The UK government is now working with several game developers to encourage social distancing amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a joint effort to convince people to stay home and limit their interactions with others, Activision Blizzard, King, Rebellion, and Codemasters are now sharing the message "Stay at home, save lives" directly within their games through informative pop-ups. Respectively, those games are: Candy Crush Saga, Sniper Elite 4, Dirt Rally 2.0, and Farm Heroes Saga. You can see an example of it below
Just spotted this in Dirt Rally 2.0. Nice idea. pic.twitter.com/39O8GD5rFIApril 6, 2020
"Getting through the crisis will require a collective national effort and every generation has a role to play, everyone’s actions right now can have a direct impact upon the lives of others," the UK government's Department for Culture, Media, and Sport said in a statement. "Young people spend more time playing video games than the rest of the population, which is why in-game messaging represents a creative, targeted, and immediate way to help reinforce the government’s Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives message, to gamers."
In addition to in-game messaging, some game developers, such as Activision Blizzard, have begun using some of their digital ad space for public health messaging. Activision is also looking to bring similar messaging to the United States in the near future. In the same vein, Rebellion, which also publishes comics and books in addition to games about sniping dudes right through the eyeballs, is promoting social distancing through print as well.
The DCMS is actively looking for more UK games companies willing to spread the word of social distancing through their games or networks, and those interested can reach out at email@example.com.