Adding Wheelchairs To Xbox Avatars Is A Much-Needed Update


When creating a gaming avatar, the possibilities are almost endless. There are millions of combinations of body types, hairstyle, eye colors, facial features, clothing, and more, making it easy to come up with something that comes extremely close to representing everyone in their own unique way. 

Well, almost. There's one feature all Xbox avatars share that definitely isn't one-size-fits-all: they're all standing.

Over 2 million Americans use wheelchairs as their primary way of getting around, while 6.5 million others also use assistive devices because they are unable to walk on their own. Gaming avatars generally don't reflect that fact, which Xbox enthusiast Seamus Blackley pointed out on Twitter.


He followed up his statement by tagging Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, in another tweet that read: "Hey @XboxP3 I'm pretty serious-- depending on how skeletons are done on avatars, wheelchairs might be relatively simple and the #rightthing"

Blackley's statements were retweeted and many offered support for the idea. One user even suggested starting a petition to make Spencer aware of the desire for avatars to be more inclusive.

Spencer entered the conversation saying they didn't need to bother with a petition. Not only did he hear their suggestion, but he stated that it's something they've already been working on. Mike Ybarra, a Partner Director of Program Management on the Xbox gaming platform, even jumped in the conversation to offer a sneak peek at what the avatars will look like with wheelchairs.

While some may say that it's "just an avatar," it's incredibly important for everyone to have something that represents their true, authentic selves, and it's fantastic that Xbox is making this update.

(H/T: Engadget)

Cover image: Microsoft, via Mike Ybarra


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