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APPG Video Games and Esports launches report into industry response to COVID 19; hosts first remote meeting

June 2020 APPG Front Cover

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Video Games and Esports held its first virtual meeting today, discussing the various ways in which the interactive entertainment sector has supported the fight against Covid-19. A companion mini-report detailing these initiatives has also been published today by the APPG.

Many people have been turning to video games and esports in this period to stay socially connected, maintain their mental wellbeing, and keep entertained. The games industry has recognised its responsibility and powerful reach in this crisis, and has taken a great number of actions to help support players, people, and public health. 

Taking place over Zoom, the APPG and guests first listened to industry speakers present the initiatives that the games industry launched during the crisis. Speakers and topics included: 

  • Games for Carers: Keymailer spoke on the campaign to provide tens of thousands of free games to our frontline NHS heroes, donated from across the games industry. 
  • UK Government partnership: King presented on how they participated in the partnership between leading games companies and the UK government in placing essential public health messaging in games, reaching millions. 
  • #PlayApartTogether: Riot Games ran through how they contributed to the global #PlayApartTogether campaign where games companies around the world agreed to disseminate World Health Organisation health guidance. 
  • Player wellbeing during the crisis: AskAboutGames discussed some of the wellbeing campaigns being undertaken by the industry, including the launch of the Family Game Database as well as a boost to our Get Smart About P.L.A.Y. campaign.  
  • Esports and the pandemic: Ukie provided an overview of how the esports sector had been uniquely affected by the pandemic, and how it could be supported going forward. 

Attendees then discussed how the crisis period had demonstrated the resilience and agility of the interactive entertainment industry, and how it was well placed to help rebuild the UK economy as we recover from the pandemic. 

Emphasis was placed on the regional spread of the games industry to achieve this. With 55% of games development jobs existing outside of the South East in high productivity and high growth creative hubs, supporting the games sector means supporting local clusters in all four nations of the UK.  

For more information on the work of the APPG for video games and esports and how to get involved please get in touch with us via Grace Shin, our policy and events officer, who is available at grace@ukie.org.uk.