The Fortnite fandom is applauding Epic Games for putting on one of the game’s most serious crossovers yet. A Martin Luther King Jr. civil rights museum is coming to Fortnite, allowing players to walk through various exhibits that include videos of MLK’s speeches.
Called March Through Time, the in-game commemoration is presented by TIME Studios.
“Celebrate the life and work of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a new interactive experience presented by TIME Studios. Developed by members of the community in Fortnite Creative, March Through Time immerses players in the entirety of Dr. King’s monumental ‘I Have A Dream’ speech and the history surrounding it,” Epic Games stated.
March Through Time teleports players to 1963 in Washington, DC during the Civil Rights Movement’s March on Washington. Fortnite players can watch MLK’s speech, check out important landmarks and photos in the museum, and even participate in mini-games that “progress players through the experience and bring to life important themes of Dr. King’s speech,” according to Epic.
The developer stated, “we move forward when we work together.”
Completing the challenges will also provide layers with loot. This includes a spray.
For some people in the gaming community, the March Through Time event was uncomfortable at best and an insult at worst. Game critic Chris Franklin shared a tweet of two players in Fortnite crossover skins watching King’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial, noting that they “learned something today,” speaking facetiously.
“It’s frustrating because I don’t want to be snarky and dismissive. The intent here is good, and the little ludic metaphors about collaboration and teamwork and togetherness are perhaps corny and condescending and shallow, but they manage to make it more than a digital museum,” Franklin noted.
He then showed a screenshot of a loading screen that popped up when he left the museum. A hint on the bottom says “aim for the head,” which Franklin found very jarring. Some agreed that it “wasn’t in good taste” while others felt it was an event that “needed” to happen.
This is one of the (many, many) problems with the platform-as-a-metaverse idea. You can’t sell licensed skins for your social Battle Royale Party one minute, then expect it to be a serious place to learn about history the next. Fortnite, by its nature, can’t be everything.”Chris Franklin
While the March Through Time event was indeed strange and uncomfortable for some people, others celebrated Epic’s willingness to do something more serious and important with its huge platform. Many responded to the trailer with applause, some saying they had a lot of respect for Epic while others asked Epic to “keep it up.”
For a lot of younger players, MLK’s speeches are something they don’t often get to hear or learn about except for a brief chapter in their history classes. Fortnite’s event was seen as a way to spread awareness in a more thought-provoking and impactful manner.