By CADEN CHOW
I’m knocked, I’m knocked! Someone revive me! The sounds of students playing the sensational game, Fortnite, fill every corner of the school. Fortnite Battle Royale is Epic Games’ smash hit, reaching the top 10 most played PC games in January 2018. This surge in popularity is due to people’s enjoyment of collaboration within the game combined with the excitement of getting kill after kill. Fortnite brought people together from all cliques of society, ranging from veteran gamers to people who never imagined playing shooter games. Fortnite has just hit an incredible milestone, officially beginning Season 6 as well as a whopping 45 million players.
When Epic Games released the mobile version of Fortnite in March 2018, the app spread quickly throughout the school. It transformed almost into a social media, as students constantly asked each other “Hey do you have Fortnite? Add me.” The interactive nature of this game has forged stronger friendships between people, as they play and improve together. From trickshots to a Victory Royale, Fortnite added excitement to the everyday atmosphere of school, allowing students to sit down during lunch and have a good time. Indeed, the idea of a video game fostering the culture of a community seems unrealistic, but the emergence of Fortnite at University High School is clear evidence in opposition.
“[Fortnite] is good for school culture because it allows you to hang out with friends virtually,” Sophomore Leyland Yang said.
In addition, Fortnite’s in-game emotes have led to new trends. The game exposed many students to “Fortnite dances” that are often used as jokes to one another. It is not uncommon to see students doing the “Fortnite Default Dance” or “Orange Justice,” two dancing emotes within the game that have gained mass amounts of popularity. Even though many of these joking actions add a more positive atmosphere at school, they can sometimes be distractions especially in an inappropriate environment.
As a byproduct of these new exciting developments, students began to gain addictions, playing in class and being distracted from their school work at home. Playing Fortnite prevents some students from fully concentrating in class and at home, as their minds are filled with “how can I get another win?” or “when are my friends going to be on?” Although many students use video games as a way to “cool down” and put aside the stresses of high school, too much screen time eventually leads to a variety of negative side effects.
“[Fortnite] has brought people together, but also has distracted them from their school work,” Sophomore Nima Movahedi said.
With its recent availability on Android phones, the game has become even more widespread at this school, allowing more students to join in. However this means more students are being exposed to the addictive characteristics of Fortnite and possibly any other online video game. The rush of playing games like Fortnite keeps the player wanting to play for more.
“Its impact on school can be very detrimental because students are caught up playing the game when they should be focusing,” Yang said.
Generally, at UHS, students are able to manage their school work while saving time to play their favorite game. Although Fortnite may come with consequences such as falling behind on school work, the game still offers students a source of enjoyment and relaxation.