'Fortnite' Season 11 Reduces Game to Singularity
As A Teacher, I've Never Heard Better News
Is #Fortnite done?
I truthfully don't expect so, but news that the game has apparently been down since the afternoon of October 13th has me hopeful.
When Fortnite first bowed in July 2017, it exploded among youth like nothing I'd ever seen. If kids weren't talking about it, they were dancing to it, they were asking about the various levels their friends were on, and they were doing everything they could to play it at every opportunity, even if it meant they were playing it in school.
Boy, did they try and play it in school. Argue as you might that teachers should be allowed to take student phones when they aren't using their phones for academic purposes, issues like that aren't as simple as you might think. Needless to say, as a teacher in 2017, trying to separate my students from Fortnite was like trying to pull teeth without anesthesia. It just wasn't working, to the point where I was asked at least once a week, "If we get our work done, can we have a free class to play?"
Of course, I said no, but it got to the point where the very mention of the word "Fortnite" would cause the muscles in my neck and shoulders to tense, and a muscle to twitch in my jaw. My own children knew better than to ask if they could even download the game because I was so opposed to it.
So, when I saw today that basically the map for Fortnite got sucked into itself, causing the game to effectively come to an end—at least for now—I did a silent fist pump.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy video games, and have been known to waste my time playing a range of video games over the years. However, the distraction that Fortnite has caused for school-aged kids in the last two years goes well beyond simply "killing time." It became something of an addiction for a lot of kids, to the point where it was pretty much the only thing they could focus on most of the time.
I'm also not trying to sound like a stodgy old fart. I am only 46, but as a parent as well as a teacher, I am more than familiar with how distracting game crazes can be. Truth be told, I've never really seen a craze that's reached the epic level that Fortnite did, except for maybe Harry Potter. At least with Harry Potter, though, there was the side benefit of kids reading more than they had in recent years. I don't really see that having happened with Fortnite.
I realize there will be another Fortnite. There always is another craze waiting around the corner, waiting to take consumers by storm and dominate our attention. I know that, since time began, kids have found ways to be distracted from what they really should be doing. There are reasons why parents have said the strangest things over the years to their children—things like, "Don't put your finger in there," among others.
At any rate, news that Fortnite appears to have ended for now has given me some measure of joy. Even though I no longer have students who actually play Fortnite, and I'm finally seeing the end of younger kids trying to do the Fortnite dance, I feel a degree of pleasure knowing that, for now, one of the hottest video games in recent years seems to have died.
The question is, what's going to come? Will Fortnite hit once again with a vengeance? There already appears to be some activity online, suggesting there are plans ahead for Fortnite Season 11, but for now, the Fortnite Twitter feed is still only showing the singularity, with nearly 107,000 comments.
Is it really "Game Over?"