The 2018 Special Olympics USA games included a “Forza Motorsport 7” tournament, according to a press release from the Special Olympics.
The competition was held on Monday at the University of Washington, and had eight teams of two compete against each other. Each team included a partner with an intellectual disability and a partner without an intellectual disability.
Microsoft has sponsored the Special Olympics since the 2014 games, and is a proud premier sponsor for the 2018 games. Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, head of gaming, expressed the company’s excitement about the first gaming tournament of the Special Olympics.
“At Microsoft, we believe that gaming is for everyone so we’re proud to pilot the first gaming tournament at the Special Olympics USA Games this summer,” said Spencer in a press release. “Competitive video gaming is enjoyed by players around the world, and our goal with this pilot tournament is to challenge biases and breakdown barriers while providing an empowering and fun experience for all players.”
Sponsoring the Special Olympics is just one part of how Microsoft is showing the belief that gaming should be for everyone. The company is also releasing an adaptive Xbox controller later this year, intended to help players with limited mobility enjoy games. Microsoft will also participate in a job fair for Special Olympic participants and their families, as a part of the company’s efforts to practice inclusive hiring for people with disabilities.
Beth Knox, president and CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, commented on the benefits of gaming for people with disabilities.
“Many of our athletes are avid gamers and research indicates playing video games can potentially boost cognitive and motor skills of people with intellectual disabilities,” said Knox. “We are thrilled to partner with Xbox to bring the first-ever video gaming tournament to the USA Games.”