Samsung and Cheil Brazil have launched a campaign whereby Fortnite players can donate the Glow skin to other fellow players who don't have any cosmetic items to show off their characters. The Fortnite Glow skin was launched exclusively for Samsung devices a couple of months ago, but now it can technically be obtained by players who don't own a Samsung smartphone, as long as someone else is willing to donate it to them.
Fortnite Glow skin becomes part of an anti-bullying campaign
Believe it or not, this is all part of an anti-cyberbullying campaign aiming to combat toxicity in the virtual space. Online multiplayer games are generally very competitive, and in some of the worst cases, this competitive environment can generate a lot of friction or toxicity between the players.
Competitiveness in the online gaming space is par for the course and always has been. Players will always try to outdo each other in different ways. But as video games continued to develop new methods of monetization in recent years, a new problem arose – particularly among younger audiences – whereby players who don't have any cosmetic items for their virtual avatars are being treated poorly by their fellow players.
In other words, if you can't afford or simply don't want to fork real money for an in-game cosmetic item in a game like Fortnite then you risk being called a “Default” in a derogatory way by other players who are usually in their teens or twenties.
The bigger problem, however, is that this whole microtransaction-fueled virtual ecosystem doesn't provide only in-game bragging rights. This competitive or toxic behavior whereby players who haven't invested money in the game are being called “Defaults” is not always contained inside the virtual space. Player skins have become a sort of a status symbol, and throughout the year there have been a few reports of bullying in schools where kids who play Fortnite and don't own any player skins are either being called “Defaults” in a derogatory way by some of their fellow students, or they're being singled out.
All in all, the latest campaign by Samsung and Cheil aims to spread the Fortnite Glow skin with the help of various Brazilian videogame streamers and give it to players who don't own any in-game cosmetic items. This way, they can easily leave the default in-game character designs behind, should they want to do so. One could argue that the campaign doesn't quite target the core issue – which is having an in-game reward system that revolves a lot around real money transactions – so whether or not the Glow skin will save players from being treated poorly inside or outside the game is another matter. Then again, Samsung doesn't get to decide how a game like Fortnite is being monetized, so all we can do is to welcome the initiative. At the very least, more Fortnite players are bound to get a cool skin for their avatars.