A friend of mine recently started working in education, and I keep pestering them to get into Fortnite Battle Royale, or at least learn what it is, so that they can relate to the kids they’re teaching. Somehow, MIT PhD student Henri Drake must have heard and taken my advice, because he set up a squad intended to stream Epic’s immensely, unimaginably popular game and simultaneously teach viewers about climate change.
As reported by Earther, Drake and several other climate scientists, policy makers, and communicators have grouped up to try and get that victory royale while also talking about the problems currently facing our environment. They’ve also brought their kids onboard as Fortnite coaches, which is very endearing.
A few days ago, they won their first game. You can see how they veer between talking about the potential impact of the US midterm elections and, as their kids interrupt to bring all the hot Fortnite tips, how to exploit a bug that will give them more items:
Mostly, though, they answer questions from the Twitch chat, which seems to be a pretty laid back and inquisitive place during their streams. “What are you hoping for out of the Global Climate Action Summit?” asks one viewer, momentarily distracting Drake from a gunfight that he quickly loses. His guest, an Army officer called Chris Gaulin, gives his perspective on the models of climate change that they’ve been using to gather data on the phenomenon as they load into a new game.
They’re not quite at the standard of top Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins (yet!) but it’s a neat way of spreading information and getting people engaged in the subject. I even managed to get my aforementioned friend to acquiesce that it’s “a great idea.” I’ll make a Fortnite fan of them yet.