Is The Fortnite Game A Cultural Tipping Point?

The game of Fortnite is incredibly successful and has, seemingly, garnered more media attention than Pokemon Go did in 2017. I was even interviewed by CTV News regarding it’s success and just why.
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In fact, I think that Fortnite represents a pivotal moment in the role of technology within Western society. I am specific to Western society as the adoption of technologies in Asian and other cultures is very different, with different socioeconomic and behavioural adaptations and uses.
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What Makes Fortnite So Successful to Begin With
First, it’s key to understand why Fortnite has been so successful. I believe it comes down to three key reasons;
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Minecraft Elements: To start with, the game borrows a lot from Minecraft, the concept of world-building, sheer expanse and ability to move around and an interesting design aesthetic that is quite pleasing. Then there’s the whole generation that grew up on Minecraft, so they will adapt and adopt quite quickly.
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Battle Royale: The game takes a lot of cues from Battle Royale, another immensely popular game, but with a more restrictive environment. For Fortnite, it is the concept of only one player can survive. Yet ironic that collaboration is a key element of playing Fortnite. Social conundrums are a key part of society today.
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Social Aspects: The game very cleverly integrates critical social behavioural aspects and what in behavioural economics we would call “nudging.” It is so easy to generate memes from Fortnite and the dances have rolled out into the real-world, where parents and players are paying to learn how to do dances like flossing. If this was intentional by the game creators, then they are incredibly astute, socially aware and bloody brilliant!
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Multi-Device: The game can be played on any console (Xbox, Playstation etc.), smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops. It is incredibly easy to play and is easily accessible to any demographic without needing extensive play skills. This lowers the barriers.
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Why Fortnite Is A Cultural Tipping Point
Combine these ingredients and you have an incredible game. But why do I think it’s a tipping point for games and gaming technology in society? For the first time, we see parents hiring coaches to help their children play the game better. We certainly didn’t see that for Call of Duty of World of Warcraft. Not on this scale.
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Fortnite is being played in numerous social settings at parties and functions and people together at a pub or other event. This is a first for such a game to be played in so many social spaces. Pokemon Go was, but that game is not nearly as inherently social as Fortnite.
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In addition, we see aspects of the game, specifically in regard to the dances, being incorporated into modern dance classes and people paying to learn how to do dances such as flossing that are featured in the game.
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Memes have become popular and the associated hashtags in social media channels. All of this taken together is perhaps an indicator that games are slowly becoming a key part of pop-culture unlike before. While Fortnite is likely to be a trend and trickle off in terms of broader appeal, it has made its mark and will surely influence the development of other games. It also shows how culturally embedded these devices have become in our lives.
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What are your thoughts?

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