Xbox and Women in Games International Partner to Elevate Main Character Energy for Women in Gaming

Summary

Explore games featuring powerful women on Xbox Game Pass  Katy Jo Wright, Xbox Senior Director, discusses the many ways women show up in the video game industryArtist Amika Cooper celebrates women as main characters through redesigned Xbox logo 

To celebrate women’s contributions to gaming, we’re focusing on the main character energy that women bring every single day to the Gaming industry. Whether it be the women who develop games, test games, or market games, we’re bringing our all to the franchises that you all know and love to play. As the Senior Director of Gaming for Everyone & Sustainability at Xbox, I’ve worked with the entire Gaming organization to ensure we’re approaching decisions with an inclusion mindset, because, as our Gaming for Everyone Core Principle states: “When we don’t intentionally include, we unintentionally exclude.” You can see the results of this across all of Xbox, and this is how we deliver on our mission to bring the joy and community of gaming to everyone on the planet.

An approach I take in life is, “Live your life by design – not by default.” From a gaming perspective, we apply this with an “inclusion by design” framework to ensure women feel truly represented and experience a deep sense of belonging, across all aspects of gaming. Whether it’s about intentional, thoughtful character design where women see themselves as the main character, how people play either on console, PC, or handheld–the experiences for women gamers vary just as dramatically as any other community.  

What excites me the most is seeing more women actively participating in gaming, either as a developer or a fan–or both! While we recognize International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the work to ensure women feel represented, seen, and belong on Xbox happens every single day. It’s a journey and we’re always learning how to get better, but we’re committed and in it for the long haul. I believe that willingness to commit to every step in the journey, and get stronger with each step is main character energy.

Join me in celebrating women who have inspired you in the gaming industry by posting on LinkedIn and nominating an #XboxMainCharacter. It could be a woman who developed a game you love, a content creator whose channel you love, or simply someone who helped you feel a sense of belonging and invited you to play! We stand on the shoulders of those who have done this work before us—the many amazing people who included us–and it is our legacy to continue supporting and making gaming approachable and inclusive for the women behind us. Join Xbox in our celebration by reading about the exciting activations taking place throughout the year below:

Give

Xbox and Women in Games International Partner to Connect Women in the Industry

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Xbox is proud to announce an ongoing partnership with Women in Games International (WIGI), a nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate resources to advance economic equality and diversity in the global games industry.

WIGI was founded in 2005 and has been working to highlight, celebrate and connect women, femme-identifying, and nonbinary professionals in the games industry. Through their programs, newsletters, panels, workshops, and networking events, WIGI works to normalize diversity in the games industry by increasing representation and paving the way for the next generation of games industry professionals.

Xbox shares WIGI’s vision of a more inclusive and diverse games industry, where everyone can play, create, and enjoy games. Xbox is committed to finding more ways to elevate women in gaming and support their growth and development. As part of our partnership, Xbox and WIGI will collaborate on initiatives connecting WIGI’s audience with the talent and resources that Xbox is able to share. We’ll share more details on Xbox’s partnership with Women in Games International at a later date.

Together, WIGI and Xbox are working to uplift more of the main character energy happening among women in the games industry.

You can learn more about WIGI and their work at their website: https://www.getwigi.com/. You can also follow them on Twitter: @getwigi and Facebook: Women in Games International.

Gaming and Impact with Rewards 

Microsoft Rewards members in the United States can earn and donate points to organizations supporting women with Xbox. The organizations below will be featured on console throughout March: 

Women in Games International – Women in Games International works to cultivate resources such as advanced knowledge sharing, access to technology, and actionable mentorship programs to normalize diversity in the games industry through increased representation. (US only)

National Center for Transgender EqualityNCTE advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice. (US Only)

Xbox gamers can earn Rewards points in various ways, such as playing games and completing Game Pass Quests, and purchasing games and other eligible items at the Microsoft Store (exclusions apply). Earn points and redeem them for real rewards. Start earning today and donate through Xbox. 

Play

Explore Games Featuring Powerful Women  

Powerful can mean many things, from being able to take on a horde of enemies to being able to practice empathy for others. During March and beyond, you can play a variety of game collections featuring powerful women as protagonists and games created by women. ​ 

Check out the Store’s community games collection, available on the Microsoft Stores on Xbox and Windows. This collection exists year-round as part of our ongoing work to create more inclusive gaming ecosystems and elevate content that resonates with communities. For Xbox Game Pass members, explore what is available in the Xbox Game Pass community collection on Xbox and the PC Game Pass community collection on Windows.​ 

Examples of powerful games to play include these awesome titles and more: ​ 

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Available with Xbox Game Pass on Console, PC, and Cloud, and Rated M) – Play as Senua, a Celtic warrior who bravely travels to the depths of Norse hell on a quest to save the soul of her dead lover. You must overcome physical challenges and those presented by Senua’s mind.​ 

Celeste (Available with Xbox Game Pass on Console, PC, and Cloud) – Follow the story of Madeline, a trans woman navigating the physical and emotional obstacles on her self-discovery quest to the top of Celeste Mountain. Written, designed, and directed by Maddy Thorson. ​ 

Rise of the Tomb Raider (Available with Xbox Game Pass on Console, PC, and Cloud, and Rated M) – Join one of the most classic video game heroines, Lara Croft, on her first tomb raiding expedition in a reimagined cinematic universe. Conquer a wild world of landscapes and configure Lara’s gear to suit your play style in this survival action adventure.​ 

Ravenlok (Available with Xbox Game Pass on Console, PC, and Cloud) – Created by Vanessa Chia, escape into a fairytale adventure inspired by her nostalgia of growing up Malaysia. Fulfill your destiny as the young girl, Ravenlok, on a whimsical journey to defeat the Caterpillar queen. ​ 

Bluey (Available with Xbox Game Pass on Console, PC, and Cloud) – Fun for the whole family, experience the joy and wonder of Bluey’s world in this interactive adventure game based on the iconic children’s TV series about two sisters. Play with friends and family in story mode and in free play, create your own scenes, collect items for your sticker book, and uncover hidden references in every location.  

New Forza Horizon 5 Vinyl Decal for Women’s History Month 

 This year’s Women’s History Month-themed Xbox art, designed by Amika Cooper, is now in Forza Horizon 5 as a vinyl: an in-game decal that you can use to customize any car. Show off this unique design on your car using #ForzaWHM on social media for a chance to be featured! 

Discover

Artist Amika Cooper Reimagines the Xbox Logo in Celebration of Women who Bring Main Character Energy  

 For Women’s History Month, Xbox commissioned artist Amika Cooper, also known as blackpowerbarbie, to redesign the Xbox logo in celebration of women gamers and the way they define who gamers are by embracing main character energy. Amika used that inspiration to create an image of the Xbox sphere at the center of a lair, representing a safe place in gaming created by and celebrating the creativity of women.  In her words, “The logo is presented as a gem because I think the energy women bring to gaming makes us ‘diamonds in the rough’. I wanted it to be vibrant, stimulating, and fun – a lot of my work is creating my own surreal and fantastic landscapes, so I wanted to impart that sense of whimsy here.” 

See more of Amika Cooper’s work on her website

Xbox Ambassadors Features New Quests for Women’s History Month 

We believe that every woman deserves recognition as a main character. For this Women’s History Month, we’ve connected with women from the Xbox Ambassadors community to put a spotlight on their experience as a woman in gaming. Read along on theXbox Ambassadors Community Blog.​ 

Taking our celebration to the next level, we’re featuring a series of Quests, all month long, for Xbox Ambassadors to complete and unlock rewards. The Women’s History Month Quests feature games made by women creators and/or feature women as the main character. Join the fun and become an Xbox Ambassador today!  

WHM Dynamic Background Available Now 

Amika Cooper’s Women’s History Month Xbox Sphere is available today as a dynamic background on console – follow these steps to apply it: 

Press the Xbox button on your controller to open the guide. 

Select Profile & system > Settings > General > Personalization > My background > Dynamic backgrounds

You can choose between Games, Xbox, or Abstract dynamic backgrounds. Choose the background art that you want with the A button. 

It’s also available as an Xbox wallpaper to personalize your devices! 

The post Xbox and Women in Games International Partner to Elevate Main Character Energy for Women in Gaming appeared first on Xbox Wire.