Memes! What are there? Where do they come from? Why are they here?
No one knows.
That’s not actually true. We know a lot about them. There are even academic articles about memes. But that’s not the point of this article.
Today, we will be talking about the story of a dance from the video game Fortnite and how one school banned it.
Our story begins with with the origins of the dance step called ‘flossing’, which was apparently invented in 2014 by a YouTuber named JStuStudios. You can see him doing it below.
It came back in 2016 with Instagram user @thebackpackkid doing it and it eventually lead him to perform it on Saturday Night Live with Katy Perry.
Over the last couple of years, the dance has slowly grown more popular like a drop of ink spreading through a glass of water.
Eventually, the dance was incorporated into the third person shooter video game of the battle royale genre, Fortnite.
This is all well and good but what makes the story of this particular meme more interesting is what happened in a school in England.
Teachers of Illfracombe Junior School have taken it upon themselves to be the meme police and ban this dance from school.
Headteacher Catherine Cox criticized the dance in a statement to parents, stating that Fortnite is about “mass killing”, adding that it is addictive and that playing violent games is linked to real-life aggressive behaviour and mental health issues.
She also said that apparently, kids in the school have been using the dance to bully other kids.
Let’s unpack this statement.
First is the idea that Fortnite is a game about “mass killing”. While it is true that the game uses simulated violence as its main gameplay, the fact remains that it is *simulated* violence.
Most functional members of society, even kids, can tell the difference.
Additionally, the kids in the school are too young to be legally playing Fortnite anyway, as the game is rated T for teens.
The next part is about video games being addictive. This is true. To some people, they can be addictive. However, it is worth noting that it is video games that are addictive. Not Fortnite only.
So banning one dance from one game seems like removing a cup of water from the ocean to prevent drowning.
The last part of her argument is that video games cause violent behaviour among people in real life.
This is simply NOT true.
There are numerous studies that have proved again and again that this is not true.
However, reactionaries are not known to listen to reason when reacting based on their fears and misconceptions.
Parents are justifiably outraged by the decision to ban the dance.
Some of them expressed that banning one dance isn’t going to stop bullying and that kids will simply find some other way to do it.
Another mom raged that her daughter was eight and had no idea what Fortnite was, adding that it is ridiculous that she was made to feel this way about a funny dance.
So what do you think, dear readers?
Is the floss dance a serious concern or is the school overreacting?
Header Image Source: Manchester Evening News