Will Fortnite’s Digital Ariana Grande Concert Lead More Stars And Their Gay Fans To Gaming?
Whether we’d like to realize it or not, media manipulation is all around us, all the time. It has been since subliminal messages and underlying paid advertisements have been incorporated into film, cinema, songs, and more. As we just left Pride month, we saw a slew of companies give the LGBTQ+ community the almighty rainbow icon on their social media handles only for them to be turned back to basics on July 1st. There’s nothing wrong with companies supporting the community, of course, but sometimes we know when they actually are an ally and when they just want those pink dollars. One easy way to get anyone in the LGBTQ+ community to pay attention is to get one of our idols on board with you. It’s a tactic that has worked, like Elton John and Eminem, and also sometimes backfires, like Dua Lipa and recently disgraced rapper, DaBaby. Yet, collaborations are great, because once you’ve got the gays, you do have the dollar. Fortnite, a survival and battle royale video game made extremely popular over the last few years, is bringing in a new wave of entertainment by hosting concerts within its gaming world. The game has already hosted in-game concerts with American DJ, Marshmello, techno artist Deadmau5, and rapper Travis Scott (also the father of Kylie Jenner’s baby). Clearly those saw much success, especially Scott’s, which premiered during the early days of COVID, and saw a viewership of over 28M participants. Now, some solid female representation is pulling through in the form of one Millennial diva extraordinaire.
According to Kotaku, Fortnite’s video game developer, Epic Games, announced Ariana Grande will be ‘performing’ five in-game concerts this weekend while fans and gamers alike are able to purchase and collect exclusive Grande-themed game items, and Grande herself as a playable character or ‘skin’, to show their support. If it’s anything like Scott’s in-game concert, you’ll be able to play around Grande and she may be literally larger than life. This is video gaming after all, so anything is possible – and it sounds like a lot of fun – even if you aren’t an avid gamer.
Fortnite is primarily targeting a younger, perhaps gender swapping, audience with their big celebrity names. Inviting someone like Grande, who has a devoted gay fan base, will certainly bring more attention to the brand and video gaming alike. However, since gaming knows no age, do we think this could continue onwards to say someone like Lady Gaga, Madonna, or even Diana Ross to gain more of a dedicated LGBTQ specific and older audience? You don’t necessarily have to be a gamer or player to participate, and sure you can just catch the YouTube videos afterwards, but there is something special about being a part of a movement. The pandemic has definitely changed how a lot of us will be interacting in the future, so maybe in-video game concerts are going to be the hottest ticket in town. Especially if you can literally BE your favorite celebrity. Fortnite has had plenty of crossovers before with television, film, and comic book characters alike, so this next wave of being your actual real-life idol is going to be interesting to watch. We can’t help but wonder who will be next!
Grande’s Fortnite concert, titled Fortnite: Rift Tour, premieres in the free-to-download game on Friday, August 6th at 3PM PST. You can head here to find out how to join for free, you know, before the server likely crashes!
Writer’s Note A: This is the opinion of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.