By GABRIELLA GARCIA
“Next on ‘My Strange Addiction’ is my ‘Fortnite’ issue,” joked freshman Maccall Warner. Unless you’ve been hiding underneath a rock, you most likely have at least heard of Epic Game’s most popular release known as “Fortnite.”
This popular game has taken over students’ social and academic lives and has quickly become a top priority. Although the game was released quite some time ago, it has finally come out for iOS devices in the last month and is keeping students of all ages engaged and addicted.
For those who are less familiar with the game, it begins by dropping 100 players onto a large map that quickly becomes a smaller area by what is known as “the storm.” The storm forces players into an increasingly small space in which they will fight to the death until there is one person standing. Those outside of the circle will be taken by the storm in a matter of minutes. The goal is to drop onto the map, stock up on supplies like guns, bandages and shield potions, and not get killed in the process.
New players quickly figure out their favorite places to land and favorite weapons to use. “I like landing at Tilted Towers because it’s such a challenge. I feel so good when I get out of there alive,” said Warner. Freshman Tanner Herndon said, “Definitely Shifty Shafts because you have to use strategy.”
While the game was recently released as an iOS app, it is invite only. This means that you must be invited by someone who has an invite code. The fan base has become so large that strangers are now selling codes to each other over social media. “I want to play on my phone so badly I just need one of those codes,” said freshman Emily Hall.
Although “Fortnite” seems like a simple survival game, students cannot seem to stop playing. “I probably play for about 2-3 hours every day,” said Herndon. That’s nearly 20 hours every week. “I only started playing so I could beat my boyfriend, but I’ve quickly become addicted,” said freshman Cassidy Clark.
People across the nation have also noted issues caused by the game’s addictive quality. A group of high school aged girls have recently gone viral on Twitter for starting petitions to get their boyfriends to stop playing the game.
Forbes Magazine recently covered the topic to see what all the fuss was about. Forbes writer Paul Tassi stated, “This may sound minor, but I genuinely believe that a large part of Fortnite’s success is because of its cartoony, almost Pixar-ish aesthetic. And because of its cartoony nature, Fortnite has been able to go fully wacky with creative skins and even weapons like grenades that force you to dance in place.”
Epic’s popular game also includes other unique features such as the ability to build. Players can collect materials such as wood and steel to build cover and other structures to provide them with an advantage against their opponents.
Tassi also pointed out that the game is about as non-violent as a shooting game can get, which makes it appealing to all age groups, including parents who like to keep a watchful eye over the games their children are playing.
Several students at Mary Washington claim that they play the game in class during boring lectures or videos, as it keeps them entertained. A student source stated, “I played it throughout my theatre class today, and it was so fun.”
Other students have gone completely out of their way to make playing “Fortnite” more comfortable. “Of course I moved my TV into my friends room. Now it’s really easy for us to play duos together,” said Herndon.
Similar games have come about in the past that distracted users from their day to day lives, for example Pokemon Go. If this is any indication, the excitement over the game will most likely die down quickly, but in the meantime hopefully students will enjoy the game without letting it affect academics, their social life, relationships and more.