opinion

EDITORIAL: Fortnite is the place to talk about climate change



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Henri Drake, a popular player of the game Fortnite, one of the currently most-played video games, streams his games while talking about climate change.

It is a stroke of genius to bring climate change to the masses in such a way. The majority of Fortnite players are children, and most children are not going to be interested in learning more than the basics of climate change. However, when you combine the two, you get interested Fortnite players learning about climate change. 

Unfortunately, while the idea might have been genius, the execution certainly isn’t perfect. Twitch.tv is the place of personality or skill. While, a channel called ClimateFortnite was always going to be niche, Drake does not make it easier on himself by presenting neither an entertaining personality or an entertaining amount of skill.

Ninja, the most popular twitch streamer of Fortnite, doesn’t even talk for most of the stream, yet people watch him anyways. Why? Because he is incredibly skilled at the game. Alternatively, CohhCarnage is another popular twitch streamer who got to where he was by having an bombastic and expressive personality. 

Henri is also missing another key component that makes streamers successful: authenticity. Often the joke is made that by watching a content creator you can pretend you have friends.  No one would make that joke about Drake’s channel. It is entirely too clinical. As a viewer, you get no real sense of who Drake is. He's just a conduit for climate change.

Perhaps that was his goal, but if he wants his important message to reach more than a couple thousand, he has to be successful on the platform. A noble pipedream is still a pipedream. It could be much more than that if he starts taking steps in the right direction.

Streaming is harder than just having a facecam and playing video games. It is act of selling yourself to others for entertainment. You have to convince others to waste their life by watching yours. This is not a small feat to accomplish but it seems there is a concrete path to success. 

First, he must entice his viewers with personality or skill. Then, he must befriend them by appearing authentic. Through this, he will gain steadfast viewers who will always tune in, thus getting steady growth. Currently, Drake has a few steadfast viewers, but they seem to be friends of his rather than internet strangers.

Education on climate change is incredibly important. It's important for the message to be broadcast to as many people as possible. Drake recognized that and is trying to reach an audience that would otherwise not learn until much later. For that, we must applaud his efforts. While he could improve his content to broaden his audience, he is still doing a fantastic job. He is doing more to change hearts and minds and save the planet than most. That is always welcome. 

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