Why teenagers are so hooked on Fortnite, the newest video game craze.

Fortnite loading screen

The Fortnite loading screen, showing all the features of the game. Fortnite is the newest craze for video game enthusiasts. (Courtesy of unknown user via Flickr)

It’s 11:00 p.m. on a Thursday night and I’m playing Fortnite with the boys. I hear one of my friend’s mothers yell over the mic, “I will throw it away!”

Parents and girlfriends all over the world are getting annoyed due to this new third person shooter game. Complaints are flying all over the place saying that people spend too much time playing Fortnite.

Fortnite is a new video game sensation where everyone wants to recieve the glorious Victory Royal. The basic layout of the game is that you jump from a flying bus, the battle bus, then land on an island with 100 other online gamers and you are tasked with gathering certain materials needed to survive in order to escape other enemies and the storm.

The storm deals damage you, and the only way to escape the storm is to be inside the eye of the storm. The eye gets smaller as the game goes on, making it more compact and intense. There are chests located in houses, gas stations, skyscrapers, forests, and even jails placed throughout the game. Chests can contain weapons, potions (to act as shields or protection), and bandages or medkits to heal yourself with. How long you will survive in the game completely depends on what you find in the area where you land.

Where you land on the map involves a lot of strategy, and players have to weigh the pros and cons of each location; there’s a lot of loot in some areas and, in others, people know they can eliminate each other easily. Different game modes change philosophies greatly: a player can play Solo, Duo (where you get a partner), or Squad (where your team can fill up to four players). There are many ways to play Fortnite; the most common at Mason is on console (PS4 or XBox 1), but there are also ways to play on a gaming PC, and it was just released on mobile (iPhone) as well.

I play this game all day when I’m not playing sports or doing homework. Fortnite is a multiplayer game where you can easily play with friends online. Social media is being flooded with fortnite updates. For instance, every time a kid at Mason wins, they put the “Victory Royale” screen onto their Snapchat stories or sometimes even post it on their Instagram. It doesn’t help that they are posting their 11th victory on social media when I struggle to survive through 20 people left.

“The best part of the game has to be the squads mode. You can play with friends or strangers and all try to reach the common goal: Victory Royale,” said senior Fortnite enthusiast Carlos Mercado.

The easily accessible meetup with friends is creating a social epidemic in the hallways at Mason. For example, in the junior alcove kids talking about funny moments that had happened during the game and how close they got to wining (me included).

“I’ve been playing Fortnite for three months now and I’m the best out of anyone I’ve ever played with,” junior Vlad Munteanu said. “I just dominate anytime, anywhere. Whether on console or on phone, I dominate.“

Fortnite takes a lot of self control. Once you play one round you are sucked into the game for a while. If you play and do terribly, you automatically try to redeem yourself the next time. When you play and get close to winning, you can almost taste the victory and have much more motivation to reach it. Even if you win, you’re never satisfied and want another one. This endless cycle often ends with my parents screaming at me to get off.

Mason students often play squads because they like playing with their friends or even strangers. Fortnite is almost the equivalent to a social hangout where people can meet new people or play a couple games with friends. People are loving Fortnite because of the amount of strategy needed and the thrill to play.

Now if you would excuse me, I’m going to go play some Fortnite with the boys.

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