COVID-19 roundup: #PlayApartTogether, Blade & Soul perks, and Twitch Aid’s $2.7M charity raise


Welcome back to another quick roundup of pandemic-related MMO and gaming news. We’ll start with the big one: The World Health Organization, which made gaming headlines the last few years for its widely panned “gaming addiction” designation, is now supporting the gaming industry’s #PlayApartTogether campaign encouraging people to, among other things, stay home and game during the pandemic. Here’s the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus:

Some big companies have backed the campaign, including Activision Blizzard, Twitch, Unity, Riot, and YouTube.

“Today, the global and far-reaching games industry agreed to disseminate key messages from the World Health Organization to help slow the spread of COVID-19. To promote these messages, 18 game industry leaders in the interactive entertainment space have launched #PlayApartTogether, an initiative that encourages their vast network of users to follow the WHO’s health guidelines—including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and other powerful preventive actions people can take to fight COVID-19. By bringing special events, exclusives, activities, rewards and inspiration to some of the most popular games in the world, #PlayApartTogether encourages users to adopt best practices for the sake of their own health and that of their families and communities. By incorporating COVID-19 self-protection messages into games, the industry is telling the world: ‘Wherever you are, whatever game you play, you can make a difference.'”

But hey, don’t worry; there’s always someone (one specific someone) ready with a shabby paper ready to crap on screentime again when this is done!

As we reported last week, Twitch ran Twitch Aid 2020 this past weekend, bringing together gaming streamers and musicians and other artists and celebrities – everyone from Garth Brooks to Barry Gibb, what – to raise money for the fight against COVID-19. Viewers raised over $2.7M for the cause. Nicely done, folks.

Blade & Soul has kicked off a series of events and promotions specifically tailored for “people around the world undergoing social distancing and staying inside.” NCsoft is giving out a free seven-day premium membership coin, a second one for 1 NCoin, bonus daily challenge rewards, a triple battle points bonus, extra login rewards, and more goodies.

Occupy White Walls, still in the midst of its Kickstarter campaign, has opened a social distancing contest. Not kidding! The contest, running through April 21st, asks players to “create a mosaic to the theme of ‘social distancing.’ The Stikipixels [devs] will shortlist several entries based on originality artist flair and overall ‘wow factor’.” Prizes include the game’s soundtrack DLC, free cubes, and a spot in the game’s hall of fame gallery.

Good news if you were still hoping to get a PlayStation 5 when it launches later this year: Sony says it “doesn’t see a notable impact” on the rollout planned, in spite of slowed factory production and resource shortages in China, Malaysia, and the UK.

Games Done Quick has delayed Summer Games Done Quick 2020 to to August 16-23, 2020. It’ll still be held in Bloomington, Minnesota, but volunteers and game submissions to date will be wiped, and you’ll need to resubmit or revoluntter. An online charity marathon, Corona Relief Done Quick, will run in mid-April.

Finally, we reported over the weekend the good news that Final Fantasy XIV has temporarily suspended automatic housing demolition while the pandemic has pulled many players away from the game.

COVID-19’s impact just in MOP’s HQ state of Pennsylvania is now about as bad as it was in Wuhan in January when we first started reporting on esports venue closures across China, and the outlook for the USA as a whole is far grimmer. Please be careful out there.

More on the impact of the virus on gaming:


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I haven’t really noticed anything different on my Blade & Soul account. Then again, I wasn’t really paying attention to it when I logged on last night. I’ll check again tonight. o.O

As for the WHO (and not The Who): While I appreciate the sentiment, they can’t be demonizing the industry in one breath and then praising it in another. That just makes them out to be tools where video games are concerned, IMO.


Yeah as we all know the US is now number 1 in Covid-19 cases. There’s a “We’re number 1” joke in there somewhere that doesn’t feel that appropriate right now.

We had plenty of warning, we just didn’t act in time. Too many people arguing how it wasn’t that different from the flu when the evidence very much showed otherwise.

Information from today is different than information from last week. We now know the virus can live 17 days on some surfaces, much different than the 2 days they estimated in the beginning.

I’m ticked off at the people who just kept spreading it not wanting to be careful or listen when we had a lot of early warning.

As great as it is hearing to stay inside and play games, I hope this doesn’t happen too many more times in my lifetime.

This thing is very bad just and tears through the lives of the elderly and people with compromised systems, and yet worse may be on the way in the future. It sucks to think about, but it’s probably true. Hopefully, we learn from the lessons we’re having now and can do better.


Being a New Yorker is pretty nerve wracking, we’re clearing out one of our Hospital Campuses to make it nothing but Covid 19 patients; my charge nurse and I last night concluded we’re probably using that campus because it has the extra parking for refrigerated trucks since that’s a thing in New York City right now. It’s not that we expect to fill all these beds in our Covid Hospital our selves but I have a feeling Cuomo is going to start shipping patients upstate since NYC is going to run out of medical supplies in days.

When I get paid this week I plan on hitting up the stores that supply Mechanic Shops to see if I can buy a paint respirator as they use N95 filters, have a better seal, and I’ll be able to use it in multiple rooms with out it falling apart by the end of a shift (yes using the same N95 mask across multiple patients for a whole day is a thing).

This next part is not directed at you Mewmew.

PS this is more a shout out to the trolls that keep leaving nasty passive aggressive comments to my comments, yeah I down played Covid 19, I admitted I was wrong. I’m actually upclose and personal with this stuff and you wouldn’t show the same level of disrespect to a soldier during war time.

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Um you might want to check your own countries history (actually probably any countries history) with regard to that last paragraph. Soldiers have had a lot of disrespect thrown at them before, during and after many war time situations.

I am not passing judgement nor commenting on your situation but just pointing out history shows otherwise if you care to look.

For what it’s worth I bare no ill will and hope you stay as safe as circumstances allow.


Yeah Vietnam comes to mind come to think about it.

You’re right, plenty of third world countries where the military has been used a tool of terror against the populace, MOP does have a multinational readership.

Quite a few readers from countries with militaries with questionable histories, like Bruno in Brazil, Olev or is it Oleg in Russia; yeah that was a really bad example.

I haven’t been commenting around here much lately, so the one time I did today during the breakfast topic I get some jerk bringing up me downplaying Covid 19 because I thought it was going to be equal to the Flu, it’s like come on man I had admitted I was wrong, I even stated that as a Hospital Healthcare Worker I down played it because quite frankly none of us in the business want to have anything like this happen because quite frankly it’s a nightmare for every one involved so of course I consciously and subconciously down played it because I didn’t want to freak the fuck out.