Coronavirus: game developers put 'stay at home' message into Dirt Rally 2.0, Candy Crush and more

Every so often the world offers some kind of genuinely heart-warming moment during otherwise stressful events, and this intersection between Coronavirus and gaming is one of them.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has triggered an incredibly stressful time for a lot of us, with children suddenly running amok in your home, parents working from home, and the outside world becoming significantly limited.

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COVID-19 has hit the games industry pretty hard, with titles like The Last Of Us 2 being pushed back and events like EGX Rezzed having to move online.

And now, to remind people to stay inside during this whole thing, a few game developers are spreading the message of 'stay at home' using their games.

It's a good way of making sure people see the message and are reminded of it, especially as so many people are gaming at the moment.

Rebellion and Codemasters tell us to stay at home

The developers from Rebellion are pushing this message through games like Sniper Elite 4, with Jason Kingsley, the chief executive of the company, telling the BBC:

"I reached out to DCM a few days ago to say is there anything we can do, a lot of people spend hundreds of hours in computer games. And in this case, we thought we could help society by reminding people of their obligations to others."

Read more: Best games to play on your work laptop

Codemasters are doing it in Dirt Rally 2.0 too, which is especially powerful given that it's one of this month's PS Plus games, which should mean a huge increase in the people playing the excellent driving game.

Codemasters is displaying the message on some of the in-game banners, which is an interesting way of doing it.

It's okay to explore the virtual world, folks!
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It's okay to explore the virtual world, folks!

Candy Crush gets in on the action

Toby Evan-Jones, the business development chief of Codemasters, said this to the BBC:

"We realised 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. Reaching out to our contacts at the civil service was met with nothing but support."

King, the creators of a little game called Candy Crush, will also be doing their bit and including ads with the message across their mobile games.

This is probably where the largest amount of people will see the message, as King's games are titanic successes on the mobile platforms, and we all game on mobile in some way.

Read more: Breakroom app offers 3D virtual offices

This activity is restricted to the UK right now, but the initiative could be expanded to include other places in lockdown as well. Which, at this point, is most places.

This is the kind of thing that doesn't seem like a big deal, but should actually have an impact on the virus, and hopefully mean that a fair few more of us make it through this at full-health. Stay safe, folks, and stay at home.

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