Fortnite Fiasco: University to offer scholarship for popular video game

Sergey+Galyonkin+via+Wikimedia+Commons

Sergey Galyonkin via Wikimedia Commons

Kelsie Foltz, Staff Contributor

Video games have been around since the early 70’s, but arguably none as popular and obsession driving as Fortnite. The free game has taken over the gaming industry and now it’s  just about anything gamers are talking about. It’s okay to have a love for the video game and play it occasionally for fun, but the game has been taken to the next level.  Ashland University in Ohio is now offering scholarships to top gamers worth several thousand dollars. The college hopes that by doing so they will be able to foster high-level gaming ability within their program while providing those chosen an education that will support their potential professional gaming careers. “I’m not surprised the university has started offering scholarships for E-sports. I think it’s about time” said senior Cole Dorman.

Ashland University is one of the first schools to open up esports programs as well as offer scholarship money for said program. While sports scholarships are a longstanding tradition at many universities around the country, esports scholarships are a much more recent phenomenon — although they are growing in numbers. “Fortnite appeals to both the core and casual gaming audience,” the school’s esports head coach Josh Buchanan said in a release, as per TechCrunch. “We’re excited to provide this platform for gamers who want to showcase their skills in a more competitive space. Fortnite facilitates an environment that allows players to get creative, innovate, and show off their mastery of their skills.”

Scholarships are a way for students who excel in a difficult area to be given a well deserved college education for a cheaper price. That is where the Fortnite scholarship falls short. As can be seen by the dozens of first place wins every highschool boy puts on his snapchat story every single day, the game is not overly difficult to win. There are no levels, no new ways to win, no real thinking involved whatsoever. So why should players get extra money to go to college when they are- to be frank- not special? Scholarships of any kind are a privilege to receive, but the Fortnite scholarship rewards those who do what a majority of people can do. Emma Elceser agreed stating, “I think scholarships should be given out for things that are more valuable life skills and I don’t feel like being good at Fortnite is something that will transfer to the real world.”