I remember as child asking my third grade teacher Mrs Pridgen, “Who own the Pop.Lock?” The poplock was a move mastered by b.boy dancer Adolfo Gutierrez Quiñones or Adolfo Gordon Quiñones, known professionally as Shabba-Doo of the cult classic movie Breakin’. The boneless savant had everybody on the block, playground, roller rink and mall attempting to dislocate their major joints by erratically – yet to the beat – waiving your arms all over the place in close proximity to whomever you were battling. This was when the youth actually battled in real life. When burning calories during recreation trumped immobile caloric intake and sensory overload. Not to judge though. I’m positive if we had FortNite as a child our playgrounds would be eerily deserted.
Thirty years plus later…
Currently, the most popular game since Pokemon is receiving smoke over its use of popular dances called Emotes where players can make in-game purchases using a proprietary currency called V Bucks. Emotes – for the most part – are the inventions of “Black Creatives”, a term used by Chance the Rapper who was the first to question the revenue generated for Epic Games who owns FortNite. Chance, who weaponized music streaming in concert with social media to be the first gammy winner WITHOUT an official record deal understands the value of culture, and how being a creative and influencer can also generate revenue. In fact, he touts herculean type v.numbers:
Twitter Followers: 7.6 million // Instagram Followers: 9.1 million // Facebook Followers: 1.9 million.
Conversations about FortNite’s unlicensed use of “the culture” began in the summer as elite players on the platform became over rockstars earning up to 7 digit size bags for their skill set.
By using Motes – which are used to taunt a victim – these players earn swag points while their avatar gains popularity. This gain in popularity can often lead to additional revenue for the players as more subscribers watch their videos on YouTube and voyeuristic gaming platforms like TWITCH.TV that allow for users to monetize their game play and accept sponsors in exchange for product endorsement.