Gaming Culture at SLA

Jayla Wright

Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Fortnite Co.

A few months ago a game called Fortnite was taking over everyone’s social media feeds. It appeared to be a cartoony shooting game that had all of their players obsessed. This raised the question: how did students at SLA respond to this craze?

Junior Antonio DeRock described Fortnite as “A 100 player battle royale match where you have to jump out of a bus, get loot on the ground, and try to be the last one to survive.” For those who are not aware of what a battle royale is DeRock compared it to the Hunger Games where it’s every man for himself, “you gotta defend yourself.”

Fortnite most likely gained its popularity due to YouTube according to Sophomore Mia Concepcion.

“I think YouTubers made it really popular. I think they started playing it and then gamers started. Just a few months ago it went viral, it’s just one of those things.”

Sean Desilva has another idea as to why Fortnite has gained such a large following

“Mainly because it’s free and has the aspect of creating structures and you can create structures as you’re using your weapons in the game.” Structures are paths and walls that users construct based on their imagination.

“Those two aspects just make it a really innovative game and popular in general.” He continued. “Also it’s a really cartoony game compared to Counter Strike Go which is probably one of the most popular first-person shooter games.”

Fortnite is just one of the many games that entertain students at SLA. For some students, gaming is a huge part of their lives.

DeRock’s interest in gaming is not limited to those of the digital kind. “I have been playing games since I was really young that’s the main thing that I do in my life, it’s a passion of mine. I do it in many ways I do card games I do video games.”

For Desilva gaming is provides more than entertainment “I got into competitive gaming when I was about twelve years old, but then that died off because academics and school are a big part of my life. This is the first year I’m actually trying to be more competitive since that time.”

“It taught me how to be a leader because most of the time I would always be the one following. With competitive gaming and the genre of E-sports, in general, I had the identity of leadership in my repertoire,” stated Desilva.

Although gaming is a source of joy for students, the community itself can be unsavory to some.

According to DeRock, “The gamer community, it’s not the best. It can be very toxic at times meaning that a lot of people are trolls, a lot of people are just rude, they make rude comments. You’re over a screen so you don’t know what they look like and how they are.”

This anonymity provided by games that were made with the intention of making players feel comfortable can end up being a way for other players to feel unsafe.

“Sometimes people will use racist terms like they’ll say the n-word or something.” continued DeRock. “Sometimes they know they’re not supposed to but they do it anyway, cause it’s online. The community needs a lot of work.”

However, DeRock and Concepcion have mostly positive experiences with the gaming community. Concepcion even had a time when she made a friend through playing the game.

Overall, the gaming community can have mixed results but for students at SLA, it brings a sense of belonging.

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