According to a report by USA Today, Activision-Blizzard and other game makers kicked off an initiative called #PlayApartTogether to entertain themselves while practicing social distancing.
The initiative, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), is particularly noteworthy because WHO previously designated video game addiction as an official mental health disorder.
But the group hopes that the industry can “reach millions with important messages to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” said Ray Chambers, the WHO ambassador for global strategy in a statement. Game companies will encourage players to stay distanced and observe other safety measures including hand hygiene, he said.
“We’re at a crucial moment in defining outcomes of this pandemic,” he said in a subsequent tweet. “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.”
Video games can be not only a good diversion, but also a way to connect socially with friends and family while at home. Many games played on computers game consoles, such as the the Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4, have games you can play with others in the home or via online connections. And many games played on smartphones and tablets are social pursuits, too.
U.S. game companies supporting the initiative see their products as a way for people to better make it through ongoing stay-at-home directives across the nation.