The incredibly popular video game Fortnite was released during 2017. Coincidentally, I became a freshman at Grove City College just a few weeks before this craze hit the campus. If you are unfamiliar with how to play Fortnite, the name of the game is survival. You and up to four friends can cooperatively battle with other online players in an attempt to be the last ones standing on a gradually shrinking map.
My Resident Assistant (RA) was the first person to introduce the game to our freshmen hall, and right from the very beginning I knew that it could greatly alter the dynamic of my freshman year. In the beginning, most of our hall would simply laugh off his invitations. Why would any of us just want to watch him play some video game? However, one by one it seemed that my hall-mates were beginning to get sucked in and began to play the game. In my first several weeks of school, I was met with many invitations to play Spikeball or football out in the grass in front of Memorial Hall. My experience began to change, and was now frequented with the Fortnite loading music and invitations to join my hall-mates in the online battle. This severely interrupted the community that we had been building on our hall. This was a bit concerning because it seemed like most people around me had become more involved in this online world than in the real one that was all around them. However, I soon found that my concerns were not warranted. This new game, that seemed to be separating us, had actually begun to unite us. For hours, there were rooms filled to the brim with eager players who would help others strategize if they themselves were not playing. The Fortnite craze was really getting into full swing just as we could no longer enjoy the outdoors because of the cooler temperatures. My freshman hall-mates embraced the new game and, before the end of the year, almost everyone in my dorm was an active participant.
The RA of the hall opposite of my own had a program for the entire building that included several TV’s set up in one lobby while a few played, and many observed. This was by far one of the most popular programs that any RA had all year long. I was quite nervous about this new game taking over the community of my freshman dorm, but ultimately it became a uniting force that helped bond and shape our freshman hall for the rest of the year.