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Long COVID Europe

Long COVID Mode

Agency: Saint Elmo’s

Description

Even though COVID-19 as a global health emergency was declared over at the beginning of May, it does not mean that it has disappeared. People around the world are still affected by the virus. According to the WHO, one in ten COVID-19 infections leads to long-term health problems. Currently, millions of people are living with Long COVID, and this number continues to grow. As diagnostic and therapeutic options are currently inadequate, many of them could suffer from health limitations for the rest of their lives. Despite this, not many people know about this debilitating condition and fail to relate to the hardships faced by patients. To raise awareness, especially among a younger audience, Saint Elmo's and the Long COVID Europe patient network have launched an awareness campaign using the world's most popular single player games.

Real Long COVID symptoms translated into game effects

Using game modifications, or mods, Long COVID Mode imposes debilitating effects on the game characters that resemble real Long COVID symptoms. These include exhaustion, reduced concentration power, dizzy spells, blackouts, shortness of breath and more. This creates a new level of difficulty – something that gamers are always looking for – while also shining a light on what it's like to live with the multisystem disorder.

The launch of the campaign coincides with International ME/CFS Day on May 12 and comes just before the European Public Health Week: This is to highlight that Long COVID is a serious condition where ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is part of the clinical picture. It is estimated that up to half of individuals with Long COVID also have ME/CFS. Therefore, it is expected that due to Long COVID infections, the number of ME/CFS patients will increase massively in the coming years.

To draw attention to the introduction of the Long COVID Mode in Elden Ring, Minecraft and The Witcher 3, Saint Elmo's and Long COVID Europe cooperated with prominent gamers who presented the new difficulty level live to their followers on release day. PC Gamer and Rock Paper Shotgun reported about it as well as more than 30 other international media.

Saint Elmo's is responsible for the idea and concept of the gaming campaign for Long COVID awareness. The agency also developed the Long COVID Mode for Minecraft and, in cooperation with the developers Garden of Eyes and Stellar7Project, the game modifications for Elden Ring and The Witcher 3 respectively. The game modes are available to download for players online, on nexusmods.com and legacy.curseforge.com.

The campaign also includes social media activities and a landing page that can be used to make donations to the Long COVID Europe patient network. Saint Elmo's is also responsible for the implementation of the landing page and the social media support.

This professional campaign titled 'Long COVID Mode' was published on May 24, 2023. It was created for the brand: Long COVID Europe, by ad agency: Saint Elmo’s. This Integrated medium campaign is related to the Gaming and Public Interest industries and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted about 1 year ago.

Credits

Client: Long COVID Europe
Agency: Saint Elmo’s
CCO: Matthias Harbeck
Copywriters: Rasesh Patkar, Swarna Thomas
Art Director: Silvia Raquel Vega Bellido
Creative intern: Tuleen Zaid Maher Kirresh
Head of XR development: Leopold Ferdinand Lotz
Game modders: Garden of Eyes, Stellar7Project

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