Recently, Fortnite: Party Royale played host to a live discussion from the podcast We The People. We The People intended to allow Fortnite players to observe a dialogue on race that could educate players about the real effects of racism in America, and hopefully stir personal growth in their audience. Some players, however, used this as an opportunity to throw tomatoes at the video screens.
Black Lives Matters makes its way to Fortnite
The Black Lives Matters movement has become a global phenomenon in a matter of months following the unjustified police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far far more black people. The protests, and following police crackdown on them, led to a situation in which formerly uninvolved individuals could see exactly how people in positions of authority treat black people in America.
When We The People decided to come to Fortnite, I saw it as an attempt to bring the discussion to an audience that needed to hear it, a younger audience that may have become desensitized to internet racism and could use a solid reminder of what that racism does to people.
Fortnite Player Reactions to Black Lives Matter
Although I am duly disappointed to hear that some players used this as an excuse to indulge in their own racism, I can not say that I am especially surprised. Racism, sometimes disguised as crass offensive “humor,” is a serious problem on the internet. It shows how terrible some communities are with even the thinnest veil of anonymity to protect them.
Additionally, it is unclear why Epic failed to see how leaving the ability to interact negatively with the podcast in the game would backfire.
Fortnite does have one point in its favor in that players can often only communicate with their teammates. Excluding some incredibly toxic players, most players recognize that keeping positivity in your team will help your team play better as a whole, which does limit some of the racism in the game. However, this is not a solution for the problem as a whole. Hopefully, seeing this, Epic will resolve themselves to work harder to combat racism in Fortnite.Published 05 Jul 2020, 22:39 IST