Kentucky officials are trying to ban Fortnite from high schools and varsity esports
It’s amazing to see just how much of an impact Fortnite has had on popular culture. From your dad embarrassing you by doing that godawful floss dance to supermarkets being littered with knock-off T-shirts based on the franchise, Fortnite is apparently everywhere. It’s also most likely in your schools right now, as a free game with that much reach has naturally resulted in esports leagues popping up everywhere.
Many a school in the US of A has a Fortnite league operating, training professional teams for the big leagues and giving students a reason to actually stay behind after the final bell has rung for reasons not related to detention. One curmudgeon who is absolutely incensed at the sheer audacity of having digital shooter games in a school environment instead of regular maniacs with actual guns terrorising the hallways is Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) commissioner Julian Tackett, who has made it his life mission to get Fortnite kicked out of schools.
“There is no place for shooter games in our schools,” Tackett said in an email seen by the Lexington Herald-Leader via Games Industry Biz, in response to news of high school esports organisation PlayVS partnering with Epic Games on a competitive national club league for high school and college-level Fortnite.
I want to personally assure you that we, along with the NFHS [National Federation of State High School Associations] Network are proactively taking steps to have this decision reversed. There is no place for shooter games in our schools. This announcement was particularly troubling in that it came on the anniversary of one of Kentucky’s darkest days, the Marshall County incident.
While the ban has been issued, there happens to be some confusion over whether it can even be applied according to The Washington Post. Like most things American, it’s an issue that is currently buried in red tape and an absolute refusal to reach a middle ground on the topic. It’s not exactly without precedent either, as the state of Kentucky has a hate-on for fun that also saw League of Legends banned from state-level competitive esports last year over concerns that the game was a tad too violent.
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Last Updated: February 4, 2020