Gaming

Game companies, WHO unveil #PlayApartTogether

Pocket Gems is one of the game companies supporting the #PlayApartTogether campaign. Image credit: Pocket Gems via Business Wire
Pocket Gems is one of the game companies supporting the #PlayApartTogether campaign. Image credit: Pocket Gems via Business Wire

Time for gamers to become real-life heroes. Game companies have joined forces with the World Health Organization to launch the #PlayApartTogether campaign. By disseminating WHO’s health guidelines to their vast network of players, they hope to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re at a crucial moment in defining outcomes of this pandemic. Games industry companies have a global audience – we encourage all to #PlayApartTogether. More physical distancing + other measures will help to flatten the curve + save lives,” WHO Ambassador for Global Strategy Ray Chambers tweeted.

Gamers can make a difference

Big Fish is helping promote physical distancing through the #PlayApartTogether campaign. Image credit: Big Fish via Business Wire
Big Fish is helping promote physical distancing through the #PlayApartTogether campaign. Image credit: Big Fish via Business Wire

Through games, the #PlayApartTogether campaign will promote preventive measures such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.

“There has perhaps never been a more pivotal time than present, for solidarity around a cause, such as the one facing us now with COVID-19. Together, with our global community of games publishers and the technical guidance of the World Health Organization, we hope to reach millions of players across our titles with the #PlayApartTogether campaign,” said Big Fish Games Managing Director and President Jeff Karp in a press statement.

Sadly, many people are still in denial over the COVID-19 crisis. By leveraging on the massive reach of their platforms, game companies aim to educate the public and create more awareness.

Even though the virus is forcing people to stay home, digital platforms such as video games are keeping millions connected.

“It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another. Games are the perfect platform because they connect people through the lens of joy, purpose and meaning. We are proud to participate in such a worthwhile and necessary initiative,” said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

Saving the world through virtual worlds

Mobile games are extremely popular. Zynga's battle royale game Tiny Royale is exclusively available on Snapchat through Snap Games. Image credit: Snap Games via Business Wire
Mobile games are extremely popular. Zynga’s battle royale game Tiny Royale is exclusively available on Snapchat through Snap Games. Image credit: Snap Games via Business Wire

Video games and esports have become even more mainstream in recent years. In the past, gamers have had to overcome stigma. In fact, WHO included “gaming disorder” in the International Classification of Diseases in 2018. This makes WHO’s initiative with game companies a remarkable development.

Indeed, this campaign shows the importance of getting the whole world to unite against the threat of COVID-19.

“Our mission at Zynga has always been to connect the world through games, and it has taken on a new dimension as we face this global crisis. We are honored to support the important work of the World Health Organization and provide our players with a support system during this period of physical distancing. The #PlayApartTogether initiative activates positivity and community that can help us commit to the urgent task at hand,” Zynga President of Publishing Bernard Kim.

The 18 game companies that are supporting the #PlayApartTogether campaign are Activision Blizzard, Amazon Appstore, Big Fish Games, Dirtybit, Glu Mobile, Jam City, Kabam, Maysalward, Playtika, Pocket Gems, Riot Games, SciPlay, Snap Games, Twitch, Unity, Wooga, YouTube Gaming, and Zynga.