The Essay: At 13, I’ve Been Playing Fortnite For Four Years. Here’s Why I Still Love It

By Imani Brown

I have been playing Fortnite for four years and I still love it. Out of all that time playing, it has been a crazy journey. I was only nine years old when I started. Before I began playing, I wondered, What is this thing? I think one of the things that keeps me going are the seasons in the game. I was playing Season 4 in 2018 and the just started Chapter Three. The reason Epic divides the game into seasons is that, to me, each season is like a movie. That’s one thing I really love about it because I’m inside the movie that tells a story about an organization called IO that created this battle royale island using a nexus orb where all reality sprang from.

Then there’s the cubes, which seem to want to destroy the island you’re on. They’re presented in different colors and they can hurt players. Where I am now in the game, the cube is forming a type of Queen enemy character. But I’ve seen Naruto and Spider-Man added in the game, too. There is the new event for Chapter 3 of Fortnite and the Queen must be stopped from destroying the island. As far as history goes, The Cube is a mysterious object that appeared first on August 24, 2018, during Season 5. A blue cube and a gold cube appeared near a place called Paradise Palms. The blue cube landed on the earth that is Fortnite, spreading pieces of itself around. The purple one is bad and caused the world to change and be destroyed or flip over on the other side.

There are live events in Fortnite, wild ones, like the game was filled with zombie aliens and the map was broken into sections. It’s like the world always changes and there’s always something new to see or play. One my favorite events was the Travis Scott concert. It felt like it was almost real, except he was a giant flying or dancing in the fire or swimming under water or flying above us space. Travis Scott was in the game until the people were killed at the Astroworld concert. After those sad deaths, they took the Travis Scott emote out the game. 

Fortnite has its own kind of myths. Season 4 was when the Ice King first landed and wanted to destroy the island. But the Fire King wanted to destroy it first. So they battled and when the Fire King won, he had to gather up power, trying to breed dragons while the environment (and the playable map) ended up getting destroyed. He even toppled Tilted Towers, a place to land and get guns, one of the older spots to land in Fortnite. Overall, these are big stories with rockets, laser beams, time travel, black holes and  master plans. I think that’s part of what makes me come back: these massive science fiction stories.

There’s so many ways to play! You can play as a creative warrior, a game mode where you can make your own Player Versus Player maps and edit a course map. There’s a lot of imagination involved here, parkour maps, even riffs on Squid Game.  Another game mode is Arena, a competitive game mode here you get Hype Points for the number of kills you get. Get enough of these and you can compete for cash. Of course, Fortnite is best known for its battle royale matches where 100 people are in the game and we have to fight people from all over the world. It seems simple: you collect guns and shields to protect yourself and you fight until the last person standing. You’ll find help like more health, medkits and bandages. It’s quick, exciting and you have to know where to hide and when to make your move.

Since Fortnite is free to play, Epic Games makes a lot of its money selling skins in the game. I like to go to the item shop and check out the new skins when they first come out. Naruto is my favorite skin in the game right now. I like the Aura skin with the Star Wand harvesting tool. You can hit enemies with the Star Wand, but it’s best used for whacking at materials like wood and other materials for building. With a Battle Pass that allows you to play for the full season, I get 100 special rewards. Fortnite is probably one of my favorite games because it keeps changing with new updates.      

The thing is, Fortnite really means something to me. I have been wanting to play Fortnite competitively since the game came out. Now and then, I explain this to my family, saying, “This is something I really want to do.” But I have to take care when I stream because of the time I invest. I play about two to four hours at a time, but only on the weekends and maybe sometimes on Monday. I feel I want to give my life to working in games and playing professionally because this is something I love. I feel it in my bones. It’s my passion. But I know other things are important, too. I never play during school days. School is always first and never last. It’s important to get an education beyond the game.   

13-year-old Imani Brown is the newest NYVGCC contributor – and our youngest everHe can often be seen in his Nickelodeon jacket as he makes his way around the Bronx.              

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