The Rise of Fortnite at Leesville

The Fortnite loading screen on the Xbox One console is the first thing gamers see when loading the game. The game is played across multiple platforms. (Photo courtesy of Matt Wiener)

Thirty seconds to jump out of a bus. Three  minutes before the storm gets closer to erasing your existence. Gain weapons and materials or risk extinction. Kill before others kill you.

What sounds like an intense movie plot is actually the process of playing the most popular video game at Leesville, Fortnite. The game has taken over Leesville students’ gaming stations at home,whether it be Xbox One, PS4, or PC, where students tend to enjoy their free time by playing the game.

Each game allows up to one hundred players to enter a match at once. Players are loaded into a bus, where they can jump off to land towards one of almost twenty labeled locations on the map. From there, players must gather weapons of different varieties to help protect themselves as well as kill other players.

While players kill each other one after another, similar to the popular movie and book series, the Hunger Games, those alive must stay in a white outlined circle. On the perimeter of the circle is a ‘storm’, identified by a purple transporting wall. If players stay outside of the protective circle for too long, they will die.

One large part of Fortnite is gaining three materials to build forts or protective areas: wood, bricks and metal. Using these resources, players can help save themselves while facing death or use the materials to help advance their game by killing others.

Players have the choice of four different game modes. Solo, where players fight on their own to survive; Duos, where players team up with one other player against other teams of two to win; Squads, where players get into groups of four to face off against similar teams to gain victory; finally, the newest mode placed in the game recently, Teams of 20 mode, where all 100 players are split into five teams of twenty, and must work together to win.

Leesville students enjoy the game for hours at a time. As all players have the common goal to gain the achievement of a win, known as a ‘Victory Royale’. With the win, students feel accomplishment and pride, as they outlasted over 90 other players to win.

“The feeling of getting a win in Fortnite is one of the best in the world.. When your squad is able to come out on top against ninety-six other people. It just creates a bond of friendship,” said Max Buico, a sophomore at Leesville and an avid player of Fortnite.

Over the course of a few months, Fortnite became the main discussion point of conversation around Leesville. Through social media outlets and great feedback from other players, the game has become a large part of student’s lives outside of school work.

On social media platforms such as Snapchat, players have a tendency to show off and be proud of their victories. The trend has become a common sight on student’s stories, to get recognition for their hard work in getting the win.

But what makes the game so addicting? Is it the challenge?

Will Keever, freshman at Leesville and frequent player of the game, has the answer: “It incorporates characteristics of games like Call of Duty (shooting/killing) and Minecraft (building), the building element, combined with the shooting is what makes it so fun.

 

Strategy is key to surviving the match. Though the ‘best’ strategy is varied from player to player, planning survival is crucial to getting the much coveted reward of Victory Royale. However, different players tell different strategies.

 

Take Jackson Lawrence, senior at Leesville for example: “Building. You have to build up, build the tallest building you possibly can and use double pump shotguns.”

However,Ethan Hunter, sophomore has a different technique: “You have to play aggressive, in order to get all of the good loot [to survive].”

The game that has taken Leesville under siege only looks to grow in popularity. Season 4 of Fortnite: Battle Royale comes out in May of 2018.

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