The coronavirus pandemic has made its way across the globe just as medical experts have predicted. People are finally aware of just how severe its impact can be to one's health. At first, almost everyone outside of China did not take it seriously when healthcare professionals issued their advisories. Aside from hygiene practices, staying indoors can help prevent infections and lighten the burden on doctors, nurses, and other frontliners. Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging folks to play video games to overcome boredom.
In fact, the specialised agency is partnering with the gaming industry to promote the "#PlayApartTogether" movement. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, some gamers still opted to play with their friends locally. However, now that social distancing is highly recommended to reduce transmission, online multiplayer is the preferred workaround to still keep in touch. While this might be difficult at first for those who normally do single-player campaigns, it will become familiar after a while.
"It has 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," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "We are proud to participate in such a worthwhile and necessary initiative," he added. Digital Trends notes that this is just one of the many notable game studios that are committed to helping the WHO in any way to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Nico Laurent, the CEO of Riot Games, pointed out that while gamers are physically distant, it does not mean that they had to be socially isolated. While promoting the "#PlayApartTogether" initiative, he said "For Rioters, playing games is more than just a game; it's a meaningful life pursuit. And now, for the billions of players around the world, playing games could help the pursuit of saving lives. Let's beat this COVID-19 boss battle together," he added.
Others can recall that WHO previously had a different view on video games. Their research even called the addiction to gaming as a mental health issue. Now that the public is directed to stay home amid the coronavirus health crisis, the U.N. agency quickly changed its stance on the matter.