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And Just Like That, Gaming And Mainstream Entertainment Are As One


The following is an excerpt from Andy Campbell | March 17, 2018 | Huffingtonpost.com |

Drake, rapper Travis Scott and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster played a video game called Fortnite Battle Royale with a streamer named Tyler “Ninja” Blevins on Thursday. Depending on how many names in the previous sentence you recognize, this might seem like an unremarkable bit of business, but this was actually a momentous cultural event, signaling a shift in the way that the gaming and entertainment industries interact.

You’ll see gaming culture in mainstream entertainment on occasion, but usually it’s a fumbling mess ― videos of celebrities playing video games with “Clueless Gamer” Conan O’Brien, for instance, are cute if awkward hat tips between industries that indicate the two aren’t ready to fully explain each other to their respective audiences.

But here, early Thursday morning, were two mammoth celebrities in their own worlds — Drake and Ninja, that is — joining forces for a public, unscripted event that was open to each of their millions of followers. The stunt’s success suggests something is changing, that the distance between the industries has practically vanished.

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