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Together We Thrive: Celebrating the Joy of the LGBTQIA+ Community in Gaming

Summary

  • The Trevor Project and the Gaming Safety team are partnering to create a safer, more inclusive gaming community.
  • Explore Games Curated by LGBTQIA+ Communities at Microsoft.
  • Discover Pride Gear.

Games can be a powerful medium to express and explore one’s identity in a creative and safe environment. Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind allows players to romance and marry characters regardless of their gender. Overwatch features openly LGBTQIA+ characters, such as Tracer, who is heroic, strong, and prominently featured in the game. Tell Me Why tells the story of Tyler, a transgender man, with sensitivity and depth. Games can be a powerful way to explore identities within the safety of creative play while enabling all players to experience new perspectives that may be different from their own.

This Pride month, we invite you to join us on this journey of learning, growing, and thriving. Gaming is for everyone, and together, we can work towards creating a gaming community that is welcoming to everyone and is inclusive of people with a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. That meaningful work is achieved through people impacting others through education, appreciating the lived experiences of others and building empathy with members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

We believe it’s important to support organizations that uplift, empower, and address the needs of the LGBTQIA+ community. In the last 30 years, together with our employees, Microsoft has donated over $16M to organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community, and in the last year alone, we donated over $1.3M. This year Xbox, along with Microsoft, is thrilled to continue these efforts with a $200K contribution to multiple organizations supporting the LGBQTIA+ community to help inspire conversations, rally community actions, and empower people to share their Pride.   

Additionally, Xbox Game Studios Publishing is proud to continue partnering with GLAAD to produce more inclusive games from conception to design to development. Xbox is partnering with The Trevor Project to help connect LGBTQIA+ players with valuable resources that help support well-being and safety as they play within the Xbox community. Every player has a unique story, and we look forward to future projects where people across the rainbow spectrum may experience the same empowerment. Read on to learn more about how we are celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community this month and beyond:

Spotlighting Xbox’s partnership with The Trevor Project

Three people in cartoon style sitting at a table with phones, a book, and a laptop.

Gaming has long been a source of fun, community, and self-expression for the LGBTQIA+ community. According to GLAAD, LGBTQIA+ gamers are 24% more likely to use gaming as a support to help get them through tough times – with 66% of LGBTQIA+ players sharing that gaming allows them to express themselves in a way they don’t feel comfortable doing in the real world.

This impact is not lost on us. At Xbox, we are committed to creating gaming experiences that are welcoming for all players, and that includes providing a safe and inclusive space where everyone can be their authentic selves.

That’s why we’re proud to spotlight Xbox’s standing partnership with The Trevor Project, a U.S. nonprofit that provides lifesaving and life-affirming services to LGBTQIA+ young people. Since 2019, Xbox and its safety teams have been partnering with The Trevor Project to connect players with resources to support their well-being and ensure they feel safe and welcome when they play on Xbox.

For us, it’s important players feel safe. Our ongoing partnership with The Trevor Project is one way for us to do that. More information on how Xbox supports player’s well-being can be found here.

In the spirit of Pride, we want to share the following safety tips to help players get the most out of their gaming experience:

  • Explore your user settings. Xbox offers settings that allow players choice in how they play. Players can select whether to make their friends list visible, choose to receive messages from people who aren’t friends, or block content they don’t wish to view.
  • Take comfort in knowing Xbox has your back. To support the broader player-base and LGBTQIA+ community, we take player safety seriously. This includes:
    • In-game reporting tools to help players flag issues of inappropriate behavior or content. Xbox invests in 24/7 coverage globally to help respond to and investigate reports.
    • Moderation tools that work across text, images video and voice, to block harmful content before it reaches players.
    • Access to automatic text filters, which empowers players to customize their gaming experience and decide what content is not okay to receive – these filters automatically block content before it reaches the player.
    • Continuing to create proactive measures to block hate speech and invest in technologies to help moderate potentially toxic communications, while allowing individual expression.

Gaming and Impact with Rewards with Xbox

Rewards members in the United States can earn and donate points to organizations supporting LGBTQIA+ communities with Xbox. The organizations below will be available on the Rewards hub:

  • GLAAD: Founded in 1985, GLAAD – the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization – works with television, film, video games, Spanish-language media, journalists, and social media to tell stories and consult on LGBTQ media representation. GLAAD tackles tough issues and provokes dialogue that leads to cultural change through increased media accountability, public campaigns, corporate engagement initiatives, and advocacy programs that help to ensure 100% inclusion and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. (US)
  • Outright International: Outright International is dedicated to working with partners around the globe to strengthen the capacity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) human rights movement, document and amplify human rights violations against LGBTIQ people, and advocate for inclusion and equality. (US)
  • National Center for Transgender Equality: The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender and non-binary people. In the nation’s capital and throughout the country, NCTE works to replace disrespect, discrimination, and violence with empathy, opportunity, and justice. (US)

Xbox players can earn Rewards points in various ways, such as playing games, completing Game Pass Quests, and purchasing games and other eligible items at the Microsoft Store (exclusions apply). Start earning today and redeem your points for great rewards. Donate your points on the Rewards hub or on the Rewards redeem page.

Tell Me Why Available for Free in June on Xbox Consoles, Microsoft Store, and Steam!

Michael, a young man wearing a beige knitted sweater, walks next to Tyler and Alyson Ronan in a snowy residential area.

Tell Me Why, the award-winning narrative adventure from Don’t Nod Entertainment and Xbox Game Studios Publishing, will be available for free on Xbox consoles, Windows PC, and Steam for the entire month of June 2024. As in past years, the Tell Me Why team encourages players to give what they would have spent on Tell Me Why to an independent trans creator or a trans-inclusive charity in their community.

Explore Games Curated by LGBTQIA+ Communities at Microsoft

A compilation image featuring game box art for Need for Speed Unbound, Starfield, Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical, The Quarry, and The Bed We Made on a background including the Xbox Sphere styled in recognition for Pride featuring a rainbow sky, castle, and various pride flags.

Xbox invites you to play with pride.

During June and beyond, check out a variety of game collections that showcase LGBTQIA+ creators, lead characters, and games with inclusive gender and relationship options. Available on the Microsoft Stores on Xbox and Windows, check out the transgender and non-binary community games collection and the LGBTQIA+ community games collection. These collections will exist 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 games are available to play in the Xbox Game Pass collection and the PC Game Pass collection.

Featured titles within the collections include:

Need for Speed Unbound (Available with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on Console, PC, and Cloud) Need for Speed Unbound’s character creator allows for multiple gender expressions via clothing, hair, and voice options that aren’t limited to the gender binary. The game also features racing rival, Justicia, a trans woman voiced by trans actress, Sena Bryer, in addition to including LGBTQIA+ iconography in the streets and as decals for your cars.

Starfield (Available with Xbox Game Pass on Console, PC, and Cloud) – In this role-playing game set amongst the stars, create any character you want and explore with unparalleled freedom as you embark on an epic journey. Starfield boasts an impressive character creation tool with multiple body types, skin tones, hairstyles, non-gendered features, and they/them pronoun options. Exploration options include pursuing romantic relationships regardless of gender.

Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical (Available on Console) – Play as star and stagehand as you determine the story through conversation and song in this video game for musical lovers. Written by the iconic and openly gay narrative designer, David Gaider, you’ll craft not only a unique narrative, but a soundtrack to your own musical experience based on your choices. Forge your own story and decide who to romance.

The Quarry (Available with Xbox Game Pass on Console and Cloud) – Play solo or in a group of friends as any of nine camp counselors in this thrilling cinematic experience that leads down a tangled web of possibilities based on your choices. Enjoy a night of fun before a party quickly turns into an unpredictable night of horror and your relationships are tested by unimaginable life-or-death decisions.

This Bed We Made (Available on Console) –   Chloe Lussier, CEO and co-founder of Lowbirth Games, wants to tell impactful stories that feature unconventional heroes. Set in the 1950s, the story that unfolds in This Bed We Made is tied to real history when being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community was criminalized. Step into the role of Sophie, an indiscreet chambermaid at a hotel filled with secrets, in this third-person mystery narrative game that explores the lengths people have had to go to pursue loving relationships as their authentic self.

Celebrate Pride in Forza Horizon 5

Screenshot from Forza Horizon 5 shows players in a group of colorful cars cruising through a narrow curving street in the city of Guanajuato, Mexico.

This year’s Pride-themed Xbox art will be added to 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 #ForzaRainbow on social media for a chance to be featured! (The vinyl will be available starting June 7 from the Forza Horizon accounts on Instagram and X.)

Overwatch 2 Celebrates Pride with In-Game Map and Calling All Heroes

Heroes Lifeweaver, Tracer, and Venture standing in front of a Pride rainbow

Overwatch 2 celebrates Pride this month with the return of a fan-favorite map and Calling All Heroes. All month long, the Pride festival returns to Overwatch 2’s Midtown map. Players can look forward to playing on this map as they queue for Unranked and Competitive games and directly in a dedicated play card on the Arcade. Calling All Heroes is Overwatch 2’s competitive Esports series that provides an inclusive environment to aspiring competitors of marginalized genders, including those who present themselves as Trans, Non-Binary, and Genderqueer. This competition returned last weekend, and everyone who tunes in at twitch.tv/ow_esports will be able to earn new drops like the new Monarch Venture skin.

Xbox Gear Shop

Xbox Gear Shop Pride 2024 Collection GIF showcasing various Pride t-shirts.

Show your love and support for Pride 2024 with our new limited-edition t-shirts, hoodies and more – designed by and with the LGBTQIA+ communities. Get your Pride gear now!

Two people wearing the 2024 Blizzard Pride Collection apparel

Celebrate Pride with the new 2024 Pride Collection exclusively on the Blizzard Gear Store! Led through the Blizzard LGBT+ Employee Network, the Blizzard Pride Collection features Pride-themed apparel benefitting The Trevor Project from May 15 through June 30, 2024.

Explore Xbox’s Kingdom of Color

A custom rainbow Xbox sphere with a castle showcasing various Pride flags.

In celebration of Pride, the Xbox logo was reimagined as a crystal radiating with power at the top of a magic staff. The storybook-inspired image also includes a castle with festive rainbow banners and fireworks. The artist, who is part of the LGBTQIA+ community, imagines the Kingdom of Color as a place where people who identify as LGBTQIA+ rule and the magic of Pride is spread to every corner of the realm. Right from the pages of a leather-bound book filled with colorful art and calligraphy text, this image evokes not only familiar stories of dragons, knights, and wizards, but launches those stories into a more inclusive future in which all players find their magic.

Xbox Ambassadors Celebrate Pride 2024

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

The Xbox Ambassadors Program is celebrating Pride by spotlighting members of the Xbox Ambassadors community who responded to a recent survey about their experiences as gamers. Read the Xbox Ambassadors blog to hear community members sharing their favorite memories playing video games, recommending games that do a good job representing LGBTQIA+ people and experiences, and offering tips on how to stay safe when gaming online.

Pride Dynamic Background and Wallpaper Available Now

The Pride Month Xbox design is available today as an Xbox wallpaper and dynamic background on console – follow these steps to apply the dynamic background:

  • 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.

Radical Joy with Microsoft

In the face of adversity, existence itself can be resistance and spark change. This Pride, LGBTQIA+ people at Microsoft share the meaning of joy and invite everyone to spread acceptance, abundance, and harmony everywhere. Join us and discover more at Microsoft.com/pride.



Originally posted by news.xbox.com

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