Avatars have become increasingly popular as identity figures on internet forums, computer games and more. In 2008, Microsoft originally introduced avatars for the Xbox 360. They have gradually included customization options throughout the years. In August 2016 Microsoft is set to release wheelchair inspired avatars in time for the release of the Xbox new slim version.
Before the announcement a petition was in the beginning stages of being formed to add wheelchair inspired avatars for Xbox. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, quickly addressed the comment on Twitter stating, “No petition is needed, we hear you. This is something that we’ve already looked at, not far off.”
Xbox’s Mike Ybarra then tweeted and provided a sneak peek of the upcoming avatars. Users will notice the wheelchairs are Xbox-themed, the facial expressions are more detailed and the colors are vibrant. Attention to detail is noticeable when looking at the preliminary avatars. The company plans to use the new avatars as a foundation and build more details and conduct more visual tweaks.
The goal to make the avatars as current and modern as all the rest is being reached. Microsoft is taking it a step further by exceeding expectations and tweaking the details until perfection is reached. While avatars might not mean a lot to some people, it does to most. Xbox players often use avatars as their profile and as a representation of what they look like. Avatars mean more than just a cartoon figure in the corner of the page. It is an actual representation of the player or user in computer form. Wheelchair users that are Xbox players will be fully represented in the new avatars.
Customizing options will be available to create the ultimate representation of the player’s true self and style. It is important that children, teens and adult players that are wheelchair users are represented properly in the gaming world. Video games allow wheelchair users and able-bodied players to become a character and have freedom to do as they wish within the video game.
It’s essential that society accepts and understands there are a variety of players around the world and each person deserves to be represented properly. Wheelchair users deserve a voice in every part of life, including video games.
It pleases the disabled community that Microsoft had already taken steps and actions towards creating detailed avatars for wheelchair users. Although a petition was forming, there was no need to fight this battle, because it had already been won. It says a lot that a company had already thought of incorporating the disabled community as equals to all other players by focusing on detailed designed avatars.
Xbox is making updates and players can expect the new wheelchair inspired avatars to appear and be available after the August update. Microsoft is proud to release the new avatars. However, they plan to continue to tweak and improve them further as they do all of the other avatars. Wheelchair users can rejoice and enjoy being represented in the gaming world.