Gaming

Government and video games industry join forces to stop coronavirus spread



The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has partnered with some the UK’s leading video game companies to reinforce the government’s ‘Stay At Home, Save Lives’ instruction in some of their most popular titles.

The initiative will use geotargeting technology to put the ‘Stay at Home’ instruction into titles such as Candy Crush Saga, Sniper Elite 4, DiRT Rally 2.0 and Farm Heroes.

Social distancing measures and the ongoing lockdown have given more people time at home to play video games. And with young people spending more time playing video games than the rest of the population, this is an opportunity to encourage younger people to stay at home and prevent them from spreading the virus to others.

Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said: “It is absolutely vital that we all follow the simple government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. I’m delighted to see the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK.”

‘Stay At Home’ posters can already be found in Codemasters’ DiRT Rally 2.0, and the company is now looking at ways to roll out more essential health messages in games across Europe and the U.S. in the coming weeks.

“At Codemasters we came to realise that technology within our games, which enables the remote updating of banners within the virtual environment, could be repurposed to assist with the Coronavirus communication effort” said Toby Evan-Jones, VP Business Development at Codemasters. “This week, through collaboration with Bidstack Group PLC (providers of the ad-replacement infrastructure), we began delivering a version of Public Health England’s “Stay Home Save Lives” message into DiRT Rally 2.0. It’s fantastic to see conversations already being sparked amongst our community.”

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Additionally, Rebellion will be including “Stay At Home” messaging on the landing pages for their games, as well as providing a link to relevant gov.uk pages where appropriate.

Any company that wants to help the fight against coronavirus through in-game messaging and other initiatives should contact DCMS on enquiries@culture.gov.uk

 



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