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In the concluding chapter of Jack Lule’s book, Globalization & Media, he suggests how he believes the mobile phone can help make the world a better place. He strongly believes in the power of communication and worldwide connectivity which is made possible thanks to the mobile phone technology. In just a short amount of time, mobile phones have become the most popular and powerful communication technology in the world, Lule says. The number of users continues to grow by the millions each year.
Of course with any technology there are negative implications, such as future technological advancements and as Lule mentions, coltan, a valuable mineral which makes up a key component in mobile phones, is causing chaos in countries where the mineral can be found. Furthermore, another form of mass media is on the rise and it’s called Fortnite. The same view Lule attributes towards the mobile phone, I attribute to this video game. For a little over a year now popular culture has been dominated by a video game known as Fortnite. A game that started off as a free-to-play beta, has captivated the gaming and technology worlds, while also generating a staggering $2 billion in revenue for 2018. The game features a staggering 125 million registered users, and of those, 8.3 million are concurrent users – that is, they play the game on a day-to-day basis.
How it works
The game has become so popular that celebrities like Drake and NFL stars such as JuJu Smith-Schuster, can’t get enough of it. Drake has even invested in his own eSports (professional) gaming team. Furthermore, many companies, see the potential money pool Fortnite has created, the most recent being the NFL. Fornite is a game where millions of people are able to connect with friends and experience a story together in real time. The CEO and Founder of Epic (company that created the game) has said “I think we’re on the verge of a new form of entertainment” (Helm, 2018). According to Lule’s chapter 8, developing nations such as Africa, South America and Asia have completely bypassed the West’s route to the mobile phone. The same way millions of users jumped right to the mobile phone, 21% of Fortnite players were previously non-gamers. That is, they’ve never played a video game before, but are finding themselves attracted to Fortnite.
The reason for this is because the sense of a supportive, social and friendly community surrounding Fortnite is strong. It is a medium that brings people together from all-over the world and allows them to socialize with them as well. Similarly to the millions of users seeking to connect with loved ones through mobile phone interactions; the same can be applied to Fortnite. Although Fortnite has many characteristics of a social networking platform, it’s not.
Which is why many argue that with Fortnite, the world may be witnessing the first time a video game has been established as its own form of mass media (Helm, 2018). The Google definition of the global village is – the world as a single community linked by telecommunications – to me, Fortnite solely embodies this definition. As with all technologies there exists negative implications. A major one surrounding the less developed nations is the technological advancements of the future; which would further leave these nations behind. However, this isn’t the case because even the simplest of smartphones can aid in many aspects of life. With Fortnite, many argue that the game can stunt the development of children’s brains and that it promotes violence.
On the contrary, the game has proven to develop cognitive skills amongst its users. As globalization continues to evolve and new forms of media (entertainment) emerge, positive and negative implications will always follow. Though, in the case of mobile devices and Fortnite, the opportunities for growth, both financially and socially, are so immense that they cannot and should not be ignored. Bibliography Helm, Burt. “If You Think Fortnite Is Just a Video Game, You’re Missing the Big Picture.” Fast Company, Fast Company, 24 Sept. 2018, www.fastcompany.com/90227475/if-you-think-fortnite-is-just-a-video-game-youre-missing-the-big-picture. “Chapter 8 Conclusion.” Globalization and Media: Global Village of Babel, by Jack Lule, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, pp. 181–190.
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