Many parents of special needs children fear that their child will feel like an outsider. Although their concerns are understandable, it is important that parents don’t let their worries hinder the child’s tenacity. Some of the greatest victories come for challenging personal adversity, which is shown in Microsoft’s latest commercial.
The commercial features several adolescents with underdeveloped limbs, amputated limbs, and overall medical issues that limit their mobility. The children attempt to play games using conventional gaming controllers and find it difficult to maneuver. However, they continue to play regardless because it brings them joy. When the kids receive the Xbox adaptive controller, they are able to play to the best of their abilities alongside their friends and loved ones.
When children with special needs see kids like themselves on a major platform, they feel emboldened to try new things. These encouragements are important for children within the autism and special needs community because there are a lot of benefits to gain from game play. According to common sense media, some skills that can be practiced and strengthened are communication, motor, organization, reading and writing, and social interaction. All of which many children with autism struggle with improving in a mainstream learning environment. Video games allow these skills to develop in a more organic matter, giving individuals with special needs a sense of confidence and independence.
Microsoft’s commercial was able to touch the hearts of millions of viewers and resonate with them long after the game was over. One Youtube user, Mike Stanley, stated “My four year old has a rare form of dwarfism (Diastrophic Dysplasia) that affects his hands in that the joints of his fingers don’t bend (symphalangism). He LOVES video games and I’ve loved sharing my old games with him. Older systems had controllers that were more accessible for him, but the complication of the newer ones definitely makes it more difficult for him. I’ve been a PS guy for many years now. It may be time for an XBOX with one of these controllers after this commercial. Thank you”. Illustrating how this one adaptation to a controller can change the experience of so many deserving people.
Individuals with special needs need to receive equal representation and opportunities and this commercial and controller is a great step in that direction. Another Youtube user, This Little Geek, commented “I’m a disabled teen myself and I just want to say that you brought me to tears with this. The world can be very harsh towards people with disabilities and to see work like this being done for inclusion is just amazing to be able to see”. Proof of the impact that these brave individuals featured in the commercial can have on the special needs community when they are given the love and support that Microsoft provided.
The commercial ends with the phrase “when everybody plays, we all win”, which is true in many aspects. Inclusion can help create understanding and kindness, bringing together people of all backgrounds.
Check out the video here