Video games don’t only have to be a source of fun but can also provide learning experiences.
Thursday (Aug.26), Epic Games announced a unique partnership with Time Studios for Fortnite March Through Time. The all-new virtual experience was announced via PlayStation’s Blog is described as a homage to the late Civil Rights icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Available today, Fortnite players will be teleported to a recreation of Washington DC at the Lincoln Memorial and US National Mall, where King delivered this iconic “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963. Players will watch Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s full speech in the game in the special world developed by members of the Fortnite Community.
Players can also look forward to a museum-like experience where they will visit exhibits and team up with fellow Fortnite players to tackle mini-quests. Those who complete the entire experience will be rewarded with a D.C. 63 spray for their lockers.
The announcement of the March Through Time has raised some eyebrows, and understandably so. When you think of Fortnite, you definitely don’t think of MLK. Some even incorrectly believed that a Dr. Martin Luther King character skin was being announced.
Host, streamer, and co-Owner of X-Set Erin Ashley Simon shared a video of her experience showcasing exactly what players would experience when they decide to March Through Time. After experiencing it, she still felt unsure about it but urged her followers to form their own opinions after watching her video.
The reactions have been pouring in since the experience was announced and went live. One user wrote, “MLK in Fortnite because corporate America thinks Black Liberation is a GAME,” while sharing a gif of Pan-African super Hotep Dr. Umar Johnson.
Of course, there were jokes as well.
While some could see the benefit of Fortnite continuing to do experiences like this, another user wrote, “Interactive museums in the metaverse is actually a pretty cool idea. Imagine if Fortnite had a showcase for indigenous art. For the Harlem Renaissance. For Natural History. Partnerships with Smithsonian to explore digital versions of their DC museums. Needs careful execution.”
Fortnite is not the first popular video game to incorporate educational content into its game. In October, Mojang Studios revealed the first lesson in Minecraft’s “Good Trouble: Social Justice Movements Around the World” learning series called “John Lewis and Social Movements Around the World,” honoring the late civil rights icon and U.S. Representative John Lewis.
Assassin’s Creed also turned off the violence and put away the hidden dagger for a museum mode in Assassin’s Creed Origins that schooled players about Ancient Egypt.
Video games being used as teaching tools is nothing n. For those old enough to remember, there were games like Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? and Oregon Trail favorites of computer lab teachers in schools across the globe back in the good old days. With the COVID-19 pandemic literally resetting the world and forcing kids to be taught home virtually, games like Fortnite, Minecraft and others could be the perfect tool to teach kids at a distance or when we return home.
We salute Fortnite for its attempt. The delivery of the message could have been better.
In the gallery below, you can peep more reactions to Fortnite x Time Studios March Through Time MLK experience.
Photo: Epic Games / Fortnite
SMH, not true.
Wait till you go to an actual museum.