Opinion: Online friends have made the pandemic more bearable

You don’t hear about it as much as you used to, but Fortnite, the worldwide multi-billion dollar online phenomena, has left a legacy much larger than people realize. Trust me, I see Fortnite the same way as everyone reading this does – a game for children to obsess over. Although, there was a moment in time that everyone and their mothers were playing this game. 

Fortnite has professional athletes, Grammy-winning artists and celebrities, in their player base. This, combined with the fact that it was free to play, had everyone playing. It made video games mainstream on a level that it had never really seen. In my opinion, it was at this point that video games stopped being nerdy. People that bullied people for being nerds found themselves behind a controller during its prime. 

Fortnite’s legacy has impacted the way we socialize with each other online on a whole new level, especially in this digital age that COVID has put us into. Connecting with friends and family online has become so much easier and accessible thanks to where Fortnite has brought the market. 

The stage has been set for similar games to take their moment in the spotlight. Such as Fall Guys, Call of Duty: Warzone and Among Us. Everyone is connected, playing with each other and having a great time doing it. Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden has even gone as far as to promote campaign ads in the widely popular Animal Crossing game on the Nintendo Switch. 

It’s been incredibly interesting to see how this impacts relationships. When a relationship is formed and lives only on the internet, it creates a weird set of expectations for some. Life gets in the way a lot, and you’re not always going to be online. So maintaining some of those online relationships ends up proving difficult. 

I know for a fact that a large majority of people reading this have got into fights with their friends or family within one of these games. Shoutout to all my backpackers out there – I know your pain. You’d be surprised, but there are a lot of articles talking about romantic relationships that have ended due to obsessive Fortnite addictions, which is sad but kind of funny. 

Another perspective could be elementary-aged kids who become so obsessed with games like this that they disconnect from their family, making it hard for parents to connect with their children and ensure their social growth hasn’t been stunted. 

However, it’s important to note how much these games have made enduring the pandemic easier with everyone being confined to their areas. Besides, there’s plenty of studies that show video games improve coordination and make people smarter – at least I’d like to think that I can testify to that.

Trent Brink

Trent Brink is the page editor for Sports on The Hilltop Monitor. He is a sophomore majoring in business administration.

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