How Fortnite captured teens’ hearts and minds

The craze has elements of Beatlemania, the opioid crisis, and eating Tide Pods. /Illustration by Ryan Johnson

The craze for the third-person shooter game has elements of Beatlemania, the opioid crisis, and eating Tide Pods

By Nick Paumgarten | The New Yorker

It was getting late in Tomato Town. The storm was closing in, and meteors pelted the ground. Gizzard Lizard had made his way there after plundering the sparsely populated barns and domiciles of Anarchy Acres, then by avoiding the Wailing Woods and keeping the storm just off to his left. He spied an enemy combatant on high ground, who appeared to have a sniper’s rifle. In a hollow below the sniper’s perch was an abandoned pizzeria, with a giant rotating sign in the shape of a tomato. Gizzard Lizard, who had quickly built himself a redoubt of salvaged beams, said, “I think I’m going to attack. That’s one of my main issues: I need to start being more aggressive.” He ran out into the open, pausing before a thick shrub. “This is actually a really good bush. I could bush-camp. But naw, that’s what noobs do.”

Two men enter, one man leaves: the fighters closed in on each other. In the video game Fortnite Battle Royale, the late-game phase is typically the most frenetic and exciting. Suddenly, the sniper launched himself into a nearby field and began attacking. Gizzard Lizard hastily threw up another port-a-fort, amid a hail of enemy fire. The goal is always to get, or make, the high ground


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