Fornite’s Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Lets Players In Bear Costumes Listen To MLK’s Speech & March For Civil Rights

Photo: PlayStation / YouTube
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Fornite's Martin Luther King Jr. tribute is stirring up some debate online as people debate whether the event accurately celebrates the civil rights activist or pokes fun at his work.

TIME Studios is collaborating with Fortnite to present a community-made experience called ‘March Through Time’ where players can march alongside the Reflecting Pool and walk up the Lincoln Memorial steps as if they were there in 1963.

The event features the full Martin Luther King Jr. ‘I Have A Dream’ speech with video footage of the late reverend speaking, as well as a memorial hall that includes images and events that happened during the civil rights movement.

TIME and Fortnite's Martin Luther King Jr. tribute is causing a debate online. 

From the headline and a quick read-over, it feels like a bad joke. Fortnite, home to many memes and known for having a toxic player base, is often made fun of on social media and by adults, but this event is for the kids.

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Of course, Twitter took the news and instantly started with the memes and raised concerns about the tribute's merits. 

Epic Games says, “March Through Time will teleport players nearly 60 years in the past to a re-imagined Washington, DC called D.C. 63.”

Built by members of the Fortnite Creative community, the immersive experience will include quests that can be completed with other players, likely to be related to the various monuments and memorials.

Upon completing the Dr. King and Civil Rights movement challenges players can unlock a D.C. 63 spray.

People are concerned that now kids will only know Dr. King as “that guy from Fortnite.” The worry is that this could take away from his work.

But Epic Games has expressed hope that the March Through Time experience will inspire the community to promote mutual respect and empathy towards all people no matter their race, religion, or orientation.

While it’s a little goofy that players can dress up in a pink bear costume and protest for civil rights, it’s about sending a good message to kids across the world.

There also seems to be a lot of division among users about whether or not Fortnite and TIME Studios can pull this off in a respectful and educational way.

Considering what’s been going on the last couple of years with the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the call to ban critical race theory from schools across the nation, this could be productive in teaching kids about important U.S. history.

March Through Time was also largely built upon the contributions of American Family Insurance, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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They want to teach the youth about the civil rights movement and celebrate the life and legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

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In order to accomplish that, they’ve even set up a website for “further in-depth reading and to educate yourself, family, or friends about the historic struggle for Civil Rights.”

The website features stories and testimonials from people who were involved in the movement back in the day, and even has a section where you can ask one of the march organizers, Joyce Ladner, questions about her experiences.

It’s in-depth, personal, informative, and produced very well.

As long as you don’t get offended when people start ‘flossing’ while Dr. King is giving his speech, everything will be OK.

There’s a lot of good intent behind this and the message they want to spread is a positive one. The King Estate certainly knows what they're doing when it comes to protecting MLK's legacy, so here's hoping their continued efforts work out well. 

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and politics.