At first, I didn't believe the hype.
I thought it was like most gun games out there. You spawn, you have a selection of weaponry to choose from, you get killed and you respawn back into the game. I was obviously ill informed, because that's not Fortnite at all.
I remember when my brother first downloaded the game. I heard him yelling in his room, clicking the loud buttons on his console controller, and meanwhile, deafening explosions were going off in the background. Intrigued, I walked in his room, saw that it was another gun game, and walked out. I didn't even know the game he was playing was in fact Fortnite, but in that split second view I had of the game, I made a decision that I wasn't interested in it at all. Like I said before, I thought it was another "Call of Duty-esque" game, and so I never thought about it anymore, until about a month ago.
I was on Instagram, scrolling through the Explore Page, when I see a meme. It consisted of something called "Tilted Towers". Here it is:
I click to see the comments and I get a bunch of laughing emojis and LOLs and LMAOs and so I search up what this "Tilted Towers" is. It turns out that "Tilted Towers" is a popular landing spot in Fortnite, which explains the meme.
Before I continue on with my story, I should probably explain to you the basic mechanisms of Fortnite for those of you who aren't familiar with the game.
Fortnite is a battle royale style game where you compete against other players for the same goal: to be the last one (or the last team) standing. There are different modes: you can play solo, play in a duo, or play in a team of four people. When you first load the game and start up a match, you enter a lobby with 99 other players, and all of you are waiting for the "Battle Bus" to launch. Essentially, when it's time for the fight to begin, everyone will get on the Battle Bus, and it will fly over the map, which is the arena where the actual game takes place, and you can choose when to jump off the bus and skydive into the arena. Upon landing, you will find equipment, weapons, powerups, and much more. There will also be natural resources such as wood and stone that you need to use a pickaxe to obtain, and the pickaxe is the only weapon everyone spawns with, the only weapon you do not need to find. These resources are super important because you can build structures with them. "Tilted Towers" is essentially one little area of the huge arena.
Later that night, I decide to watch a Fortnite gameplay video on YouTube. The first thing I noticed was the cartoony look of the game, something different from most other gun games out there. Then I noticed that the gamer was BUILDING in the game. He collected resources like wood and stone and, using those resources, he built structures like stairs and walls. I noticed that he built walls whenever an enemy player started shooting at him and therefore the walls took some of the bullet damage. I thought that the building aspect was really creative and I think that, along with the look and feel of the game, really drew me in.
I've played one other shooting game / series in my life, and it was the Call of Duty series. I've always been somewhat interested in these types of video games where the main goal is to kill other people, but not enough to purchase my own copy. See, the only time I play these sorts of video games is when I visit my cousins. When we visit them, we spend the whole day at the house, playing nothing but Call of Duty, and we would play for 7 hours straight. And it'd be SO MUCH FUN. Except I knew that it was fun mostly because there were four of us playing, talking and communicating, spending time together, and just enjoying ourselves. So I never bothered to buy my own copy of the game because at my own house, I'd be the only one playing, and that's definitely not as much fun. Honestly, I also didn't want to spend too much money on other video games, seeing as at the time, my goal was to get more expansion packs for Sims 3. So if I was going to spend money, I'd spend it there.
This leads me to my other point: Fortnite is completely FREE. As long as you have an Xbox or Playstation that is compatible, a durable PC, or even a mobile phone that works (yes, there's a mobile version of the game), you can download this game and play right away. If you are looking into downloading the game, I suggest you search up the criteria and specs to make sure your system can run the game. The only thing that actually costs money are V-Bucks, the in game currency. You only need V-Bucks to purchase things like emotes and skins so it's completely optional.
Personally, I started playing about 3 weeks ago. I began with the mobile version of the game because I didn't own a gaming PC or laptop, and sadly, no matter how nicely I ask, my brother will not let me use his Xbox either. To this day, I still don't own any of those gaming systems, but I was able to download the game on my mom's iMac, which was quite surprising because I didn't think it would work on an Apple computer. She owns a late 2014 iMac and I'm able to play Fortnite on low settings. But hey, that's better than nothing. (I also play Sims 3 on her iMac!)
I play games like these not only because they're fun and a great stress reliever, but also because they can be beneficial. Video games where you have to actively rely on your sight abilities and be able to perceive even the smallest movements out of the corner of your eye can improve your alertness and your vigilance. It helps with your peripheral vision. It also builds up your reflexes. If a player starts shooting at you, most of the time you will use the resources you've gathered and start building around yourself for protection. The more you do so, the more the action automatically comes. You can start building around with ease without any conscious thought.
Video games can also improve your muscle memory. This is what happens in virtually every video game you play; you'll start remembering where the keys and the buttons are without having to look down at your keyboard / controller. Also, in Fortnite, you'll be able to remember which key is linked to which slot in your inventory (each weapon and building structure (walls, floors, etc.) is accessed through pressing specific keys / buttons) and again you won't have to look down each and every time to press a certain key / button to access that slot, so you'll be able to switch through weapons in your inventory and build walls and stairs with ease. Knowing your keyboard / controller is KEY to success in the game (haha, see what I did there?).
So yeah, video games can be good for you, if you play it in moderate amounts and don't spend the whole day engaging in them, of course. Right now, I'm on Spring Break, and I play for about an hour everyday, and spend another hour watching videos and livestreams of the game. But that's because I'm on break. When I'm off break and have school, I will limit myself to playing during the weekends, and weekends only. And even then, I will play 2 hours max. The situation with my brother is so bad; he really is addicted to this game. It's also Spring Break for him, and so he'll play about 2 hours in the afternoon, and every night after dinner around 8, he'll play until 2 AM, go to bed, and wake up at 12 PM. And when he's not playing Fortnite, he'll also be watching videos like me, except he'll watch these the whole day. He's a freshman in high school so he really doesn't have work or anything to do, so that's why he can afford to spend his time like this (LMAO). This is the exact same when he's off break, except he only plays on the weekends. You're probably thinking right now: wow, good for him! He can control himself and not play during the school week! Well, that's really not the case, because he would play, if only my parents let him play. Unfortunately, my parents have common sense and they don't let him play during the school week because they know how addicted he is.
Anyways, I'm not sure where I was going with this post. It started out as a joke post, something I was supposed to post on April Fool's Day last Sunday, but I guess time slipped away from me. So I made this post a bit more genuine. I talked about why I played Fortnite, my past experiences with video games, and why video games in general can be beneficial, but obviously only if played in moderate amounts. Which reminds me of another funny story: at one point, a guy in my english class did not show up to school for multiple days a week for a month because he was super addicted to Fortnite. It's crazy, right?