The United Kingdom's Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport is working with the UK's leading game companies to feature the government's slogan of "Stay At Home, Save Lives" through their video games.
The UK government's reason for doing this is because they want to be hip and reach their youth, which both reasonable and somewhat cringy at the same time. It's not like the average gamer is looking for a rave to crash or anything, but hey, if it works, who are we to judge?
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, 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.”
Companies that are supporting this initiative include Activision Blizzard King, who are inserting the "Stay At Home" message in their network of mobile games, which includes the wildly popular Candy Crush Saga. They have also donated 230 of their digital poster advertising spaces in London (which are usually used for their own products) to help spread "... crucial public health messaging."
Rebellion and Codemaster are also taking part, with Rebellion placing "Stay At Home" messaging in their games and on their game launch sites (the landing page when you load up a game). Rebellion has also offered advertising in comic books that they publish. Codemasters' Dirt Rally 2.0 already featured the posters, and they are looking for ways to roll out more messages to their players.
Jason Kingsley OBE, Co-founder and CEO of Rebellion:
“We’re delighted to be working with the DCMS on this excellent initiative. We know how fundamentally beneficial video games, like Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade, and comics, like 2000 AD, have been and will continue to be for many of us during this extraordinary time. It makes total sense for us to help promote important public health messaging while keeping those fans entertained in the safety of their homes.”
The video game industry in the UK has seen a "surge" of users since COVID-19 has locked down the world. There was a 44% increase in video game sales from March 16 to 22 compared to the week prior, which means there are a lot of games being played right now and a lot of people that can be exposed to the UK government's "Stay At Home" message. TIGA, the gaming trade association in the UK, is encouraging all of its members to take part in the event if they can.
What do you think of this news? Are bothered by these messages in your video games? Let us know in the comments!