The Fortnite Phenomenon: A Look Inside the Game Taking Over the Lives of High-Schoolers Everywhere

   If you have not heard about the game that is dominating most high school boy’s lives (and their snapchat stories), you have probably been living under a rock. “Fortnite,” the “it” video game of the moment, has had a huge influence on how high school boys (and even some girls) are spending the majority of their free time. Some love it, some hate it, and some do not even know what the game is. Nonetheless, it is hard to deny that Fortnite has put a trance on high schoolers everywhere—even rivaling the “Pokémon Go” craze of 2016.

   Fortnite is a last-one-standing style video game in which 100 players all come together in a round until there is only one player, duo or squad remaining alive. If you are still confused about the game, just ask any Walpole High student. According to freshman Brendan Donahue, many people prefer this Hunger Games style concept.

   “I like Fortnite better than other games like Call of Duty,” said Donahue, “I think the concept is really cool and more competitive. It’s a nice change.”

   Senior Darragh Fahey admitted that the game evokes feelings of nostalgia.

   “Fortnite has really brought me back to my middle school days, playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with my friends,” Fahey said. “I’d say it has brought me and my friends closer.”

   While the majority of players seem to boys, there are also some girls who enjoy playing Fortnite. Senior Kerstin Fontanez offered her insights on the game, praising the fact that the game seems to be less violent than most other shooting video games.

   “In compared to classic shooters like the COD series, [Fortnite] is a lot more vibrant and colorful, a lot less violent, and there is more variety. Between customizing characters, choosing landing spots, being a third person shooter, and fighting for weapons, which are not always guns, the game is a lot more creative and fun as well as high-stakes sometimes,” said Fontanez.

   While Fortnite certainly has its perks and has earned its spot as the most popular video game of the moment, there are also some cons that come along with the game, one of them being that the game is simply too addictive.

   Freshman Zach Fair admits that he spends his fair share of time playing the game. “I don’t feel any more tired than normal, but playing less would probably give me more time to focus on other things like homework,” said Fair.

   Friends and family members notice the seemingly unhealthy addiction too.

   “Ever since my brother started playing Fortnite I have seen him less and less around the house,” said senior Liv Claus. “I see him for dinner and on our way to school. Other than that he’s basically in his room playing with all his friends.”

   Senior Sami Rodia recognizes a similar situation in her household: “Out of the past two snow days I have seen my brother maybe three times because he has been downstairs playing Fortnite the whole time,” Rodia said.

   Relationships are being impacted as well.

   “Yes, I have gotten left on the couch because [my boyfriend] needed the seat closest to the TV, and I have also had to wait outside the house while he was ‘hiding in a bush,’” said senior Emily Curtis on how Fortnite has affected her relationship.

   Players are becoming so addicted that they fear in the 10 seconds they leave the couch to open the door, they will lose their spot in the game and risk their chance at winning the coveted first place finish—known in the game as a “Victory Royale.”

   Fortnite is undeniably a game with both pros and cons. It is trendy, addicting, and for many extremely entertaining. Despite the fact that some are annoyed by the hype of the game, the majority is all for it.

   “Fortnite has really revitalized my life—it’s turned it for the better,” said senior Tyler Edouard, “Fortnite is my life.”

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