Fortnite's in-game clothes are a status symbol among today's youth

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

One of the keys to Fortnite’s rise in popularity and continued success is the fact that it’s free to play. Publisher and developer Epic Games still makes an absolute fortune off the game by selling cosmetic goods which apparently are coveted far more than you might expect.

Polygon in a recent feature highlighted a shift in the game’s perception among younger players. Rather than serving as a competitive title with a focus on survival, Fortnite for many kids is a digital playground – a place to hang out and spend time socializing with peers.

As is the case with physical playgrounds, Fortnite’s digital space is ripe with bullies. And just like in the real world, one’s outward appearance can be a prime target for teasing.

In Fortnite, one of the easiest ways to draw ire from others is to have a standard, or “default,” character. Some genuinely believe that having a sophisticated in-game costume – one that almost always comes at a financial cost – says something about your skill level. It’s absurd, sure, but tell that to an impressionable pre-teen.

Guy Diep, father to an eight-year-old, told Polygon that his son has asked for money to buy cosmetic goods in Fortnite to avoid the stigma of being labeled a default. Diep viewed the request in a different light. “To translate him, he’s actually saying: ‘I NEED this [skin] because of my lack of self-esteem and confidence.’”

Twitter user Travis Manley told the publication that his 10-year-old is obsessed with buying skins. Manley said he plays the game with basic costumes to demonstrate that skins don’t reflect in-game abilities but still, his son genuinely believes otherwise.

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Trillionsin

TS Evangelist
You can be awful at this game, but still somehow feel like you are winning because you've paid money for fancy looking skins. When did gaming become so horribly corrupt like this, to pay for **** that should be earned in a game by reaching accomplishments.... to actually feel like you accomplished something.

To generalize "kids have always striven to be 'hip' with their clothing" ....I was never one of those kids, and of course never in the popular group. I didnt want to be, nor did I care to be so superficial.

Apple, arguably, has some good hardware, overpriced yes... OS? Sucks... but then again, anymore Windows isnt getting any better either... but because you can buy cheap PCs, they never became a status symbol... somewhat similar to android has never really been a status symbol, because there's tons of cheap ones out there... but I digress...

I hope one day everyone will realize how stupid this is to pay for superficial **** in games that literally has no purpose or use, and one day it just dies out. Give me achievements to earn those fancy skins!!! That's when it really means something, at least in the video game world. lmao
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
"by selling cosmetic goods"

Imagine making some virtual clothes for a few hours drawing time that makes millions of dollars? lol, seriously? A fool and their money are easily parted.

"Some genuinely believe that having a sophisticated in-game costume – one that almost always comes at a financial cost – says something about your skill level. It’s absurd, sure, but tell that to an impressionable pre-teen."

Wow, seriously? I had no idea. I played DDO and it took some skill and intelligence to beat a new raid. I viewed it as neat and items would give some sort of benefit/enhancement. But paying real money to essentially cheat instead of earn it? Those virtual doll clothes mean absolutely nothing to me. I would love to play using the default clothing and give everyone the beat down, but I would rather not support a game like this. A large part of the gaming industry has really gone downhill, or rather off the cliff. :/
 

Kraemepoo

TS Enthusiast
It's not kids or society today, it human nature. Jewelry has been around since the dawn of civilization, effectively the same as a Fortnite skin or a CS:GO knife.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
At least Guy Diep had the insight to understand that it was about his child's self-esteem. Maybe, just maybe something positive will come out of this.
 

MarkLugo

TS Rookie
This should come as a surprise to no one. Kids have always striven to be "hip" with their clothing. Why would it be any different virtually?
Really - I would say that started in the late 80's - early 90's. And it also depends on what you are calling "kids" - 8 year old kids or 30 year old kids?
 

TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
This should come as a surprise to no one. Kids have always striven to be "hip" with their clothing. Why would it be any different virtually?
Really - I would say that started in the late 80's - early 90's. And it also depends on what you are calling "kids" - 8 year old kids or 30 year old kids?
Ummm...not really. You can go back as far as you care to research and find fashion trends that kids emulated. Seriously - in ancient Rome there were all sorts of fashion trends. And by kids, I'm talking mainly teens.
 
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Topnotchnfs78

TS Rookie
My 9 year old son is obsessed with skins and dances. He mostly plays on creative with his buddies. The thing I hate the most is these younger kids are like sponges and they pick up a lot of words and sayings they don’t realize are rude or might put someone down. I do my best to keep track of him well he plays and always let him know if he himself or others he might be playing with are being inappropriate. Thanks
 
This should come as a surprise to no one. Kids have always striven to be "hip" with their clothing. Why would it be any different virtually?
Really - I would say that started in the late 80's - early 90's. And it also depends on what you are calling "kids" - 8 year old kids or 30 year old kids?
Have you *looked* at pictures of people from the '70's? Those were fashion choices, this isn't some sort of totalitarian regime where that style was mandated. People wanted to wear that stuff and look like that.

Seriously dude, 1970s. <Chris Rock voice>The horror!</Chris Rock voice>
 

Arris

TS Evangelist
"Guy Diep, father to an eight-year-old, told Polygon that his son has asked for money to buy cosmetic goods in Fortnite"
This is a 12 rated game in UK, wonder what it is in other countries....
 
This should come as a surprise to no one. Kids have always striven to be "hip" with their clothing. Why would it be any different virtually?
Really - I would say that started in the late 80's - early 90's. And it also depends on what you are calling "kids" - 8 year old kids or 30 year old kids?
Have you *looked* at pictures of people from the '70's? Those were fashion choices, this isn't some sort of totalitarian regime where that style was mandated. People wanted to wear that stuff and look like that.

Seriously dude, 1970s. <Chris Rock voice>The horror!</Chris Rock voice>
The fashions of yesteryear always look "bad" in retrospect. We just forget that those old fashion choices -- bell-bottom jeans, polyester/wide-lapel suits, beehive hairdos, pegged jeans, etc. -- weren't considered "horrible" choices then. In fact, they were the yoga pants, Crocs, etc. of their time.

But it could have been worse. Remember Abe Simpson: "We wore an onion on our belt, which was the style at the time..."
 

Lounds

TS Maniac
This is like CSGO's weapon skins, people paying £20+ for a Cosmetic texture that doesn't benefit play, it's all bragging rights. Quite sad state of affair the gaming industry has become.
 
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p51d007

TS Evangelist
To generalize "kids have always striven to be 'hip' with their clothing" ....I was never one of those kids, and of course never in the popular group. I didnt want to be, nor did I care to be so superficial.
Me either...I grew up in the 60'-70's. Kids were running around all "disco'd" up...not me...t-shirt & jeans. In my adult years, everyone was buying SUV's. Not me. I've always driven Mustang's, always manual transmissions. Someone asked me "you bought another Mustang?" Yes...but why? Everyone is buying SUV's. Ummm because I DON'T want/need an SUV and I like driving Mustangs?
I've never been one to buy something, or do something because "everyone else" is doing it. Hey, it's your money, but stop being sheep.
 
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Fearghast

TS Addict
"Guy Diep, father to an eight-year-old, told Polygon that his son has asked for money to buy cosmetic goods in Fortnite"
This is a 12 rated game in UK, wonder what it is in other countries....
I wonder if you were watching / playing movies / games that were "not yet meant" to be watched / played in your age.
Let us not act like angels, we all did play violent video games, watched "inappropriate" movies and don't get me even started on porn topic :-D