Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a controversial announcement. The specialised agency of the United Nations previously published a study that pegged addiction to video games was a disorder. Now, as the coronavirus outbreak pushes people to stay home and away from physical social interactions as much as possible, the group had something else to say. Working with high-profile gaming companies, it is promoting the #PlayApartTogether movement. Sony is taking it further by pledging $100 million to support various forms of international COVID-19 relief efforts.

The pandemic is clearly affecting the economy as various sectors shut down operations to prevent the virus' spread. Therefore, any form of assistance provided by the government, charitable institutions, as well as private donations are appreciated.

Medical professionals are among the hardest hit as an increasing number of cases have taken its toll on resources and equipment. Now, that the video game industry is seeing an overwhelming boost in sales, companies like Sony are ready to give back.

The Japanese gaming firm is naming it the Sony Global Relief Fund for COVID-19. The $100 million allocated will be distributed evenly across three facets. As it was implied above, the first ones to benefit would be those working in healthcare systems.

This includes those directly exposed to the threat such as first responders, nurses, doctors, and other individuals who are considered frontliners in the battle against the global health crisis, reports GameSpot. The funds then will be directed to teaching professionals to receive equipment and perhaps funding as well in order to develop new methods to educate children. As officials urge people to stay indoors, classroom learning needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Finally, those working in the entertainment and gaming industries will likewise benefit from Sony's contribution. "Sony extends its condolences to the families of those who have passed away as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and extends its sympathies to all those who have been impacted," said company President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida.

Kenichiro Yoshida
Sony Corp's new president and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida attends a news conference on their business plan at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, May 22, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

In related news, demand for video game consoles has skyrocketed over the past few weeks, as more countries enforce community lockdowns amid the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, the Nintendo Switch is allegedly sold out and consumers have resorted to purchasing overpriced units from resellers. Sony and Microsoft are also selling more game systems even with the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series X just around the corner.