Popular video game Fortnite is becoming a cultural phenomenon

Published On March 29, 2018 | By mikefurtado | Arts

Epic Games, Fortnite

Michael Furtado

People typically think of music, TV, art and movies when discussing pop culture, but the definition could expand, as there’s a new video game that is becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Epic Game’s Fortnite Battle Royale has taken the world by storm and has everyone from professional athletes to famous musicians buzzing about it.

Most recently, Tyler “Ninja” Belvins, who is arguably the most famous Fortnite streamer in the world, broke the Twitch live-streaming record by streaming himself playing with rapper Drake.

With the help of Drake, the live-stream hit 628,000 concurrent viewers, obliterating the previous record of 388,000. News of Drake playing Fortnite also prompted other celebrities to join in on the action, as later the two were joined by rapper Travis Scott and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.


This was not the first time Fortnite was mentioned in various forms of pop culture. It’s has been seen mentioned in the NHL by the likes of Toronto Maple Leaf Auston Matthews and even Alexander Ovechkin, of the Washington Capitals.

Most recently, during March Madness, 16th seed University of Maryland Baltimore College players mentioned Fortnite in an interview following their historical win against Number One seed Virginia.

Raiders eSports Centre, a bar in Toronto dedicated to everything video games, plays live streams of popular video games, the same way a sports bar would show a hockey game, on overhead televisions.

Liam Collins, the Raiders’ bartender in charge of what streams are played during his shifts says, “Fortnite is by far the most requested stream that we get,” he said.

Collins said a big reason for the popularity of the game is due to its accessibility, “its free to play and it’s available on both consoles, computers and now mobile.”

Jordan Alfonso is a competitive gamer, and even though he typically plays fighting games, such as Streetfighter, he has downloaded Fortnite to experience what everyone is raving about.

“After Drake streamed with Ninja, I just had to see what all of the fuss was about,” he said. He said that it didn’t disappoint and now he knows why his social media feeds have been constantly talking about the game.

The hype around Fortnite is huge and it can only continue to grow as more figures in pop culture continue the conversation. The only question now is, how big can Fortnite be?


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