To limit the spread of the coronavirus, several video game publishers have launched the # PlayApartTogether movement, to better relay prevention messages from the World Health Organization (who).

Failing to escape to the open air during these beautiful spring days, confinement requires, playing video games can be a good escape to change your mind. To maintain a social link in the case of multiplayer games also. In this context, several players of the video game decided to partner to launch the program # PlayApartTogether (literally, “let’s play apart together”). Objective, to encourage as many players as possible to respect the health recommendations issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus (social distancing, hand washing, respiratory hygiene…).

Video games as a social link

The collective is composed of video game publishers and managers of broadcasting platforms : Activision Blizzard, 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, Zynga. These 18 players in the video game industry (we would have liked to see some French…) have thus committed to spread the prevention messages in their games and online platforms. Enough to reach several million people, since the most popular multiplayer games of the moment are concerned, such League of Legends Riot Games. Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent says: “social distancing does not mean social isolation ! Let’s stay physically separate — and stick to other public health measures such as hand hygiene — to help smooth the curve and let’s play separately but together (# PlayApartTogethe) to help overcome this crisis. A vision shared by other actors in the collective, including C, Senior Vice President of Twitch platform content : “we are pleased to share who’s key messages alongside other members of the initiative to continue to provide a place where people can come together, play and create a community.”At a time when isolation can be an ordeal, it seems important to be able to keep in touch with your loved ones and your community, whether this is done through video conferencing applications, for example, or through video games.

the # PlayApartTogether a surprising change of tone

The fact that who is associated with the # PlayApartTogether movement is a bit funny, as it decided in June 2018 to add video game addiction to the International Classification of mental illness (ICD-11), despite protests from video game publishers. This does not prevent some of its biggest representatives from applauding the creation of the # PlayApartTogether movement, such as Ray Chambers, US ambassador to WHO who who shared a message of support on Twitter. In this particular epidemic context, it is reassuring to observe more cohesion between these different actors and to consider video games more as a solution than a problem.