World Health Organization Encourages Stay At Home Gaming With #PlayApartTogether Initiative

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Glance out the window in many neighborhoods around the United States, and you're likely to see groups of people completely ignoring the social distancing mandate to help curb the spread of coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that it has teamed up with the video game industry on a new initiative to help encourage physical distancing and staying indoors to help stop the spread of the virus plaguing the world. The campaign is called #PlayApartTogether, and is described as a promotional campaign encouraging healthy physical distancing while bringing special events, exclusives, activities, rewards, and more for some of the most popular games out there.

Many major gaming companies have partnered with the WHO for the campaign including Activision Blizzard, Kabam, Snap Games, Amazon Appstore, Maysalward, Twitch, Big Fish Games, Playtika, Unity, Dirtybit, Pocket Gems, Wooga, Glu Mobile, Riot Games, YouTube Gaming, Jam City, SciPlay, and Zynga. WHO and its partners in the global gaming industry are aiming to reach millions of gamers to promote the messages that focuses on helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19. The message behind the #PlayApartTogether campaign is to inform and encourage the vast number of gamers who play games from the companies involved in the partnership to follow the WHO guidelines to prevent the disease from spreading.

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Those guidelines include physical distancing, handwashing, and other preventative actions. All companies involved will use the hashtag #PlayApartTogether to encourage conversation within the participating company's game communities and on social media. One interesting aspect of this campaign is that WHO has traditionally seemed against video games having last year pushed an illness known as "gaming disorder" as something that can be clinically treated.

Bernard Kim, president of publishing at Zynga, said that his company's mission of connecting the world using gaming has taken on another dimension during the global health crisis. The companies involved in this campaign have billions of gamers to their credit with Riot Games alone having some of the most popular titles out there. Earlier this month, Riot Games announced a new title called Valorant that is a five-on-five team-based tactical first-person shooter.