November 11 is observed as Remembrance Day by Commonwealth member states as a time to commemorate the sacrifices of soldiers who died in the line of duty. But memories fade, and as the horrors of industrial-scale conflicts grow distant, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep younger generations, who have never experienced it, interested and invested.
To help reinvigorate that connection with history, the Royal Canadian Legion commissioned Remembrance Island, a custom map available in Fortnite Creative Mode. The map, made at no cost to the Legion by Fortnite creator Jadan Allen, has no combat: Instead, players can explore a deserted beachhead, trenches, barracks, headstones, and fields of poppies, and read 30 informational plaques leading to a cenotaph reminiscent of the Vimy Memorial in France.
"We know some young people are losing the emotional connection to, and meaning of, Canada's military past," Royal Canadian Legion communications manager Nujma Bond told the CBC. "We hope to share a greater understanding of that history."
The Legion is also encouraging gamers to visit the Remembrance Island cenotaph at 11 pm today, November 11, to "start a party and have their own moment of silence and salute, then share images or streams using the hashtag #SaluteThePoppy." Remembrance Day ceremonies are traditionally held at 11 am to mark the hour when the First World War Armistice took effect, but the Legion said that moving it to 11 pm "is another way to meet the gaming community on their terms."
"It’s our hope that young Canadians will take a few moments to visit this unique environment and learn about the men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom," senior program officer Freeman D. Chute said in a press release. "As time goes on, we have to find new ways to reach young people and tell the story of Canadian veterans. This is a fantastic example of how to do just that."
To access Remembrance Island, start a Creative server and approach a Featured Rift, then enter the code 5053-3302-4847.