Skip to main content

WHO’s Play Apart Together campaign uses games to promote social distancing

The World Health Organization is using video games to share the importance of social distancing and proper safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, nearly 60 gaming companies, including major publishers such as Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, and Sega, have officially teamed up with WHO for its Play Apart Together campaign. Even more game companies, large and small, are unofficially participating by giving out free games during this difficult time and using their platforms to promote recommended safety protocols.

The promotional campaign focuses on bringing “special events, exclusives, activities, rewards, and inspiration to some of the most popular games in the world” to help players fight the urge to socialize in person. Examples include the mobile hit Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’s event where players could get bonus rewards from Show Your Style events.

Companies participating in the Play Apart Together campaign will also teach players about health guidelines set by WHO, including physically distancing from other people, washing your hands, and other preventive actions.

“It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another,” Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “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.”

Snap Games’ head Will Wu feels the campaign will help keep younger people at home.

“They have a key role to play in helping stop the spread,” Wu said. “Snap Games has always been a way for Snapchatters to connect and play with their friends even when far apart, so we’re game to support the [Play Apart Together] initiative. We’re committed to helping Snapchatters stay home by offering new games to play and creative tools that raise awareness for our community to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the greater public.”

The original 18 organizations of the Play Apart Together campaign include Activision Blizzard, the 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.

Editors' Recommendations

FDA authorizes at-home coronavirus test that uses your spit
Rutgers Spectrum Coronavirus Saliva Test.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a second at-home test for the coronavirus -- one that can detect the virus using saliva samples.

The test is made by a Rutgers University laboratory, RUCDR Infinite Biologics, in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs. The Rutgers test uses a saliva collection device and must be sent back to the lab for testing. You can only receive the test if it’s been ordered through a physician.

Read more
FDA clears heart monitor for coronavirus patients using hydroxychloroquine
doctors gloved hands attaching a VitalPatch to a patient's chest

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today granted Emergency Use Authorization for a wearable biosensor called the VitalPatch, which can be used to monitor the heart rhythms of patients who have been treated for coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine.

The wearable patch adheres to a patient’s skin just above their heart and can be worn for seven days. It monitors for 22 different types of arrhythmia and fibrillation, as well as 11 other physiological signs, many of which coincide with symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, said Peter Van Haur, CEO of VitalConnect, maker of the sensor.

Read more
FDA approves Roche coronavirus antibody test for emergency use
Coronavirus Testing Labs

Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche says it has received an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new test for coronavirus. The company joins several others such as Abbott Laboratories, Becton Dickinson, and DiaSorin in offering antibody tests for the virus.

“Our best scientists have worked 24/7 over the last few weeks and months to develop a highly reliable antibody test to help fight this pandemic,” Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics, said in a statement.

Read more