Imbalanced Equity in Fortnite


Sometimes the practical wisdom of children — who can see past the hangups of adults, if only because they lack the experience that makes those hangups justifiable, even wise — brings a unique perspective.

By coincidence, on the same day that Rhode Island’s Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo swore in the fifth adolescent winner of her sexist girls-only “Governor for a Day” contest, I asked an early-teen boy of my acquaintance a question about his choice of characters in the video game Fortnite.  If you’re somehow not familiar with it, the game places characters on an island for a “Battle Royale” in which only one player can survive.  It’s a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, meaning that all of the other characters are people playing on their own devices somewhere in the world.

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Earlier on in the game’s life cycle, players were cast randomly as female or male and had no choice.  Recently (it appears), the designers have made it possible to choose the sex of one’s character.

“Why have you been using that girl character?,” I asked.

He replied, “Because the girls are smaller, so they don’t stick out when you hide in bushes.”

Ah.  See, the male characters are all large, muscular types, which is a liability if you’re crouching in a bush or behind a rock.  Yet, they gain no advantage from their size.  They can’t carry any additional weapons or materials.  They can’t run any faster.  They have no advantage when it comes down to a pickax fight.  They can’t jump any higher or withstand more of a beating.

By social necessity, the game is a level playing field between the sexes, except in the one way that would be visually unrealistic, and that one way is an advantage to females.  Yet, it is a competitive environment in which players will make rational decisions.  Where the qualities of men provide no advantage, even as the attributes that would more-realistically produce those qualities create a liability, competitive boys will co-opt the advantages of women.

  • Rhett Hardwick
    Probably not the right place to post this, but it says so much about RI. I have just received an invitation from R.I.H.S. to a party celebrating the old Narragansett Race Track. I understand that closed around 1978.
    In the 1940’s, the governor declared the race track an “area in insurrection” and called in 200 National Guardsmen to seal it off, and prevent openings. I understand the dispute was over “racing dates’ assigned by the legislature. That controls the days the track can open and how much money it can make. This is where the “pay offs” come in states that have tracks.
    Not much of a gambler when I was a kid, but it was “understood” that bookies would not take bets on Narragansett races. The Mafia was in control of RI (very close to true) and all races were regarded as “fixed”. “Mafia was in control”; I recall that an uncle was opening a restaurant, during renovations a couple of guys rolled in two cigarette machines. He was told “We want $100 a week from each machine”. Cigarettes were less than $1.00 a pack then. I never saw the label on the machine, but odds on, it was Patriarca’s Coin-a-Matic.
    I wonder how much of that they will be celebrating?

  • ShannonEntropy

    This post has the feel of that it got cut off before you finished it Justin; so allow me….

    Where the qualities of men provide no advantage… competitive boys will co-opt the advantages of women

    And this video game is just a microcosm of the rampant anti-male discrimination men face in modern society

    Women are the down-trodden / discriminated against ?? Not today. This is why up to 90% of trans people are male-to-female rather than vice versa

    Today American Blacks, Hispanics & Women are the most privileged groups in human history

    Back in the ‘Jim Crow’ days blacks tried to “pass” as white; and women impersonated men. Today, we got white woman Rachel Dolezal pretending to be black; POTUS-wannabe Beto O’Rourke pretending to be Hispanic; and innumerable men pretending to be women, especially in sports. When is the last time you heard of a woman-to-man in an athletic setting ?? Never, right ?? Guy-to-gal to win all the Gold happens all the time

    In another display of blatant sexism, in some countries women are even allowed to retire at an earlier age than men:

    But in spite of what the Feminists constantly claim, women are more privileged in every area: from hiring to promotions to admissions to elite universities to, well, you name it. Are you a man and want to read a depressing book about your status in society ?? Read the classical MRA tome The Myth of Male Power

    If yer short on time just read this:

    No wonder more and more men claim to be “women”

    If yer about to sentenced to prison, just claim you “identify” as female. Maybe your cell-mate will be a babe… maybe you can watch nude fights in the showers over who gets to sleep with you. Almost makes me wanna go to prison !!