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Xbox and Gameheads are Amplifying Black Voices in Gaming

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  • Xbox companions with Gameheads to showcase Black-created video games in recognition of Black Historical past Month.
  • Discover all kinds of video games curated by Black communities at Microsoft.
  • This Black Historical past Month, we’re sharing the significance of elevated illustration in gaming at Microsoft.

Gaming is an unbelievable medium. It has the facility to convey individuals from all walks of life collectively by way of the shared expertise of play and customary connection. I usually get pleasure from cellular gaming as each a fast mini break within the day and a break in between commitments, and PC gaming for extra immersive technique and leisure experiences. Nonetheless, greater than a medium for making a enjoyable escape or a manner of connecting with buddies, video video games even have the potential to be an unbelievable platform to protect our shared historical past and honor the tales of individuals of shade in an interesting manner that may disarm defenses and construct empathy and understanding.

As a company officer, a pacesetter within the gaming area, and a lady of shade, I’m keenly conscious that I stand on the shoulders of many trailblazers that got here earlier than me. Understanding this wealthy historical past as I navigate my day-to-day journey conjures up me to pay ahead the identical mentorship and sponsorship to others that may sometime blaze comparable trails for these following them. In doing so, I hope this will increase illustration, additional constructing upon a company that represents the broad demographics of the avid gamers we serve.  

Microsoft, Xbox, and avid gamers all profit from elevated illustration on each stage.

Players from underrepresented communities is not going to solely really feel like their voices are heard, however have a higher alternative to see themselves and their historical past within the characters they discover. As a extra various inhabitants of staff and leaders assume a broader set of positions in any respect ranges of the group, staff from underrepresented teams will really feel a higher sense of belonging and inclusion, such that they’ll convey their greatest and extra genuine self to the office. Equally, designing video games that replicate the range of our world and incorporate genuine narratives primarily based on our shared historical past can promote an understanding of various lived experiences and construct unity by way of gaming. General, video games are a strong type of artwork and storytelling which may each protect our wealthy historical past, particularly these of individuals of shade – and permit us to hold that into the longer term, as we glance with hopeful expectation to a extra inclusive world.


Gameheads Logo with black text and a pixelated brain with multiple colors and the word “Gameheads”.

Gameheads x Xbox Black Historical past Video games Showcase

Gameheads helps to organize pupil builders for a significant profession within the video games trade – this 12 months we’re taking our partnership with them additional than ever earlier than. With our theme of “Louder,” we’re aiming to not solely amplify these college students’ tales, however to protect them as nicely. The video games we’re showcasing listed below are created by college students and focus on Black historical past, Black experiences, and Black expertise. Xbox additionally offered a donation to Gameheads to assist their dedication to diversifying the pipeline within the gaming trade and empowering the following technology of recreation builders. This partnership and marketing campaign are a testomony to a brighter and extra inclusive future for the video games trade.

Be taught extra about these college students, together with how one can play their video games right here.

Gaming and Affect with Microsoft Rewards

Microsoft Rewards members in america can earn and donate factors to organizations supporting Black communities with Xbox. The organizations beneath shall be featured on console all through June:

  • Gameheads – A tech coaching program that makes use of online game design, growth and DevOps to create various expertise and daring new voices, practice youth of shade for the tech eco-system and put together them for faculty, profession and civic life. [US]
  • Cxmmunity – A nonprofit group dedicated to rising BIPOC illustration inside the gaming and esports trade by way of STEAM schooling and profession growth. [US]

Xbox avid gamers can earn Rewards factors in varied methods, corresponding to enjoying video games and finishing Recreation Go Quests, and buying video games and different eligible gadgets on the Microsoft Retailer (exclusions apply). Earn factors and redeem them for actual rewards. Be part of us at present and donate by way of Xbox. 


Discover Video games Curated by Black Communities at Microsoft

A compilation image with game box art and the Xbox sphere stylized with bright patterned bursts for Black History Month.  The games are Redfall, ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Area, The Lamplighters’ League, Treachery in Beatdown City: Ultra Remix, and Halo: Infinite.

Have a good time Black historical past by way of the facility of play. Throughout February and past, you’ll be able to play quite a lot of recreation collections highlighting Black creators, lead characters, and character creation choices that embody quite a lot of pores and skin tones and inclusive hairstyles.

Accessible on the Microsoft Shops on Xbox and Home windows, try the Retailer’s neighborhood video games assortment that exists year-round as a part of our ongoing work to create extra inclusive gaming ecosystems and elevate content material that resonates with communities. For Xbox Recreation Go members, try the Xbox Recreation Go neighborhood assortment on Xbox and the PC Recreation Go neighborhood assortment on Home windows.

Just a few highlights from these epic collections embody:

Redfall (Accessible with Xbox Recreation Go on Console, PC, and Cloud) – Voiced by Queen Noveen, Layla is a Black lady with telekinetic powers and one of many playable heroes in Arkane Austin’s most up-to-date launch, Redfall. Not solely is she a strong fighter, however Layla’s story has a enjoyable twist – she will be able to summon her vampire ex-boyfriend to assist in battle.

ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Space (Accessible on Console) – Veritable Pleasure Studios is devoted to creating video games that place individuals of shade and LGBTQIA+ characters entrance and middle. With a narrative written by individuals of underrepresented backgrounds, their debut recreation, ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Space, options 13 playable millennials, together with Black, trans, and non-binary characters.

The Lamplighters’ League (Accessible with Xbox Recreation Go on Console, PC, and Cloud) – Recruit a staff of misfits and chase the Banished Court docket to the ends of the earth in a character-driven story of journey and intrigue. Playable character choices embody Lateef, a grasp of misdirection from Cairo, Egypt; Alexandrite, a Black lady who specializes as a glamour mage; and Judith, a Black engineer that acts as a strong defensive tank.

Treachery in Beatdown Metropolis: Extremely Remix (Accessible on Console) – Designed by Shawn Alexander Allen and programmed by Manuel Nico Marcano, this beat ’em up affords social commentary on racism by way of dialogue, motion, humor, and brutal realism.

Halo Infinite (Accessible with Xbox Recreation Go on Console, PC, and Cloud) – Led by studio head Pierre Hintze – the primary Black studio head in Halo franchise historical past – 343 Industries continues to rejoice variety within the Halo Universe and past. Hintze was additionally featured in Mission Amplify, a video collection showcasing Black voices throughout Xbox with the aim of teaching and galvanizing youth focused on careers within the gaming trade.

New Forza Horizon 5 Black Historical past Month Decals

Screenshot from Forza Horizon 5 showing the Xbox Black History Month design as a virtual sticker to put on an in-game car.

This 12 months’s Black Historical past Month-themed Xbox artwork, designed by Dominique Ramsey, is now in Forza Horizon 5 as a vinyl: an in-game decal that you need to use to customise any automobile. Exhibit this distinctive design in your automobile utilizing #ForzaBHM on Instagram, X, YouTube, and Twitch for an opportunity to be featured!

Halo Infinite Celebrates Black Historical past Month with Spartan Customizations

Image of a Spartan in Halo Infinite in Black History Month custom armor coating and visor.

Halo infinite is celebrating Black Historical past Month with a brand-new suite of Spartan customizations! Gamers logging in through the month of February will achieve entry to a particular armor coating, visor, emblem and nameplate.


Artist Dominique Ramsey Redesigns the Xbox Brand for Black Historical past Month

Portrait of artist Dominique Ramsey wearing a mint green tee shirt, large cross-shaped earrings, and a green pendant necklace.

Xbox commissioned artist Dominque Ramsey to revamp the Xbox brand in recognition of amplifying Black tales. Her artwork is closely impressed by Ethiopian and Nigerian textiles and folks artwork. She additionally seemed to the Ghanian material, the “Kente fabric,” which is understood for its vivid, putting colours, with every carrying particular which means. Equally, Dominique thoughtfully selected the palette for this design to unfold a message of hope and unity. In her phrases, “This piece, with its different colours and textures, highlights that Black individuals might look completely different from one another in some ways, however acceptance for our fellow neighborhood members units a beautiful instance for everybody round us.”

Xbox Ambassadors Group Highlight

White Xbox controller icon with white laurels surrounding it layers over a blurred rainbow background.

This Black Historical past Month, we reached out to the Black neighborhood of Xbox Ambassadors to ask them in regards to the significance of feeling seen and heard inside the gaming trade, and ideas for staying secure when gaming. Hear what they needed to say beneath, and on the Xbox Ambassadors weblog.

selenadeonx poses in a hoodie and Xbox wireless headset, looking at the camera.

 “I’ve a guidelines that I am going over earlier than every stream. I guarantee supplies with personally identifiable data are saved someplace secure and away from my digicam. My line of considering is ‘If I can see it, you’ll be able to see it.’ If [I have] apps [turned on that] create on-screen notifications, I flip these to ‘Do Not Disturb’… Being a lady on-line, particularly a Black lady tends to have its stressors… I’ve discovered that folks have a tendency to only do issues to get a response from you. The very best technique is truthfully to not have interaction with individuals like that. Block and report!” – selenadeon5x

“Gaming has helped me connect with different Black avid gamers in significant methods. Having a neighborhood of folks that have comparable experiences and upbringings who can assist and encourage one another.” – BLACKB0MBER

BLACKB0MBER looks at the camera, wearing a black jacket and t-shirt.

Xbox Group Designs Now Accessible as Dynamic Backgrounds 

You requested, we made it occur! All our neighborhood paintings is now accessible as dynamic backgrounds on console. Dominique Ramsey’s Black Historical past Month 2024 Xbox Sphere is out there at present – observe these steps to use it:

  • Press the Xbox button in your controller to open the information.
  • Choose Profile & system > Settings > Normal > Personalisation > My background > Dynamic backgrounds.

You’ll be able to select between Video games, Xbox, or Summary dynamic backgrounds. Select the background artwork that you really want with the A button.

Be part of Workforce Xbox as we elevate Black voices and video games in celebration of Black Historical past Month!

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