Reported on by Gamesindustry.biz, Microsoft and Gamers Outreach have publicized their partnered initiative dubbed ‘Beyond Xbox: Therapeutic Play’. Gamers Outreach outlined the program in their blog earlier this week. The pair plan, “to promote the virtues of ‘Therapeutic Play’ as an aid to help facilitate recovery for children in hospitals.”
Gamers Outreach is a charity that was established in 2007 by then high school student Zach Wigal. Beginning as an Esports tournament Gamers Outreach has grown into a sizable organization operating out of Michigan. Working to provide “accessible play for kids during treatment,” the charity has made mobile video game kiosks (GO Karts) available to, “more than 300 hospitals around the U.S., including 90% of pediatric hospitals.” Check out the video below for an in-depth look at the behind-the-scenes story of Gamers Outreach, their GO Karts, and their fundraising gaming tournament, Gamers for Giving.
To showcase the work of Gamers Outreach, Xbox started putting together a documentary film back in 2021 as a part of their ‘Beyond’ film series. The first film featured the “relationship-building potential,” of video games for younger and older generations of families. This time around the film, with the subtitle ‘A Player Like Me’, “celebrates the power of connections in hospitals,” via the friendship developed between two players an ocean apart. Jordan and Megan, the stars of the film, both deal with the rare condition known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Living in the United States and Scotland respectively, Jordan and Megan connect and, “relate to each other’s experiences,” through playing Forza Horizon 5 on Gamers Outreach’s Go-Karts.
Sharing more than the racing track and some laughs, the two gave one another understanding and encouragement. Jordan said that after talking to Megan he realized that,
If I have a passion to do something, I shouldn’t ignore it just because it seems impossible.