Health experts and journalists are trying to push people toward helpful resources on the COVID-19 pandemic. Even Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook are getting into the act. However, misinformation across social media has echoed through various online communities.
After big names in the gaming community shared facts on the virus, the responses from their fans worried them. Many seemed like they weren’t taking COVID-19 nearly as seriously as they should be.
So Bryce Blum, an esports lawyer, decided to start Gamers vs. COVID-19. The goal is to use a coordinated social media effort to educate the gaming public. Immediately, some of the most prominent voices in the gaming world, including streamers, esports organizations and pro players, all signed on to the pledge.
Voices included Jack “CouRage” Dunlop, a streamer with 1.1 million followers and numerous brand partners including Chipotle and Cash App; Edwin Castro, the most popular FIFA streamer, according to Twitch Metrics; and Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, a two-time Counter-Strike: Global Offensive champion.
“If you have a voice, use it,” said Brad Sive, chief revenue officer of Team SoloMid, a leading esports organization that has signed on to the pledge. “We want to project out the message that everyone needs to take care of each other. Be safe. Listen to the experts. If the CDC is asking you to do something, just do it.”
In addition to the website and social media push, Gamers vs. COVID-19 also created a video featuring 27 big names in the gaming world. If the ad looks familiar, it’s because it’s based on the Joss Whedon anti-Trump ad from 2016 featuring celebrities.
Other gamers took the time to speak directly to their own audiences. Wading through the CDC language can be difficult for many young gamers, yet these videos help deliver an essential message in a way that makes sense.
This initiative promises to reach a lot of people who still don’t totally understand the scope of the pandemic. While misinformation will continue to be shared on social media, having major influencers across a significant industry share helpful information will be crucial to informing the public.