Why it matters: If two industries have kept busy during the lockdown, it would have to be the video game and health sectors. Games have helped people cope with cabin fever, and health pros have helped them deal with the more grave Covid-fever. It seems fitting for the game industry to band together to thank these workers who put their lives and health at risk for us all.
On Wednesday, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) launched the Games for Carers initiative. The program will give away more than 85,000 video games and game subscriptions to National Health Service (NHS) workers in the United Kingdom as thanks for Working through the coronavirus crisis. It's a nice gesture to health professionals that we have seen othe comapnies do recently, such as Google and Samsung offering free phone repairs.
"Our community has united again to say thank you to the truly extraordinary people who make up the NHS frontline team," said Ukie CEO Dr Jo Twist. "Games companies of all sizes and players everywhere recognise their exceptional dedication and hope this initiative goes some way to help them to understand how respected and valued they are."
Last month I was talking about trying to get more free games sorted for NHS workers.— Chris Scullion (@scully1888) April 29, 2020
I'm so happy to show you the result: #GamesforCarers, a collaboration with @uk_ie & @Keymailer that launches today at 9am with over 85,000 free games from 63 publishershttps://t.co/ifrnpUzwo5
The idea was credited to Scottish games journalist Chris Scullion, who began trying to set something in motion last month. Ukie got backing from 63 publishers, including EA, Codemasters, Konami, Sega, Xbox, Bungie, and Activision. Ukie has a full list of publishers in its press release. Keymailer is also helping with distribution.
Starting today, NHS workers can claim their free game or subscription by visiting the Games for Carers website. They must have a valid NHS email address to be eligible. The games cover a wide variety of genres, age ratings, and platforms.
It has been refreshing seeing game companies offer free and discounted games to gamers these past few months. Hopefully, someone in the US will run with the idea as well. Health care workers and first responders there need breaks too.