Fortnite, Gaming, and Social+

It’s interesting that Fast Company magazine’s World’s Most Innovative Companies in 2021 lists Epic Games as an innovator in social media, not in gaming, largely because of Fortnite. Interesting because that’s how I see Fortnite as well.

A couple of people have commented on the increased number of stories on gaming in my newsletter, The Tech Landscape, this past year or so. To clarify, it’s not all gaming that I post about there, but a very specific area: social+ gaming.

Social+ is (very, very broadly) platforms which have a social graph that isn’t the main reason for using them. The social graph is critical to Facebook and Twitter; the feed exists because of your connections, and if you don’t follow anyone, there’s little use for them. Whereas in Fortnite (and TikTok) you go there to play, to create, to learn, or otherwise be entertained, and the social graph improves your experience but isn’t necessary for it.

So while I, as a gamer, generally enjoy narrative-heavy single-person gaming, what I post about in the newsletter are social+ games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Fortnite, Roblox, and so on. They’re interesting to me because of the social+ aspect; because of their in-game economies and opportunities for customisation, and because they’re games that enable creation as well as consumption.

Anyway, all of this is to say: please sign up to my newsletter, The Tech Landscape.

Also published on Medium.

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