White House enlists pro gamers for health insurance PSA video

ESL health care promo

With the February 15 deadline for US citizens to sign up for government-mandated health care rapidly approaching, the Obama administration is making a direct appeal to gamers with a PSA featuring WGLNA commentator Randal "Ruukil" Holcombe, ESL Creative Producer Joshua "Clutch08" Gray, pro player Anna Prosser Robinson, and her husband, pro player and commentator Geoff "iNcontroL" Robinson.

"Don’t know what e-sports is? You should. Electronic sports—or e-sports—refers to the genre of videogame titles that have gained popularity as a spectator sport around the world," David Dietz wrote on the White House Blog. "Over the last decade, e-sports players, commentators, tournaments, and online streaming services have gained a following that rivals many traditional sports, including more than 31 million e-sports fans in the United States alone."

The PSA is fairly standard stuff as these things go—people we admire expounding upon the virtues of whatever it is they want us to do—but what makes it relevant to our particular interests is that it's not couched in anything else: It's nothing but e-sports, from start to finish. The recognition of its significance, both implied and explicit, is, at least to my eyes, unexpected and pleasantly surprising.

Nearly one-quarter of "young Americans" don't have health insurance, according to Dietz. I don't know if this PSA will help convince them to get it, but I'm happy that somebody thought it was worth the effort.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.