Fortnite is set to go in a very different direction for its next live event.
While Fortnite events are often theatrical in nature, treating fans to things like mech battles and musical concerts, the next one will be much more serious. Fortnite is presenting a discussion on race in America entitled “We The People.” The event is being held in conjunction with OPUS UNITED, hosted by Van Jones. Jemele Hill, Killer Mike, and Elaine Welteroth are set to take part in the presentation as guests.
The event will take place in Fortnite’s Party Royale mode, which does not include weapons or building materials. The mode has been used for musical performances, with the most recent being American DJ Diplo with special guests Young Thug and Noah Cyrus.
OPUS UNITED’s panel is a star-studded one that includes many leading African-American media members.
Jones is a prominent civil rights activist that also regularly contributes to CNN and hosts the Van Jones Show. Welteroth is best known for helping to transform and reinvigorate Teen Vogue after taking over as editor-in-chief in 2016, improving its standing on social media and increasing the outlet’s focus in serious topics such as politics and racial issues. Hill is best known for her career at ESPN which culminated in her termination after her publicly criticizing United States President Donald Trump. She currently contributes to The Atlantic and The Ringer.
Rounding out the group is Atlanta-based rapper Killer Mike, who has recently gained increased visibility in social discussion for his advocacy against police brutality.
Fortnite’s We The People event comes alongside ongoing protests sparked by numerous instances of police brutality and other racially motivated acts of violence. The tipping point was the death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, which was ruled a homicide.
We The People will begin on July 4 at 8:46 a.m. CT. The time is a reference to the eight minutes and 46 seconds a police officer kneeled on the back of Floyd’s neck.
Numerous other video game publishers have taken measures to combat racism in their games in response to the protests. League of Legends publisher Riot Games donated significant sums to charity, while Activision Blizzard updated moderation policies for its games.