by Liam Kennedy ‘19
Halloween costumes based on skins from the popular free-to-play video game Fortnite may be in jeopardy after local party stores came together and agreed to prohibit the sale of Fortnite costumes.
Party stores such as Party USA, Party City, The Party Co., and The Party Place, along with big box stores Target and Walmart in Montgomery County voted unanimously at the start of the Halloween season convention to bar the procurement of Fortnite costumes. The convention, which has been suggested since the creepy clown sightings of 2016, made its first annual meeting last month at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, lasting a week long from September 24 to September 28 and providing more oversight into the Halloween costume industry. The general attitude of the commonwealth of stores was that the costumes represent a theme of violence and self-interest, seen in the game’s objective to be the last man (or woman) standing through killing other players with firearms.
“We simply can’t have our children think that it is okay for them to go around town killing people and then dancing over them,” said Jeff Brolin, Party City representative, referring to the ability of the player to do dances such as the Floss Dance, Orange Justice, or Take the L, most of the time to celebrate a kill. “I believe, as does the rest of the convention, that the most effective way to counteract this is to prevent kids from wearing costumes related to the game.”
Middle school students and high school underclassmen across the county are outraged at the decision of the termed “No Skin Stores,” comparing the stores to what the Fortnite community calls “no skins,” or players who use the default skins and are generally thought of as noobs. “This is completely unfair, I mean, how else are we going to buy our costumes other than physically in person,” said freshman Chad Moore. “Everyone knows that online shopping is on its way out,” he added, putting his hand in the shape of an L on his forehead.
“I was so excited to dress up as my favorite skin, the Black Knight, and now I can’t buy a costume and run around with a gold scar just like I wanted to,” said sophomore Todd Clark. Clark is leading a local movement to force the stores to go back on their stance and sell the costumes. “Our goal is to use public pressure to overwhelm the stores so that they will put the costumes on shelves,” added Clark. “If we want to walk around dressed up as Tomato Head, we should be allowed to.”
The movement is considering a class-action lawsuit against the group of stores, which will decide the legality of the convention’s vote.