The wild popularity of the shooter game is a reminder that socializing is way more fun when you’re actually doing something with your friends.
It has more than 200 million users, up to 8 million of whom are online at any one time. Most spend six to 10 hours a week on the platform. And half of teens say they use it to keep up with friends.
Snapchat? Instagram? Twitch?
Nope. Fortnite. The wildly popular online video game has quietly become one of the planet’s biggest social networks. Not in a traditional sense, of course. Fortnite Battle Royale is, first and foremost, a last-man-standing, shooter-style game, especially popular among teens and twentysomethings. (Disclaimer here: I’m not a hardcore Fortnite player, though I know plenty of people who are.) In the game, 100 players at a time jump out of a flying bus and onto an island. Combatants are left to duke it out, Hunger Games-style, with a variety of weapons, armor, “healables,” and other tools at their disposal. Though the premise is violent, the game itself really isn’t, with none of the gore or blood of more graphic offerings. Eventually, the final combatant claims the coveted “Victory Royale.” All told, each match lasts around 20 minutes.