Becker College Joins #PlayApartTogether Effort
Published on: March 31, 2020
As society faces new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic—including the closing of schools and businesses, gathering restrictions, and remote work—the World Health Organization (WHO) and the global game industry recently launched #PlayApartTogether, an initiative promoting key messages to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re at a crucial moment in defining outcomes of this pandemic,” said Ray Chambers, the U.S. ambassador to the WHO. “Game industry companies have a global audience—we encourage all to #PlayApartTogether,” he tweeted. “More physical distancing + other measures will help to flatten the curve + save lives.”
The initiative, supported by 18 major companies including Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, and Zynga, encourages their vast network of players to follow the WHO’s health guidelines—including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and other important preventive actions people of all ages can take to slow down the disease.
“Becker College has long believed in the entertainment, social, and educational benefits of video games,” said Nancy P. Crimmin, Ed.D., president of Becker. “During these difficult times in which we need to adhere to new rules, we applaud the #PlayApartTogether initiative.”
The College is supporting #PlayApartTogether with several of its own initiatives focused on extending opportunities for high school students including an upcoming series of free, fun, and educational faculty-led virtual events focused on Game Design, Esports Management, Computer Science, and Business.
“These efforts are our way of doing what we can to help in our community,” said Alan Ritacco, Ph.D., dean of the College’s School of Design & Technology. “Our goal is to give high school students who are at home an opportunity to interact with college professors and college students in a fun, constructive manner. By interacting online—and safely—we hope to share our passion for video games as well as the #PlayApartTogether message.”
In addition to Becker faculty getting involved, Becker students are also jumping in with their own initiatives. The student-led International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Becker Club is planning an online game jam for high schoolers, and the varsity Overwatch team is organizing an online intercollegiate Overwatch tournament.
“Our team really wanted to do something for kids in high school,” said Matt Stratoti, Becker student and varsity Overwatch team manager. “We love the #PlayApartTogether initiative, and are excited to complement it with our effort.”