Xbox and Special Olympics have announced that the Gaming for Inclusion event is making a return. This year's event will once again see Special Olympics athletes competing for the chance to game alongside celebrity supporters, but this year, there's a special bonus up for grabs too.
What is this year's Gaming for Inclusion event all about?
According to Xbox, last year's inaugural Gaming for Inclusion event was a huge success, so the studio is teaming up with Special Olympics once again to bring it back this year. Once again, the event will give Special Olympics athletes "and Unified partners" a chance to battle it out on Rocket League in order to take part in a Celebrity Showcase, which will feature Special Olympics supporters like the NFL's Jamaal Charles and a range of WWE Superstars. This year's Gaming for Inclusion will be a virtual tournament beginning on Saturday 10th and taking place over multiple days. Unlike the first event, there won't be multiple games available; it's just Rocket League this year, it seems.
As well as this competition, this year three Special Olympics athletes will also travel to Redmond to get some esports shoutcasting training from Microsoft. The athletes are Illinois' Jose Moreno, Indiana's Ben Gregory, and Utah's Amber Gertsch. Each will receive "immersive two-day training" on how to analyze esports games, how to provide charismatic commentary, and how to conduct an interview with athletes and celebrities. Moreno says he's excited for the "incredible leadership opportunity" this course will provide, and that gaming is a great way to "connect with people of all abilities". Hard to disagree with that. You can watch the Gaming for Inclusion event via the Xbox Twitch channel or the Special Olympics YouTube channel, so be sure to tune in.
Many studios are making a push toward inclusive gaming
The related issues of inclusivity and accessibility in gaming are becoming more and more prominent in the industry. It's perhaps not a big surprise that Xbox is hosting another Gaming for Inclusion event, since the company prides itself on its inclusivity and accessibility initiatives. Companies like Sony are also making pushes towards accessibility in games like God of War Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West. Given how popular the world of esports is, it also makes sense that companies want to bring in more and more people. Hopefully we'll see more inclusive esports programs like Gaming for Inclusion in the near future.
If you want to watch the Gaming for Inclusion tournament, make sure to tune into the Xbox Twitch channel or Special Olympics YouTube channel on September 10th. The tournament will "crown champions for each Rocket League ranking", so there should be plenty of gaming action to check out. Stay tuned to TechRaptor for more news on accessibility and inclusivity initiatives in gaming.