Stop Hating Fortnite for No Good Reason. It Doesn't Make You Cool.

Another day, another million anti-Fortnite posts making it to the top of /r/gaming. It’s the lowest hanging fruit around, and everyone is grabbing said fruit and juicing it for sweet, sweet karma. I’ve noticed that all of these unnecessarily ragey comments seem to fall into four basic categories:

  1. All the kids ruin the game.

  2. It’s constantly shoved down my throat.

  3. It’s just an awful game.

  4. “Fuck Fortnite,” with zero explanation.

Let’s start from the top.

  1. All the kids ruin the game.

If you take away one thing from this article it should be this:

Kids are allowed to enjoy video games. Let them.

It’s borderline creepy how mad people get at the notion children having fun. As if the mere presence of a game in the hands of a child inherently makes that game worse. For those of you who are in their upper 20s like me, imagine for a moment that you are booting up the first generation of Pokemon on your Game Boy for the first time. Remember how excited you were to start collecting and battling? Now imagine some 30-year-old douche groaning at you, lamenting that games are dumbed down for kids. That’s how it feels when I read comments on a Fortnite post.

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that’s not a perfect comparison. Fortnite is a multiplayer game. The people who play the game do have a direct impact on other players’ experiences. So maybe that’s the issue these people are talking about. I’ll admit that I am not a dedicated Fortnite player, so my experience with it is very limited. I recently installed it to record an episode of my 1 Hour Played series. I have to say some of the Reddit comments had me scared that I would be bombarded with insults about myself and my mother from a teabagging 8-year-old. I worried that I’d somehow be teamed up with players worse than me despite just picking up the game myself.

I experienced none of that. I couldn’t tell the difference between the kids and the adults. Everyone seemed to be relatively the same skill level. And the only voice I heard was some lady in the distant background from someone leaving their mic on. Maybe I got lucky with my matchmaking, but from my experience kids certainly weren’t ruining the game. In fact, they were building some pretty crazy fortresses.

2. It’s constantly shoved down my throat.

The popularity of a thing does not increase or decrease its quality. I can’t believe I have to say this, but video games being really popular is a good thing for gaming. I get it. Seeing something you have no interest in over and over can get annoying. The rational way to deal with this is to keep scrolling past the minor annoyance and go about your life. But it seems like a whole lot of people are taking the insanely irrational route of developing a seething hatred for the game. Chill out. So you have to see some annoying ads every once in a while. So people in your various communities like talking and making memes about it. Epic Games is not strapping you to a chair and forcing you to play Fortnite. I’m sure there are a lot of people that have no interest in seeing ads for things you like, either. That doesn’t make those things bad.

Oh, and the irony of this is that the more you complain about Fortnite being shoved down you throat, the more ad serving algorithms will see you using the word Fortnite. So then you’ll be served more Fortnite ads.

3. It’s just an awful game.

Like I said above, I’ll admit that I have not played much Fortnite. But from what I have played the game itself seems just fine. It’s not something I could see myself getting really into, but it’s fun. It’s a pretty standard shooter. The controls are responsive, the mechanics seem solid, and the building aspect adds an interesting layer. It’s not the greatest shooter I’ve ever played, but it’s certainly not a terrible game worthy of endless bashing.

It feels like a lot of people calling Fortnite an awful game made up their mind about it from the start and then filled in the blanks to try to justify their hate. I’ve seen people write what may as well be dissertations on why Fortnite is such a terrible awful no good very bad game. And what they usually amount to is, “Fortnite doesn’t have this thing I like.”

So is anything broken?

No.

Is the multiplayer horribly unbalanced?

No.

Is it pay to win?

No.

It’s fine to think that the game could use new mechanics, but that doesn’t make what’s already there bad.

4. “Fuck Fortnite,” with zero explanation.

This is the most frustrating reason people bash Fortnite. Just why? What are you contributing to this discussion? It seems to me like you’re just hopping on the “POPULAR GAME BAD!” bandwagon. That doesn’t make you a “real” gamer. That doesn’t make you better than people who play Fortnite. It certainly doesn’t make you cool.

Why do I care?

Look, I have no problem with criticizing games. Healthy discussion about games helps developers make better games in the future. Discussing improvement brings a new level of dedication to gaming and strengthens communities. But the unbridled over-the-top toxic hatred of Fortnite has reached ridiculous and nonsensical levels. Fortnite is getting an entire generation to fall in love with gaming. The vitriolic hate train against Fortnite is turning people off of gaming. I know which corner I’m standing in.

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