Dirt Rally 2.0 And Others Combat COVID-19 With In-Game Messages About Staying Home

The COVID-19 pandemic is currently being battled across multiple fronts, and one of the most effective ways of stopping the flow of new cases is self-isolating, avoiding gatherings of any size, and staying home so that the disease cannot spread among the population. Now, an initiative started by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the UK is making sure that this message is being spread through games, too.

According to Eurogamer, Dirt Rally 2.0 has been updated with banners that encourage players to “stay home, save lives.” The game, which is free on PlayStation Plus this month and is also available on Xbox Game Pass, is using these banners, which usually carry ads, to spread the message.

Other games receiving updates to in-game messages include Sniper Elite 4 and, according to BBC, Strange Brigade, Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga. Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade will display a message for gamers when they first load the game up, while the free-to-play Saga games will get the message in front of a lot of eyes.

Eurogamer has a quote from UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden, who is “delighted to see the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK.” It’s a good idea, with video game use on platforms like Xbox Live and Game Pass going way up right now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact everywhere, including in games–not only was E3 2020 cancelled, but several games have been delayed. More important, of course, is the cost of human lives–infection and death tolls are also increasing, so remember to practice self-isolation, wash your hands, and be safe.

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