintendo to their platforms.

Fortnite is a video game that will truly change the way future games are accessible and will open the door to more free games as other companies try to tap this market. It will be exciting to watch the fostering of a new wave of gaming.

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