Frontline Marketing

The White House Is Using Video Games To Promote Healthcare

By | December 8, 2016 |

The US Government wants gamers to know the importance of health coverage, and they’ve assembled a crack team of video game influencers to deliver the message. For the first time ever, our nation’s capitol is holding an eSports and gaming marathon—the White House Competitive Gaming Event—which will be livestreamed on Twitch in a four-hour special event hosted by Twitch programming manager and streamer, Anna Prosser Robinson. Last year, Robinson joined the ESports League (ESL) for a public service announcement to encourage pro gamers to get insured. Her husband, pro gamer Geoff Robinson, suffered from blood clots in his legs but was able to make a full recovery with the assistance of their healthcare coverage.

The White House Competitive Gaming Event will feature competitions with over a dozen popular and professional gamers, many of whom will be addressing the importance of healthcare ahead of the December 15 Health Insurance Marketplace deadline for January 1 coverage. Among the gaming celebrities taking part are ActaBunniFooFoo, Annemunition, bijoudemi, darkness_429, Elspeth, imcoty, kungfufruitcup, LifeWithLaughs, Okaydrian, thatchickparker, and Voyboy. These streamers and others will be sharing stories and playing various games for the delight of viewers.

There will also be a Rocket League Pro-Am match commentated by Goldenboy and featuring Fireburner, jacobRL, and sad_junior from NRG EsportsRocket League team, who are being joined by Moses. Justin Wong will also face off against Mike Ross in a Street Fighter V match commentated by Gootecks.

Healing is easy in video games, but healthcare is a must IRL. (Source: Cracked)
Healing may be easy in video games, but healthcare is a must IRL. (Source: Cracked)

“We appreciate how the White House has recognized the power and passion of our community,” said Brian Petrocelli, product marketing manager for Twitch, in a press release. “Their desire to present the White House Competitive Gaming Event to promote health coverage enrollment exemplifies how they continue to have their hand on the pulse of the younger generation. We share their enthusiasm since we also see the value of health coverage and encourage everyone to explore their options.”

As video games establish themselves as an athletic sport, the importance of nutrition has become a concern, and just as in any sport, a single injury can disrupt a promising eSports career. Such was the case for Aleš “Freeze” Kněžínek, who was the AD Carry for European League of Legends team, H2K until a repetitive injury sidelined him from the starting roster. However, he has since reported a full recovery is now working as a free agent.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 25 million adults aged 18 to 64 were uninsured in 2015. While this is a major improvement compared to 31.7 million uninsured the year before, there remains a major population with no health coverage of any kind. Meanwhile, the video game community is 155 million players strong, according to a report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and 33 percent of those gamers are between the ages of 18 to 35. Although it doesn’t cover healthcare, Geico has been selling other types of insurance with the help of eSports team, SoloMid, thus proving that a team-up can be quite effective. The influential power of video game personalities along with the looming insurance enrollment deadline might inspire some folks to consider insurance—after all, gamer’s thumb is a real condition.

“It’s a famously difficult task to reach Millennials and Generation Z with any message whether that be from a cause, a brand, a politician, or otherwise,” Petrocelli told [a]listdaily. “Members of the Twitch community tend be cord cutters or often ‘cord nevers.’ They consume media in a wholly different way as compared to other generations. Given that a significant part of that media revolves around gaming, leveraging a social gaming platform like Twitch makes sense if that’s the demographic one wants to reach.”


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