Video games have been a very practical outlet for millions of people stuck in their homes as they do their best to practice good social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic, and now we know that practice is World Health Organization approved.
The WHO announced earlier in the week that it has partnered with video game companies to encourage people to stay home and, well, play video games as a way to help flatten the curve.
We are proud to partner with @WHO and encourage all our players to #PlayApartTogether. Be sure to follow all health and safety guidelines to combat COVID-19 at https://t.co/TJk9WEdV7X pic.twitter.com/sOIDYaivhz
— Activision (@Activision) March 29, 2020
The #PlayApartTogether hashtag encourages people to use gaming to make human connections that won’t be at risk of spreading coronavirus by remaining safely away from others.
We’re joining @WHO and game studios around the world to #PlayApartTogether to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Games are a unique way to stay connected with friends and family, even if we can't be together physically. pic.twitter.com/MorVdfHc9H
— Riot Games (@riotgames) March 28, 2020
Many gaming companies have used the hashtag to share information about the WHO’s COVID-19 safety guidelines as a way to help gamers take precautions as coronavirus cases rise worldwide, especially in the United States.
This is a pretty significant stance by the WHO, especially considering that in 2019 the organization actually classified “gaming disorder,” or playing games to the point of addiction, as an illness. Clearly COVID-19 is a far more dangerous and deadly ailment than gaming disorder, so it makes sense that the organization would encourage solo gaming as not only a way to practice social distancing and pass time but also interact safely with others through online play.