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Community reaction to this event and its now disabled emotes has been mixed, with some angry that Epic even allowed emotes to be used at all during the event and others confused why Epic is taking what they see as a scorched earth approach to the problem.
It should be noted that Epic actually disabled some toxic emotes, including the ability to toss tomatoes, right at the launch of the event. So it seems the publisher was aware that players using emotes distastefully was a potential problem, making it odd that the company even waited 24 hours before deactivating all non-approved emotes. Kotaku has reached out to Epic Games about the deactivated emotes and if future Fortnite events’ will allow the use of emotes.
Yesterday, Epic CEO Tim Sweeny claimed the studio built this even using “everything learned from the We The People event.” Considering emotes were also a problem during that event, I’m not so sure.
If Epic plans to continue hosting these serious, educational events in Fortnite, the company will need to do more work to make sure the metaverse and past cosmetic items don’t disrupt or disrespect the hard work that is obviously going into creating these experiences. Removing annoying emotes, limiting which skins can be used, and removing loading screen tips that talk about headshots would be a good start if Epic truly wants to use Fortnite as a tool to educate.