Gaming Industry and World Health Org Partner with Play Apart Together Campaign

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As we continue to see the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19, especially here in the United States, the gaming industry has launched a public awareness campaign. The Play Apart Together campaign will share and promote important health and safety messages from the World Health Organization, to slow the spread of the illness.

The following is a statement from Ray Chambers, US Ambassador to the WHO:

During this challenging time, I applaud the ingenuity of partners from all sectors who are stepping up to assist in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) will enlist the global gaming industry to reach millions with important messages to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The games sector will launch #PlayApartTogether, an initiative to inform and encourage their vast network of users to follow the WHO’s important health guidelines-including physical distancing, hand hygiene and other powerful preventive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Through this unifying hashtag, companies will encourage conversation within their games and on social media.

I thank the games industry for stepping up to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this campaign to #PlayApartTogether encourages even more people to stay safe and healthy while they help flatten the curve and save lives.

The Play Apart Together campaign will feature special events and activities in many of the most popular games and biggest game publishers and services in the world. Participating companies include Activision Blizzard, Amazon, Jam City, Riot Games, Twitch, YouTube, and Zynga.

Minecraft Education Edition

Minecraft: Education Edition is Free for Educators to Support Online Teaching

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Schools around the country and the world are closing to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which means many students and teachers are using online tools for education. Microsoft is helping teachers and students stay connected by offering Minecraft: Education Edition for free to all educators through June 30.

In order to qualify, teachers will need to have a valid Office 365 Education account, and fill out this form. You’ll also need to make sure your school is eligible. If you receive access, you can download Minecraft: Education Edition for Windows, Mac or iOS (iPad). If you don’t have a valid account, or just want to check it out, you can still download the game and try a free demo lesson.

Microsoft has also put together a remote learning toolkit that includes 50 lessons, activities, and projects that educators can use with Minecraft: Education Edition. A new category of educational Minecraft worlds are also available in the Minecraft Marketplace. All of these worlds are free to download through June 30.

“Distance learning requires students to be engaged in content in news ways,” said Becky Keene, Minecraft certified trainer and educator. “As they work remotely, they need to have activities and environments that motivate them to learn. Minecraft supports almost any content area, and students can show me their learning without missing a beat!”

Xbox One S Roblox Bundle Includes 2,500 Robux and Exclusive Avatars

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Xbox and Roblox released a new Xbox One S Roblox Bundle, for $299 at the Microsoft Store and retailers worldwide. The bundle includes exclusive Roblox content, as well as 2,500 Robux, Roblox’s in-game currency.

The Roblox Bundle includes a 1TB Xbox One S console with controller, as well as a 1-month trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Xbox’s Netflix-like gaming subscription service which includes over 100 games, and Xbox Live online multiplayer.

Roblox is a massively popular kid-friendly online game where players can create and play mini-games, hang out with friends, design homes, and socialize in towns. It originally released in 2006 on PC and arrived on Xbox One in 2015.

Last year Roblox surpassed 100 million monthly active users. The PC version is a wild-west of content and gaming, while the mini-games are more heavily curated on Xbox One.

Roblox is already a free-to-play game. The Xbox One S Roblox Bundle includes additional exclusive content and in-game currency:

  • Exclusive Avatar Bundles
    • Brawk Tyson, Featherweight Champ
    • Metal Menace Mech
    • Kijo the Vengeful Samurai
  • Exclusive Accessories
    • Word Championship Belt
    • Mecha Domino Crown
    • Kidomaru the Cursed Blade
  • 2,500 Robux

Avatars and accessories can be mixed and matched. Robux can be spent in the in-game shop to purchase items, emotes, avatars, or upgrades.

Roblox is rated E10+ for Fantasy Violence.