As the need for social distancing remains a top priority to slow the spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging people to play video games to keep people apart, but still be together in a virtual world by supporting the game industry’s #PlayApartTogether campaign.
Some may find the announcement as a bit of a surprise since the WHO made the controversial decision to classify gaming disorder as an addictive behavior in June of 2018. At the same time, the WHO did take the time to create a clear distinction between what they consider “gaming” and “gaming disorder,” much in the same way that one would distinguish between gambling and gambling disorder.
Other games are seeing changes made to help in their own way. Final Fantasy XIV has paused inactivity timers for player real estate, with the developers stating in a post that players may have more pressing concerns at this time keeping them from logging in.
Meanwhile, concurrent player counts on Steam and in games like Rocket League and CS:GO have consistently broken records over the last few weeks as people stay inside their homes, showing that people have already been turning to video games more often than normal.
Keeping in mind that the WHO was clear on its distinction between gaming and gaming disorder, it may be important to keep a closer eye on friends and family who mVideay be susceptible to over-indulging in games once life returns to some manner of normalcy, as this period of time could push certain players towards addiction.
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