TIME Studios has partnered with Epic Games to bring Black history to Gen Z gamers through the popular video game, Fortnite. Their joint project, March Through Time, will transport players back more than 50 years to Washington, D.C. and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. This immersive installation will allow players to visit the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, National Mall and other points of interest as they complete quests that are inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. Along the way, gamers will unlock special prizes and tools that they can use throughout the game. Ultimately, the Fortnite Creative Community hopes that this game mode will inform younger gamers about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many other Black heroes that have shaped American society.
"Civil Rights is a struggle we still fight for to this day, and it has benefited from the collective efforts of millions of people around the world. We hope the March Through Time experience inspires the community to promote mutual respect and empathy towards all people no matter their race, religion, or orientation," Epic Games Community Manager Ryan Broseker wrote in a press release.
Including a Civil Rights icon in the popular video game came as a shock to many across the gaming community. Some game players were simply surprised while others felt that it was inappropriate to use King Jr.'s likeness given its past history with Black creators. In the past, Epic Games has been accused of stealing popular dances like the "Milly Rock" and the "Shoot" without crediting artists like Blocboy JB and 2Milly.
It will truly be interesting to see how this latest move plays out. The special game mode is currently available for all gamers and will be available for the foreseeable future.