Every generation has its gaming fads. This is when a major title gets so big and popular that it hits the mainstream. Pac-Man mania was a definite thing in the 80’s. In the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, Angry Birds and Minecraft had their moments. Now, it is Fortnite that is stepping up to center stage. The game has pretty much won the battle royale fight and is starting to enjoy its time in the sun as victor. Which is leading to some pretty weird news in the mainstream media.
I am referring to a news story going over how some parents are hiring Fortnite tutors for their children. People are paying $10-20 per hour for those who know how to play to get kids up to snuff. In some cases, parents are even hiring aides for themselves. Some of the topics include building, since having a good construct or base can be critical to a person’s success, while others are general education to help folks survive and maybe be the last person standing. It sounds crazy and over the top, right?
Now, I’m not going to say this isn’t happening. It really is. I popped the term “Fortnite” into Fiverr’s search bar and came up with over 200 results in gaming and over 450 results total. The tutoring is absolutely happening. But, mainstream media is making this out to be a much bigger deal than it really is. Gigs and tutoring involving fad games is not new. When I popped “Minecraft” into Fiverr, I received over 380 results from people wanting to build, create, or design things in the game for other people. That website also has people offering Overwatch, League of Legends, and CS:GO help. Game coaches and tutors are not uncommon. It is just because of Fortnite’s popularity that people in the mainstream finding out about it are finding it worth commenting on.
The thing is, we are going to have to brace ourselves for more of this. Fortnite is now beginning to enter its oversaturation phase. You know the one. This is when you start seeing books, clothing, toys, references to it in movies and TV shows, and other references as people who do not normally pay attention to such things try to cash in on a hot property. They see a chance for attention and money, then will run with it. I mean, we already have confirmation that Funko Pop is working with Epic Games on a Fortnite collection that will put items in almost all of the categories mentioned above in stores around November 2018. Hell, if it follows the same path as Angry Birds and Minecraft, we will probably see a movie based on it between three and five years after the sun has set on the game.
This means, we are going to have to prepare ourselves for a lot more “Fortnite is a game that exists!” stories from people who do not usually play video games. Family members will use it as an excuse to attempt to show interest in the hobby, likely referring to it “Fork Knife” as they do. Store shelves, then clearance racks, and finally Goodwill will have the merchandise everywhere. We have not even hit the point at which Fortnite has permanently permeated the public consciousness. That’s coming soon, so we’ll have plenty more stories about things like Fortnite tutoring soon!
In the meantime, well, maybe see this as an opportunity? If you are particularly good at Fortnite, perhaps see if you can make a few bucks for gas or a meal from parents or kids willing to pay for your gaming knowledge. Maybe use a relative’s sudden interest in “Fork Knife” to get them talking about or playing games you do enjoy. As for that merchandise, wait a few months or a year. Then, in 2019, you could clean up on gag gifts or things for people you know who do genuinely enjoy Fortnite. Personally, I’m hoping for some Fortnite dancing hamster plush toys.