Tweet goes viral; chemistry test in Tipp will be about video game

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 7:10 AM

TIPP CITY – A bet involving a popular video game and a chemistry exam brought widespread attention to Tippecanoe High School.

A tweet of teacher Mike McCray’s bet with students in which he agreed to make the course final exam about the Fortnite game if students got 6,700 retweets went viral.

The reaction sparked articles about the bet on gaming sites, NPR and Rolling Stone, among others.

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“I didn’t really have any idea whether 6,700 retweets was a very attainable thing. I knew nothing about Fornite, either,” McCray said.

“To be honest, we didn’t think 6,700 (retweets) was attainable at all,” said student Jackson Yeager, who was in on the bet with fellow students Gabe Parsons and Jillian Zuzolo.

It didn’t take long for the retweets to exceed 7,000.

McCray will uphold his end of the bet. The exam in late May won’t be about Fortnite, but will be influenced by it.

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“I’ve got several questions in mind, extended response questions, that incorporate elements of Fortnite into the test. The creators of the game have actually contacted me and they gave me some ideas,” McCray said. “They said it had been a long time since high school chemistry, suggested questions including one about a storm cloud.”

The students now are working on getting McCray to try his hand at the video game. He’s willing to give it a try.

Parsons hopes he can convince the game developers to help in another way beyond the questions.

“In the game, you can change the way your guy looks. I want them to make one of Mr. McCray,” he said.

Exceeding the retweets goal wasn’t enough for some who heard of the bet.

“Everybody now wants to see the test,” Parsons said.

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All participants were surprised by the reaction. “We did it as a joke, and it turned into so much more,” Zuzolo said.

“You always hear about how stuff spreads, but to actually be a part of something that spreads on the internet that widespread … it is kind of scary almost,” McCray said.

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