I love Fortnite. The constantly evolving island, the varied play styles, the toys, back bling, dances… It’s been a blast!
But as I rack up matches, I’ve started realizing that Fortnite Battle Royale is just brimming with great life lessons. Let’s explore:
In the lobby we choose our avatar, and refine our quick-select dances, sprays and toys. Then we ready up and wait for our chance to prove ourselves on this island.
Behind the scenes, the automated curation known as matchmaking, which selects our specific game, happens beyond our knowledge. Are we matched by skill? Are we destined to win? We can’t know.
We just watch a rotating icon connect us to a server with 99 others eagerly waiting to show their stuff on that same small chunk of land.
We choose a location to drop based on an infinitely variable set of criteria, or just plain old habit. Maybe we’ve seen Ninja land there. Maybe we want to find a quiet spot with no enemies. Maybe we just want to slay out.
Or we just wait for the last stop to poop us out with the others who were too distracted to choose.
As we glide to the island’s surface, it becomes clear that there is no way to visit every location on this island in one life. LESSON!
Also the density of opposition in any one location can vary drastically game-to-game. I’ve landed somewhere one game, gotten decimated by a legion of other players, then landed there minutes later in a new game and it’s a ghost town.
These locations are destined to be dangerous or devoid long before we even choose where to land. LESSON!!
Of course, once we land, the availability of choices explode again. We harvest, or we don’t. We arm ourselves, or we don’t. Some race into battle, others just hide and wait out the storm. Prominent YouTuber John Green plays Fortnite as a pacifist. A professional bush hider, if you will. He is determined to find a way to win without killing.
John’s pacifistic play-style shows the ultimate objective of Fortnite Battle Royale is just to live longest. Not kill the most, or accrue a high score. Experience points and battle stars are ancillary to victory. Winning means living, not killing. ::THROAT CLEAR::
This affords the game a range of skill and an ever growing spectrum of play-styles, which feels like a grand statement of humanity at large.
You can shoot hoops, you can even play a round of golf at Lazy Links; all while under the clear and present danger of assured annihilation. Our willingness to be vulnerable and express joy is only afforded by our full acceptance of our fate.
We just want to have a bit of fun before our inevitable slide into the great beyond: Our return to the lobby, where we can rest or ready up again.
Fortnite’s Battle Royale island is alive. No, it’s not AI, it’s very much intentioned, curated. It is a gorgeous garden of delights for every individual to find some activity of value before the storm ultimately closes in, and makes each of us go sleepies.
Top image includes elements c/o Epic Games