Xbox revealed all of its upcoming events to celebrate International Women's Day 2021. It looks like Xbox is planning on supporting women in games through a series of special activities going on throughout March.
March 8 is International Women's Day, celebrating women's achievements while also bringing attention to issues they face. Women's History Month takes place all across March, and corresponds with the holiday. Much like with Black History Month, Xbox is planning on honoring the holiday through various events, from showcasing content and creators to educating gamers.
First up is a Gears 5 tournament happening March 13 at 10:30 a.m. PT on Twitch. In addition to the title having a female protagonist, the tournament will feature all women players. Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition is also running a tournament, Queen's Clash, to celebrate the holiday. Those more interested in a cooperative experience can check out new content for Minecraft: Education Edition. There are two lessons for International Women's Day, focusing on Malala Yousafzai and Emmeline Pankhurst.
Xbox fans can look forward to highlights on various content supporting women. Games like Control and Dishonored: Death of an Outsider both have female leads with a variety of strengths, and Xbox will also look at other games, movies, and shows centering women. The next Women of Xbox UK features Louise O'Connor from Rare, Xbox Ambassadors will be sharing their stories, and the Xbox Community Game Club will be showcasing games with female leads and supporting roles.
It is great to see that Xbox and Microsoft are supporting Women's History Month and International Women's Day. It goes to show that the tech company is serious about creating a more inclusive gaming community. The medium has grown exponentially over the past decades, and even Twitch has had a bigger audience than Netflix at times. Despite this, women can still face obstacles and toxicity in the gaming community, so by promoting games with female leads and running community events, Xbox can potentially help make the industry better for female gamers, creators, and employees.
Though, there is always the chance that many Xbox fans will not be interested in the celebration. Some could see these activities as just another means of marketing, especially when Microsoft employees have faced harassment and discrimination in the past. While the selection of games include some indie titles, the movies and shows seem to focus more on famous releases. Xbox does benefit in some ways from celebrating these holidays, but it should still bring some positive attention to accomplishments by women.
February 2021 is widely considered as the best month for Xbox Live subscribers in a very long time. Not only did the service remove the paywall for free-to-play online multiplayer games, but Microsoft also offered top-tier games on its Games with Gold program, including one that is optimized for the Xbox Series X. For a time, many thought that February was the start of a huge overhaul of Xbox Live, especially in competition with Sony's PS Plus offering better games, which included one title for the PS5.
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