Fortnite Held A MLK 'I Have A Dream' Experience And Failed To Prevent Issues Like Whip Cracking Emotes
Photo Credit: MLK Central Press Epic Games

Fortnite Held A MLK 'I Have A Dream' Experience And Failed To Prevent Issues Like Whip Cracking Emotes

The online game phenomenon, Fortnite partnered with Time Studios to create a reimagined Martin Luther King, Jr. museum. Players were able to teleport to Washington D.C. in 1963 where they could migrate between Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall to experience Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The event reportedly included museum-inspired points of interest and collaborative mini-game quests.

“These activities progress players through the experience and bring to life important themes of Dr. King’s speech: we move forward when we work together,” Fortnite shared in a press statement.

The “March Through Time” experience is reportedly Fortnite’s second attempt to provide an educational platform to its users. The online platform launched “We The People” in July due to the heightened tension stemming from George Floyd’s passing. The event led to inappropriate behaviors from players who took advantage of the built-in features provided by Fortnite. Epic’s CEO & Founder Tim Sweeney claims they’ve learned from July’s catastrophe.

“Come check this out! In partnership with Time Magazine, it’s Epic’s second effort to host social commentary in Fortnite and builds on everything learned from the We The People event,” Sweeney said in a tweet, which you can see below.

Fortnite Users Abuse Emotes

Judging from the uproar of “March Through Time,” it is clear Epic has not yet learned the dangers of Fortnite’s built-in features which can deflect informative messaging.

For example, a Rick Sanchez skin was worn by Fortnite users as they danced in the virtual Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool during King’s speech. And that was just one of the slew of reports of misconduct from Fortnite players.

Bernice King Was Not Involved

In addition, Bernice King, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change released a public statement, saying the two entities were not given permission to hold the experience. On Twitter, Bernice confirmed the Center was not involved in the licensing of the virtual experience.

Fortnite Bans Emotes, But Problems Persist

Due to clear oversights from game developers, Epic Games announced they were disabling a majority of emotes on Aug 27.

Problem solved? Not quite. The game still allowed players to access exclusive emotes including a crossover with DC Comics featuring Wonder Woman. The skin uses a cracked whip to slash to the ground. This emote is offensive for its clear racial implications and was reportedly used various times throughout the event.

 

Despite Fortnite disabling emotes, players managed to find alternative ways to divert from Epic’s suspension.

History Repeats Itself

A blast from the past, Fortnite’s recent negligence only proved history certainly repeats itself unless proper actions are taken.

If you can recall, during Fortnite’s “We The People,” players lobbed tomatoes toward the screen as CNN political commentator Van Jones spoke, Niche Gamer previously reported. 

If Epic continues to hold events like this, being mindful of the available emotes and skins that are available to players would be a fair start. Failure to be mindful of the app’s built-in cosmetic features will continue to create misplaced virtual experiences.

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