Before I get into the meat of this post, I just want to say that life has a funny way of interjecting yourself into your plans. I am not a religious man, but there is a saying that I know that fits my current situation perfectly: “Man plans and God laughs.” There is a Spanish saying that is a bit more eloquent than that, but that saying states exactly how I feel right now. I had some pretty interesting time-sensitive post planned for last week and this weekend, but unfortunately life happened and I couldn’t quite get to them because of two medical emergencies. One, I had a slight mental breakdown over the weekend that had my anxiety kicking off pretty high and not even my medication was helping at that point. And the second, and scariest of the two, my mother had to have emergency surgery to remove a ruptured appendix. Thankfully my mother is fine and back home and my anxiety has calmed down – but fate again shows that it has its own plans that will always supersede those you have ready. That being said, I do want to get back to those post now that I have a chance and a free mind.
So, if the numbers are to be believed, more than ten million Fortnite Battle Royale players were on hand for the in-game event concert that featured the electronic music producer Marshmello performing a ten-minute set for those in attendance this past Saturday, February 2nd. The concert, which featured some of his well-known and popular hits including “Alone”, “Everyday”, and “Happier”, was the best Fortnite Battle Royale event I have ever seen – and as a Fortnite player since its early days (October 2017), I have seen them all, and this concert event was the best by far. I was here when the meteors started to fall, I was here for the rocket launch, I witnessed everything “Kevin” unleashed on the world, and I saw when the Ice King arrived and changed the map forever – but none of that managed to capture my attention and entertain me as much as the Marshmello concert.
It didn’t hurt that my wife, three kids, and goddaughter were all online and in-game when the event happened, so we got to experience it at the same time. As the Fortnite devs turned off the battle so the event could go off without a hitch and the music started, we all found our spots to watch the concert and rock out to the tunes that Marshmello was playing. And for ten minutes, even as some still tried to swing their harvesting tools trying to ruin the fun, the majority of the player base left all their hostilities at the door and just had fun, dancing around and experiencing a concert in a new and unique way – a way that may change the future of concerts and how we experience them in the future. (Mark my words on that.) But back to Fortnite and how they handle these in-game events, they work hard to give their fans some really exciting events that has the player base, as well as the gaming community at large, talking about what happened during each event.
Each Fortnite Battle Royale event is attended by millions of players in-game and each event always introduces new features or changes to the game world. There hasn’t been an in-game event that hasn’t added something new to the game. Hell, even this Marshmello concert, which didn’t change anything in-game, at the moment, may have tested or introduced something that we may see down the line. But even if it didn’t, what the event managed to do to unite the Fortnite community and have each player take a rest from the action and killing and simply enjoy some amazing electronic music. And having Marshmello, who he himself is an avid Fortnite player, host the event was just the perfect example of how the Fortnite community prides itself on being a close and united gaming community. Yes, there is some toxicity within the community, but overall the Fortnite Battle Royale community is a fun community where I have experienced little to no online abuse – which is good considering that I let all three of my kids play the game.
For Fortnite to continue to produce events like the Marshmello concert and others that get the community to come together and unite the way they do, that is something that not every game can do – but all wish that they could. Just look at how divisive some of the contemporary gaming communities can be within the fan base. PUBG, Fallout, Battlefield, CoD, Overwatch, DOTA… you name it and I can list for you numerous examples of how toxic and abusive the player base can be. And like I said, I know that there is some toxicity within the Fortnite Battle Royale community as well, but I have been playing the game since October 2017, just a couple of weeks after the game was launched, and I can count on one hand how many times I have encountered abuse and other bad experiences while playing the game in that time. Hell, as a long-time Battlefield fan, I once wrote about how prevalent abuse and racism was in the game and how I had to block a number of players because of how bad they were with me and other players in the game. To be completely honest, in a one-month period of playing Overwatch in late 2018, I had more abusive experiences and reported more players than I have had in more than a year of playing Fortnite Battle Royale.
And I believe that in-game events that Fortnite produces for their player base is a main reason why the community is seemingly so easy going and inclusive. When my kids play CoD, Overwatch, or Battlefield, I try and stay close to them to oversee what they do in the game because I have been present when other players start bullying and abusing them or others in the game. But with Fortnite Battle Royale, I have become a bit more lax in monitoring their gameplay because of my experiences with the game and from what I have seen of them while playing the game. Fortnite hasn’t given me any reason to monitor them closely because of a toxic community. Hell, some of my best Fortnite moments have been while my kids and I play the game together as a squad or duo – sometimes I have even squaded up with my kids and their friends to play the game. But I believe that because Fortnite is so keen on producing inclusive events like the rocket launch, like the cube event, like the Ice King event, and like the Marshmello concert, I believe that is the reason why the game is so welcoming and special to players of all types – and I can’t wait to see what other events Epic has in store for players, especially since Season 8 is just around the corner.