Xbox and Gamers Outreach documentary shows how gaming can aid healing

Xbox One X
Xbox One X (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Gamers Outreach is a charity organization that brings video games to hospitals all over the world.
  • On Monday, Xbox and Gamers Outreach announced "Beyond Xbox: Therapeutic Play," which aims to further these goals.
  • The announcement comes with a short documentary titled "A Player Like Me," which tells the story of two people connecting over Xbox from across the world.
  • Gaming has been shown to aid in the healing process for children, and Gamers Outreach's Xbox-powered GO Karts make it more accessible.

Video games are undoubtedly a massive source of pure entertainment for millions of players, and even serve as a source of livable income for many. However, video games can also have a therapeutic effect, granting people a fun-filled distraction from their situation or a way to connect with like-minded people all over the world. Gamers Outreach, a charity organization that brings accessible video games to hospitals, is partnering with Xbox to further its initiative to bring gaming to more hospitalized children.

Beyond Xbox: Therapeutic Play, is a partnership between Xbox and Gamers Outreach that continues to accomplish what Gamers Outreach has already been striving to do: use video games to help aid the healing process for children who spend long periods of time in the hospital. Gamers Outreach builds GO Karts, a fully mobile cart equipped with an Xbox, controllers, games, and monitor, from which children suffering from any number of ailments or disabilities that keep them confined to their hospital can benefit and enjoy.

Zach Wigal, Gamers Outreach founder, stated, "Each year, millions of kids and teens receive medical care inside hospitals, and for many, the process can be scary and isolating. During hospitalization, kids lose access to friends, school and moments that typically define childhood. We're on a mission to change their experience."

Alongside the announcement, Xbox and Gamers Outreach released "A Player Like Me," a short documentary film telling the story of 14-year-old Jordan, living with an extremely rare disability known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. The video shows how Jordan uses a GO Kart, built by Gamers Outreach, to connect with another person with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Megan, from nearly 4,000 miles away. The duo played Forza Horizon 5 together while discussing what it's like to live with their condition.

The documentary exemplifies how therapeutic gaming can be, and how it allows people to make new connections and forge new friendships even from within a hospital. "At Xbox, we believe that play is a fundamental human need," Michael Flatt, director of global integrated marketing at Xbox, exclaimed. "We're proud to support Gamers Outreach and to bring the fun, creativity and connection of gaming to children to help support them during their recovery."

If you want to learn more about Gamers Outreach and what the charity organization has accomplished (and how you can donate), you can check out the Gamers Outreach website. Providing an Xbox console and some of the best Xbox games to hospitalized children is a recipe for success, and Beyond Xbox: Therapeutic Play aims to share that message with more people.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.