Microsoft is partnering up with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to help veterans get back into the game.
Or more accurately, get back into gaming.
Veterans give a lot for their country. Sometimes it’s more than just their time--sometimes it’s a foot or a hand, or maybe even a whole arm. That can make it tough to return home to a society that doesn’t make it easy for people with disabilities, which can really put a strain on a veteran's mental and physical health.
That’s where Microsoft is coming in. They’ve teamed up with Veterans Affairs to help rehabilitate veterans through the power of gaming.
Select Veterans Affairs rehab centers across the country are getting free gaming packages that include Microsoft’s award-winning Xbox Adaptive Controller, as well as Xbox Ones, games, and other devices “as part of therapeutic and rehabilitative activities aimed at challenging muscle activation, and hand-eye coordination.”
The Xbox Adaptive Controller is the key ingredient in this gaming cocktail. With the Adaptive Controller as the central hub, almost any of the thousands of custom controllers can be interfaced to work with an Xbox One (or a Microsoft Windows PC with the correct drivers). What makes the XAC controller so special is its ability to communicate with so many other devices to make a custom gaming setup to meet any disabled gamer’s needs.
Gaming is a popular hobby among veterans. It can help on the road to recovery by providing physical exercise for damaged limbs, but it can also help with mental health by keeping veterans connected with friends and family through games.
“We owe so much to the service and sacrifice of our Veterans, and as a company, we are committed to supporting them,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Our Xbox Adaptive Controller was designed to make gaming more accessible to millions of people worldwide, and we’re partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to bring the device to Veterans with limited mobility, connecting them to the games they love and the people they want to play with.”
Microsoft and Veterans Affairs formalized their partnership earlier in April, with Xbox Adaptive Controllers arriving at rehab offices soon thereafter.