TIME and Fortnite have teamed up to create an in-game tribute to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and people are both baffled and furious.
The event, called “March Through Time,” will bring players to D.C. 63, a virtually reimagined Washington, DC, where they will travel to the Lincoln Memorial and United States National Mall, where Dr. King gave his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech. The experience is inspired by TIME’s immersive exhibit, The March, which launched last year in Chicago.
“TIME Studios’ mission is to embrace innovative new formats to tell the world’s most impactful stories. We are thrilled to introduce our first-ever gaming experience and expand our groundbreaking The March project, which started as an immersive exhibit, into the global, educational event March Through Time in Fortnite Creative,” said president of TIME Studios Ian Orefice. “Epic Games and Fortnite’s community creators have been instrumental in bringing this powerful content to millions of players, and we are excited to enable the next generation to explore Dr. King’s historic impact in a new way.”
And while it’s definitely new, most people are pretty sure that this isn’t the way King’s words should’ve been immortalized. “Imagine fighting for your own life for equality, getting assassinated, and then now your legacy will be a bunch of kids calling you ‘That guy from Fortnite’ Disrespectful if you ask me,” one person tweeted.
Imagine fighting for your own life for equality, getting assassinated, and then now your legacy will be a bunch of kids calling you "That guy from Fortnite"
Disrespectful if you ask me. https://t.co/Dlista8A36
— RKzero10 🆖 – COMMISSIONS CLOSED (@RKzero10) August 26, 2021
That said, some are trying to be hopeful for the education potential the game brings, meeting younger generations on platforms they’re on.
Genuinely don’t think I could cringe any harder. That said, I’m hopelessly optimistic and hope at least a few kids learn something that moves them https://t.co/wjreLRU8yz
— Dylan Hunter Carter (@DylanHCarter) August 26, 2021
I'm probably just not getting it, right?
Like, far be it for me to belittle a unique learning opportunity.
…But, like… in Fortnite, though?
True, the mode looks peaceful, but like… it's still a battle royale game… trying to do an event about a man who was assassinated. https://t.co/AiA4astihM
— Kaylyn Saucedo – MarzGurl ➡️ Fighting the Yakuza (@MarzGurl) August 26, 2021
And yes, the King Estate is involved in this homage to the late Civil Rights activist. Eric D. Tidwell, Esq., the Managing Director & General Counsel of the King Estate said they are “excited” to work with TIME on a new project to commemorate Dr. King.
“We continuously strive to move Dr. King from the history books and place his legacy directly into the lives of younger generations,” Tidwell said in a statement. “With the advent of emerging technology, we seek to use all resources available to continue to spread his wonderful legacy of hope, peace, love, and equality. Presenting his most famous speech in such an interactive format helps us achieve that goal.”
However, even the estate’s involvement in the project is a bit surprising for some.
I understand meeting people where they are but this feels very wrong … and very shocked the Estate signed off on this, and TIME mag studios is involved. https://t.co/JhvM8zdHEx
— Daric C., M.A. (he/him/Él) (@DaricCott) August 26, 2021
For the most part though, people are just ruthlessly mocking the potential visuals of it all. For those who have never played, Fortnite is known for allowing fans to play as strange characters — from giant bananas to other iconic video game characters — and having commands players can use to make said characters dance.
You can check out more reactions to TIME and Fortnite’s team-up below.
BRUHHHHH THIS IS WILD CUZ MERO JR WOKE ME UP LIKE “DAD THEY HAVE LTM ON FORTNITE OF MARTIN LUTHER KING” AND I WAS WILD GROGGY THINKING FORTNITE MADE A MLK SKIN AND I WAS LIKE 😳😳😳😳😳 https://t.co/uDLbRFMhwZ
— THE KID MERO 🇩🇴 (@THEKIDMERO) August 26, 2021
If MLK a playable character on fortnite, you know how they gonna be talking on them headsets??? https://t.co/2RvBZnqiQ5
— The Big Steve (@ChefWaites) August 26, 2021
MLK rolling over his grave… https://t.co/8GSPOTe11Y
— Dynamics • £ (@theDYNAMICS) August 26, 2021
We're inching ever closer and closer to a George Floyd hologram dancing on stage at Coachella by the day. https://t.co/Km9vtAfinz
— fooly (@mashcore4mums) August 26, 2021
Developers, face in hands: "I have no idea how we're going to keep the players from flossing in front of I Have A Dream"
Managers: "lean in! Dance remix of I Have A Dream! Make it work!"
Developers: <shakily pours the rest of their whisky into the plastic sippy cup> "…" https://t.co/GqKHydM9SZ
— Megan Fox (🛹🐦 🔜 SEPT 16) (@glassbottommeg) August 26, 2021
You can see what some of the in-game experience looks like below:
Celebrate the 58th anniversary of The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and experience Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in @FortniteGame.
Learn more about "March Through TIME" here: https://t.co/ZtkzmO4pWV pic.twitter.com/o7HGwreuiK
— TIME (@TIME) August 26, 2021
Read original story Fortnite Tribute to MLK Baffles Gamers: ‘Genuinely Don’t Think I Could Cringe Any Harder’ At TheWrap