As I write this, I’m listening to play-by-play from the lower quarterfinals match between The General NRG and Renegades in 2022 rocket league World Championship. I listen to the game through the headphones that are connected to my Xbox controller, because I am technically playing a game at the same time. I, as my childhood hero Indiana Jones, crouch next to an action figure avatar of my best friend. My friend lives in Chicago and I live in Los Angeles. I am surrounded by screens, screens within screens. Our characters look at the giant screen in front of them. I hear gunshots in the distance.
Fortnite has hosted many previous events, including an in-game screening of Christopher Nolan’s Beginning, a film about dreams within dreams within dreams. Seeing that particular movie from inside a video game was almost too over the top, diabolical in its blatant symbolism. Beside Roblox Y virtual reality talk, Fortnite has shown the most promise of how a metaverse could not only work, but also how it could entice people enough to even give it a try. For all the money Mark Zuckerberg spends on the promise of the metaverse, and how much monotonous proselytizing he might do, his vision of the metaverse as virtual grocery stores and business meetings doesn’t offer the utopia that will appeal to humans enough to give up their physical realities in favor of digital ones.
Fortnite, on the other hand, delivers, and Epic knows it. Their in-game concerts are multi-sensory, psychedelic, interactive art installations, and their live events change the world of gaming, sometimes irreparably. There is a sense of life and breathing to FortniteThe vision of the metaverse that a company run by Zuckerberg might not be able to offer. Combine that with ubiquitous cultural products like superheroes and Star Wars characters and a game that is willing and able to mimic and improve on other series’ gameplay mechanics, and you have a digital world that gives a certain type of player everything they want. may wish.
Despite knowing all this, he was not fully prepared to see the rocket league indoor world championship Fortnite. I have made my love for rocket league known esports, and I still watch it whenever I can. As good as last season was, with its extended schedule and seasonal main races, the 2022 season has been even better, with teams like Moist Esports, Falcons and Furia moving up the ranks and perennial favorites Team BDS and The General NRG battling it out as the season. progressed. Now the season has almost reached its climax, with the World Championship tournament running until Sunday, and you can watch it all as you shoot other players in Fortnite.
built with FortniteThe creative way of , the rocket league event resembles a Dave & Busters. There are televisions everywhere, all playing whatever current matchup is going on in the rocket league Broadcast of the World Championship. You choose which team you prefer to win and walk through their portal. You can watch the match on a big screen in the lobby, or you can enter what is essentially an endless team deathmatch while watching and listening to the rocket league match currently taking place at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. When a team scores, fireworks of the corresponding team color light up the game sky.
A part of me can’t get over the awesomeness of the event. Since it takes place in the middle of August, right before school starts again, I commented to my friend that if we had this kind of thing during our summer vacations as kids, we would never go out. Being able to watch our favorite game while playing one of our other favorite games during summer vacation is not something we could have imagined when we were younger. Something like this would have blown our minds as high school students.
However, as an adult contemporary, this type of event seems almost mundane at this point. Sure, no other company is really doing something like this, at least not as effectively as Epic, but Fortnite it has already proven capable of hosting anything it wants, including a digital museum that houses a re-enactment of a historic civil rights march.
Now, I’m not a technological reactionary, but the mundanity is almost shocking. As much as I resist the jargon-filled PR emails and blockchain and Web3 sales pitches from venture capital vultures I receive every day, it’s not hard to see why those people see a future in the that the digital world replaces the physical. Being able to share the experience of seeing pro rocket league Matches with my friend while living in completely different cities was a joyful and communal experience, something that is very rare in my life these days.
Of course, Silicon Valley corporatocrats can only see the metaverse as another free market where every little thing can be commodified, and fair enough. After all, I paid a lot of money to get the season pass so I could pretend to be Indiana Jones. Epic artists leaned into my nostalgia and I instantly relented. And that’s what scares me so much. It’s so easy to get hooked if I let my guard down, and it’s so mundane that I’m shooting other people while participating in this community event.
I spent hours looking rocket league in Fortnite. Those were hours I spent looking at a screen showing me a video game, within which was another screen showing other people looking at their own screens, playing their own games, while shooting other players who were doing the same thing. .
Digital dreams within digital dreams. Talk about Beginning.