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Xbox Celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

We started the Asians at Xbox community two years ago, hoping to provide a space for our community to connect and support each other. We also wanted to contribute to the important mission of creating a safe place where everyone on the planet can experience the joys of gaming, while advocating for and amplifying the stunning, groundbreaking content made by our community. Today, we are celebrating AAPI Heritage Month at Xbox for the first time. We are grateful for the platform, and for being part of a gaming community that promotes inclusivity and representation.

You may wonder, why the first time? Why now? The horrifying events that have taken place in recent months targeting our Asian American and Pacific Islander community have deepened our efforts to support and celebrate the community. Asian xenophobia is not new, but in 2020 we began to see many COVID-19-related hate crimes against members of the AAPI community, particularly targeting the elderly and women. These attacks are frightening and reprehensible, but we remain strong and vigilant in our efforts to raise awareness, take action, and celebrate our heritage and contributions with the support of our Xbox family. The fight against systematic racism is one we all face, and we remain united in strength and partnership with our allies to advance efforts to prevent and ultimately eliminate all forms of bias, discrimination, and racism, including anti-Asian hate.

Xbox will be supporting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, including employees and players, through partnerships and initiatives that address issues that historically and uniquely impact the AAPI community. We will continue to champion content and causes that reflect the diversity of today’s gamers and empower those across the industry. We echo the sentiment of a quote from actress Sandra Oh: “I’m #ProudToBeAsian”

We invite you to join us in this celebration of culture and contributions from the Asian American Pacific and Islander community. Here are some of the ways Xbox plans to honor these communities this month:

Xbox Plays

Xbox will be dedicating our livestreaming content in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by featuring Asian and Pacific Islander protagonists in games, developers, and content creators/streamers! Follow us at Twitch.tv/Xbox so you don’t miss any of the action!

  • Week of May 3 – AAPI Community Appreciation Week
  • “Let’s play and watch games with the AAPI community at the forefront”
  • Week of May 10 – AAPI Community Takeover Week
  • “Meet new & familiar faces in the AAPI gaming community”
  • Week of May 24 – AAPI Community Appreciation Week
  • “Let’s play and watch games with the AAPI community at the forefront”

Xbox Ambassadors

AAPI Heritage Month Hero

In the Xbox Ambassadors community, we are dedicated to sharing and amplifying community voices. So, in celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we asked those who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander in the Xbox Ambassadors community how games with diverse representation have impacted them and to share their stories about being a member of a gaming community.

Here are their stories: https://blog-ambassadors.xbox.com/ 

Microsoft Rewards on Xbox

Microsoft Rewards Members in the United States can earn and donate points to Asian American Advancing Justice | AAJC and Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) through Xbox. All Microsoft Rewards donations will be matched by Microsoft throughout the month of May in commemoration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. 

Xbox gamers can earn Microsoft Rewards points in various ways, such as playing or purchasing games after downloading the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox. Earn points and redeem them for real rewards. Join today and donate through Xbox.

Minecraft

Mojang Studios shared support for the AAPI community with a $100,000 donation to Advancing Justice | AAJC and will be highlighting AAPI community voices later this month.

Xbox Game Club

The Xbox Community Game Club is a weekly way to play, share, and discuss games together as a community. In celebration of AAPI Heritage Month, for the entire month of May, we are featuring games starring or created by individuals who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander. Check in weekly to discover your next favorite game and use #XboxGameClub to tell us about some of your favorite games featuring members of this community.​

Collections Curated by Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

During May and beyond, we are highlighting games, movies, and TV selected by Asian and Pacific Islander communities at Microsoft that celebrate the vast diversity of East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander identities.

Check out a few highlights from the full games collection featuring creators, protagonists playable characters, and character creation options:

  • Outer Wilds – Check out this otherworldly open world mystery from Japanese American Mobius Digital founder Masi Oka. You might recognize him from Heroes!
  • Raji: An Ancient Epic – This unique adventure game designed by Archival Singh is set in ancient India and inspired by Hindu and Balinese mythology.
  • PreyPlay as a masculine or feminine version of Asian protagonist Morgan Yu in this futuristic space adventure as you uncover the secrets of a space station orbiting the moon.
  • Marvel’s Avengers – Kamala Khan finally makes the jump from comics to gaming as a star of the story, and we celebrate the groundbreaking visibility she and her story arc brings to Pakistani American and Muslim identities.

Standouts from the full movies and TV collection featuring creatorsleadseducational views, and  family entertainment include: 

  • “Moana” – Disney’s first movie with a strong Pacific Islander young woman and protagonist shines as the product of research and partnership with anthropologists, cultural practitioners, historians, and more from Polynesia.
  • “Crazy Rich Asians” – An incredible milestone for Asian American and Asian representation on camera and behind the scenes. The talented international cast expands visibility of a range of Asian identities not often seen and is directed by John M. Chu.
  • “Minari” – This Oscar-nominated film directed by Lee Isaac Chung tells the story of Korean immigrants in rural Arkansas and we appreciate its exploration of Asian American identity and experience.

View the complete collections on the Microsoft Store on Xbox, the Microsoft Store on Windows, and the Xbox App on Windows in the United States and Canada. After May 31, visitors to both the Xbox and Windows Stores can find APPI community picks by searching for “AAPI Heritage Month” and related terms. 

Play. Connect. Impact: Learn more about all that Xbox and Microsoft are doing in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at our Xbox Community Hub and Microsoft’s AAPIHM Community Hub.

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