Live Web – Live Experiences

Find a live or synchronous site or platform online. Try it out. Describe it on your blog. How is it used? What do you find interesting about it? 

Does Fortnite count if it’s a video game and not traditionally played in the browser? It is an online multi-player game, played by 3.4 million people from around the world at any given moment. That is a lot of people playing synchronously at the same time.

The most interesting part to me is the beginning. People around the world sit on their couches waiting as their Fortnite avatars on “Spawn Island”, essentially a series of air strips from which flying buses land and depart. The Battle Royale, or main game, can’t begin until 100 of these avatars are waiting for the bus. Once a “Battle Bus” arrives, it drops them over a much larger island to which they parachute and begin the Battle Royale.

Image result for spawn island fortnite

A player lands on Spawn Island, with the flying bus waiting in the upper right.

Waiting on the air strip, avatars stand still, move around to look at each other, make aggressive gestures like shooting off their guns, and most hilariously, show off the famous Fortnite dance moves.  This is also a free moment to check out each other’s purchased outfits (some people spend $20 on a new outfit).

 

Players dance with each other. One player barges in whipping his battle instrument, but then runs away. The dancing continues.  The battle bus is departing in 9 seconds.

To me, these unscripted moments are the most interesting. I think these moments contribute to the cultural phenomenon status of the game. They are, in some ways, the most “synchronous” moments of the game, in that people are very aware they are waiting for real people to start the game and join as avatars, and they have no game to focus on yet, and only have each other and the views to look at.

While this isn’t a browser experience, I think it would be interesting to imagine scenarios in the browser where people arrive at a pre-destination before the main event.

For example, a meeting in one browser tab, before people go on a treasure hunt around the web, and meet back in their shared tab? People could establish different identities for different purposes, and enact them with each other and elsewhere on the web.