Microsoft has been making leaps and bounds in recent years regard accessibility, including the highly praised adaptive controller for gamers with certain disabilities. As their efforts continue to be more inclusive, Xboss Phil Spencer took to the official Microsoft blog to talk about what the gaming community means to him, to Team Green, and what their plans are going forward.
"No one group "owns" gaming. Instead, whether you're new to gaming or are a diehard e-sports fan, you are welcome to play and welcome to all the fun and skill-building that comes with gaming," began Spencer in his most recent blog post. "In this way, when everyone can play, the entire world wins.
"If you imagine gamers as predominantly men and specifically teen boys, think again. We are a 2.6 billion-person strong community of parents playing with our kids, adventurers exploring worlds together, teachers making math wondrous, grandmothers learning about their grandchildren through play, and soldiers connecting with their folks back home. Most gamers today are adults; nearly half are women."
He went on to talk about the importance of keeping gaming safe, a community filled with people that protect each other - both professionally and as gamers. "No different from rock and roll, books and TV before them, video games are often dismissed or maligned as frivolous, fraught with violence or filled exclusively with hate-mongering. But gaming is uniquely designed for equality. We don't just walk in someone's shoes -- we stand on equal footing, regardless of age, education, socioeconomics, race, religion, politics, gender, orientation, ethnicity, nationality, or ability. Gaming doesn't just bring stereotype-defying gamers together; it unites us through our universal language of fun and answers our human need to play."
Spencer also backed up the importance of community with input from psychologists and well-researched studies involving communities as a whole and how that impacts gamers of all kinds. From kids learning social skills and empathy, to people with autism reaching out to make new friends. Seniors suffering from Alzheimers, even dealing with depression and varying degrees of anxiety - this community is powerful and it's potential is limitless.
Because of that potential, Spencer opened up about why they've dubbed Microsoft the "Defenders of Joy" as they continue to progress what gaming means to society and to those within this particular microcosm of people. From making - and keeping - this community safe, to making accessibility improvements and technical changes, this industry is constantly evolving and Microsoft wants to make sure that this particular stage of evolution truly bears the fruit of what gamers have to offer and what they deserve in terms of safety, acceptance, and growth.
To learn more about how Team Green is making gaming safer and more accessible, you can check out his full statement here.