'Fortnite' On Scratch: Understanding the Bootleg Battle Royale

Fortnite continues to be a phenomena. With 140 million players worldwide, Epic Games transformed a mildly successful PVE shooter into of the biggest battle royales of 2018. With its free-to-play model and availability across all consoles and platforms, it appeals to the largest demographics possible. This includes a lot of kids.

Ask any parent or middle schooler with access to the internet, and they'll tell you all about someone they know who's obsessed with Fortnite . When I was a kid, my obsession was Pokemon . I never wanted to stop playing; my notebook was covered in Staryu doodles and my dreams let me soar on the back of Charizard. I'd do anything in my power to play in the world of Kanto, sneaking my Gameboy into class and hiding it inside a textbook. As long as the teacher didn't call on me to read the next chapter, it was a solid strategy.

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Just look at that majesty Scratch

It's a bit harder to play Fortnite in schools. You can drop from the Battle Bus from your phone, but there's virtually no way you are going to get through a whole game. With institutions getting smart about cellphone use in the classroom and school computers blocking Epic Games' launcher, what's a kid that desperately needs to destroy a loot llama going to do?

Enter Scratch, a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, which allows users to code their own games and animations. In some places, coding has become a crucial aspect of STEM education, giving kids the knowledge to create something from the ground up. There are dozens of different interpretations and recreations of Fortnite on Scratch's website. There are mindless clickers, sound boards and attempted recreations of a full battle royale. On weekdays, "Fortnite on Scratch" trends on Google as eager fans look for a full playable version.

One of the most popular, simply called "Fortnite on Scratch" has been played nearly 900,000 times. It's Fortnite in its most distilled form. A slow moving jpeg of the base skin drops from the sky onto the map, where you pick up random guns and shoot bystanding NPCs. It can run on literally every potato computer and won't take up too much bandwidth, perfect for the gamer who might need to switch tabs quickly.

These Scratch titles are the modern version of a Newgrounds fan adaptation. Games like "Super Mario 63" might have had more polish, but were still loving odes to the creator's favorite games. For a kid stuck in a classroom with computers that could barely run Quake , they were an escape from the boredom of institutional learning. Without sites like Miniclips, Kongregate and of course Newgrounds, there's no way I would have made it through school.

The Best Fortnite On Scratch Games

Final Battlegrounds (Early Access 1.1.1) by Jaydentroys

PUBNITE: Battle Royale by -Cinematic-