The Gaming for Inclusion event, a virtual esports competition aimed at increasing accessibility around games and sports, is a collaboration between Xbox and Special Olympics.

Gaming for Inclusion will take place on the Xbox Twitch channel and the Special Olympics YouTube channel between September 12 and 18, according to an Xbox Wire blog post. Tournaments in Rocket League, Forza Motorsport 7, and Madden NFL 22 will be held during the event. Jayson Tatum of the NBA, NFL great Jamaal Charles, and numerous WWE Superstars will be in attendance.

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Xbox head of social impact Jenn Panattoni said: “We’re ecstatic to build upon Microsoft’s partnership with Special Olympics, which first began in 2014, to further focus on gaming and host Gaming for Inclusion, At Xbox, our goal is to make gaming inclusive and welcoming to all players so that everyone can experience the joys of gaming.”

“This tournament is a meaningful and important step in making esports more accessible and it empowers Special Olympics athletes with a new way to compete.”

The event is a natural extension of Microsoft's partnership with Special Olympics since the two have collaborated on virtual events since 2018. Smash.gg, a Microsoft esports platform that helps organize and produce live eSport events, will be used for Gaming for Inclusion.

Special Olympics athletes will be taught how to use Smash.gg to run local tournaments, allowing “year-round gaming practice and competition in preparation for the next Gaming for Inclusion experience in 2022.”

Special Olympics' mission is to provide sports instruction and athletic competition for persons with intellectual impairments in Olympic-style sports. It also seeks to provide continuing opportunities for them to improve their physical health, exhibit bravery, experience joy, and share gifts, skills, and friendship with their families.

“COVID-19 and the suspension of hundreds of thousands of annual in-person events worldwide meant Special Olympics had to pivot to supporting virtual experiences,” said Prianka Nandy, Chief Information and Technology Officer at Special Olympics. “Our digital transformation partners at Microsoft brought their expertise in developing scalable and accessible digital platforms that allow people of all abilities to build connections with others through the universal language of gaming. Together, we’ve shaped an innovative program that will last well beyond the pandemic.”

The Special Olympics and Microsoft are collaborating to organize the first Gaming for Inclusion esports experience, which will highlight the potential of inclusion via gaming. The multi-game, multi-day virtual esports competition will engage and unite individuals of all skills from all over the world.

In the spirit of gaming, BBC used Epic Games' Unreal Engine to design the entire studio during their coverage of the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Instead of transporting its different presenters to Tokyo, the BBC created a number of studio set-ups using the same engine as Fortnite. Almost everything spectators saw on screen was generated in the game engine, from fish swimming around the garden to vistas of the Tokyo skyline.

 

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