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World Health Organization encourages people to game during coronavirus outbreak

Xbox Series X controller
Xbox Series X controller (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The World Health Organization recently classified excessive gaming as a disorder.
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, the body is promoting gaming as a way to stay home.
  • Activision-Blizzard and other companies are promoting a #PlayApartTogether campaign.
  • You can stop the spread of coronavirus if you stay at home and practice social distancing.

Many months ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) characterized excessive gaming as a disorder. While this is a known problem, no one thought that during the coronavirus pandemic, the WHO would recommend gaming as a pastime activity. According to a report by USA Today (opens in new tab), Activision-Blizzard and other game makers kicked off an initiative called #PlayApartTogether to entertain themselves while practicing social distancing.

The outlet said the following in its report.

The group hopes that the industry can 'reach millions with important messages to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,' said Ray Chambers, the U.S. ambassador to WHO 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.'

Hopefully, this will encourage more gamers to stay at home instead of going out and putting themselves and others at risk. If we all practice social distancing, we can stop the spread of coronavirus and then maybe, life will return to normal soon.

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

7 Comments
  • Didnt they want against gaming addiction? I guess that's better than the alternative.
  • YEah they did... bit ironic.
  • They recommended it as a pastime, addiction is still a problem. They've been pretty consistent. Right now its a safer and in some cases the only way to socialize right now.
  • Hense my second statement. It is better than the alternative.
  • I'd like to see MS offer some real aggressive discounts on games and movies, and also Game Pass Ultimate. They could clean up! Get people locked in to the ecosystem, ready for the next gen. Hoping Games with gold is good this month.
  • Don't hold your breath on that even though it would be nice to see
  • They don't need to offer incentives when there's increased demand