Xbox has announced plans to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a series of initiatives meant to highlight the culture and contributions of AAPI community. Alongside a donation match program, Xbox is including a curated list of AAPI games and movies on the Xbox and Microsoft stores, adding a weekly showcase of games featuring AAPI creators and characters to the Xbox Community Game Club, and promoting AAPI streamers and creators on both Twitch and in the Xbox Ambassadors community.
This year marks the first that Xbox has celebrated AAPI Heritage Month, a fact Xbox addressed in its statement. The company said this is due to its deepened efforts to support and celebrate the community during this period of “frightening and reprehensible” attacks and “COVID-19-related hate crimes against members of the AAPI community.”
One of the key ways it intends to do this is by allowing Microsoft Rewards Members to earn and donate points to two AAPI-focused charities, Asian American Advancing Justice | AAJC and Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), which will be matched by Microsoft. Minecraft’s Mojang studios will be promoting this feature, and has already donated $100,000 USD to AAJC as a part of this initiative.
Over on Xbox’s Twitch channel, a schedule has been assembled that focuses on highlighting AAPI creators, developers, and streamers. The schedule is as follows:
- 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”
Creators and players will also be showcased on the Xbox Community Game Club and Xbox Ambassadors community. Over at the Xbox Community Game Club, Xbox is featuring games created by AAPI individuals. In the Xbox Ambassadors community, Xbox has asked various AAPI identifying members “how games with diverse representation have impacted them” and about “their stories about being a member of a gaming community.” Their stories have been collected and posted on the site’s blog.
Lastly, Xbox fans can find curated lists of AAPI created games and movies listed on both the Xbox and Microsoft stores. A few highlights of the games list include Outer Wilds, created by Japanese American Mobius Digital founder Masi Oka, and Marvel’s Avengers, which features a campaign centered around Marvel’s Kamala Khan, a Pakistan American woman. Some of the recommended films include Minari, Crazy Rich Asians, and Moana. After May 31, visitors can find these lists by searching for “AAPI Heritage Month” on the respective sites.