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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Mystery: Jeffrey Epstein Created Fortnite


Let’s play a silly game, dear reader. Let’s take a trip to the video game store—I would say Gamestop, but those aren’t high quality enough. So we’ll go to “Game Store” and pretend that it’s a place where you can play Dungeons & Dragons, collect Funko Pops (those creepy things with big heads), and post clown memes without the risk of being publicly shamed. It’s a great place, but it’s even better when you realize you can have get-togethers with people from all around your town/city. You can play games locally; couch-style co-op and what have you. All in the safe, comfy location that is Game Store.

However, there’s one thing that sticks out. In a secluded room, there are the sounds of younger folks; children. They’re screaming, laughing, and calling each other vulgar names that would get me unindexed faster than you could say “Vert, please post more often.”. Or heck, just say the first word. Anyways, you peer into this room and see cheetos, piss stains on a toilet, and it smells of things that would get me unindexed yet again. It reminds you of when you were 10-years-old and lived with your parents. Now you’re 25-years-old and live with your parents, but you wear a mask because of a novel virus and insist on playing Dungeons & Dragons; your mage that has PTSD will someday get that legendary staff from the warlock!

Anyways, there are numerous Xbox Ones, PS4s, and PCs. In the distant corner, you see a broken Nintendo Switch because apparently, kids these days don’t enjoy Nintendo consoles. Against your better judgement, you enter and are immediately swarmed by kids asking you to play one game: Fortnite.

Indeed, today’s story centers on Fork Knife (better known as Fortnite to anyone who isn’t me and isn’t amused like a little child at insipid things). That global phenomenon that was made by Epic Games (which is totes bad because China). Every Twitch streamer has played it; heck, everyone who isn’t me has played it. It’s a Battle Royale game that’s wildly popular and I don’t really get the appeal. However, I’m not a big fan of PvP games. A lot of others are though and to that I say: good on them. I hope they keep having fun.

Alas, today’s story features another icon: Jeffrey Edward Epstein. The man who ran a global child sex trafficking ring. A truly vile, reprehensible figure, Epstein’s name is one that will earn looks of disgust to anyone familiar with him who has an iota of a soul. Though if you pair the two together, a conundrum appears. How on Earth could these two things go together? Well, that’s where the story begins. Let’s ask ourselves one very simple, peculiar question: did Jeffrey Epstein create Fortnite?



The Story

Our story takes us to the world of 4chan. The earliest mention of this conspiracy I could find was June 8, 2020 and it was on a video game-themed Conspiracy Iceberg thread. From there, a few other users brought up the conspiracy on other iceberg threads, but none really elaborate on what the theory is exactly about beyond one person calling it “self-explanatory” based on the name. While it’s true that the name itself explains what it’s about (a billionaire child sex trafficker created one of the most wildly successful and popular video games in recent memory), I was hopeful to find more information on it. Perhaps there’s a more sinister, diabolical plan at work here.

Such a thought was unfounded though for there’s nothing else available on this theory. That, on its own, would lead me to suspect the entire thing is a joke; nothing more than a clever creation from a 4chan user who was bored and decided to conjure up a silly theory to fool the other denizens of the controversial image board. However, upon doing a Google search, I learned of something rather interesting: Epstein has funded something related to video gaming. Per Forbes:

Science Funder Jeffrey Epstein Launches Radical Emotional Software For The Gaming Industry

The article was more or less scrubbed from the website, but the gist of it is that Epstein, via a Hong Kong research institute of some sort, was funding a holodeck-esque product that would help to enhance the emotional experience of video gaming. It’s David Cage’s wet dream come to fruition and it seems it never went anywhere meaningful. Though this struck me as interesting as it does confirm that Epstein has had a hand in video game funding in some capacity. However, that seems to be the extent of Epstein’s influence in the realm of gaming. Beyond that: I cannot find anything on this story whatsoever.

So with that, this ridiculously bizarre story ends. It's without a shadow of a doubt one of the weirdest theories I've ever heard of, but I don't think that should cloud our vision. So let's dive into the theories.

Theories

1. Epstein created the game

The first theory is that Epstein did in fact create Fortnite. Evidence for this theory primarily stems from the wide appeal that Fortnite has with kids and its cartoony art style. That, coupled with how Epstein trafficked children and invested in video gaming once has led some to believe he may have had a hand in the creation of Fortnite. What his endgame goal was with it is presumably nothing good; he likely would have used credit card information and userdata to track down victims so that they could be brought to his island for unsavory, sleazy misdeeds that he’s become known for.

2. It was simply made by Epic Games

The second, final, and more boring of the two theories is that Fortnite was simply made by Epic Games. There was no grand conspiracy whatsoever; instead, there were strokes of genius and luck that led to a worldwide phenomenon. The end result was a video game that has reigned supreme in the way of streaming and monetary revenue.

If you’re looking for evidence in regards to this theory, all that really needs to be said are two words: Unreal Engine. If you’re unfamiliar with that, it’s one of the most popular video game engines available on the market and it’s a very, very good one at that. Many game developers utilize it and as such, there’s little reason for Epic Games to have ever accepted funding from Jeffrey Epstein. While one can argue that the less spent on a game, the better, I’m doubtful that Tim Sweeney would’ve ever risked the reputation of his company by taking money from a man whose secret love for underage boys and girls was all but publicly known. That, coupled with Epstein never having expressed interest in creating his own video game, helps to sustain this theory’s foundation.

However, in the interest of all fairness: it’s possible that Epstein funded some of Fortnite via another investor, though if such a thing is possible, I imagine that person—or those people—would have come forward to say so. At the same time, given the immense popularity of Fortnite, I imagine that revealing such a fact would destroy the popularity of Fortnite a thousand fold. So perhaps it’s best if the person—or persons—remain tight lipped until the game’s popularity wanes.

My Take

Although Epstein may have invested a bit into video gaming as a whole, there’s no proof to suggest he ever had an iota of interest in creating one of his own, let alone investing directly into the creation of a video game. Sure, Fortnite may attract the attention of children, but so does My Little Pony, Dora the Explorer, and SpongeBob SquarePants. Last I checked, none of them had the adoration of one Jeffrey Edward Epstein.

Now sure, one can argue that that’s a false equivalency. However, I’d argue back that if Epstein’s expressed zero interest in those, why bother jumping straight into Fortnite? Heck, why stop at Fortnite? Why not make other games or other products for the same age demographic? To me, this entire theory strikes me as a mixture of a joke and a hypothetical scenario made up by some folks who are desperate to make Epstein out to be a more insidious figure than he already was. Such a fact is downright laughable given Epstein, as it stands, was a horrible, vile, despicable man whose actions hurt a large number of children.

Though what do I know? Perhaps not investing in Fortnite is the true reason that Epstein killed himself—or was suicided if you subscribe to that theory.

Conclusion

Well, writing this story was surreal. I never imagined in my lifetime that I’d ever find a story—be it a real conspiracy or a joke—that would combine the likes of Fork Knife and Jeffrey Epstein (who did[n’t] kill himself). Though I guess in this day and age, satire’s dead. Long live clown world.

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