Gaming seems to be holding onto its misogyny. Although women make up almost half of the gaming community and hold high profile leadership positions in the gaming industry, within the gaming community they are still subjected to outdated gender stereotypes, discrimination, bullying and sexist insults.
Xbox and Serviceplan Group have put a reminder that gaming is for everyone in the hands of gamers. Literally.
A special edition Xbox has swapped the controller’s B button for the equal sign symbolising equality in the gaming community.
Pressing this button plays audio files with 9 inspirational and supportive messages from prominent women in the industry including Bonnie Ross, CVP, founder and head of 343 Industries; Cantika, one of the most popular Hijab streamers in Southeast Asia with a following of 2.7 million; Helen Chiang, CVP, studio head Minecraft, Mojang Studios; Sarah Bond, CVP, gaming ecosystem, Microsoft; and Jennifer Lufau, founder of Afrogameuses, a French non-profit and community advocating diversity and inclusion in gaming. In addition to the messages, various female Xbox employees have recorded Gaming For Everyone in their native language. Their messages encourage female gamers on their way, welcome them into the community, motivate and empower them.
Maxi Gräff, marketing communications lead at Xbox DACH, commented, “Gaming is for Everyone, and we at Xbox want everyone within the gaming community to be equally welcome and treated with respect. The controller stands for the support women in gaming have for each other and has been sent to supportive women gamers around the world.”
As part of the initiative, internationally renowned illustrators Alina Bohoru, Fernando Nunes, Matt Taylor, Muti, Nils Baumann, Sam Rodriguez, Thomas Ardelt, Tudor Cucu und Vals, have created a total of 10 illustrations that visually honor the women of the gaming community in their own unique way.
Four of the illustrations can be seen on the packaging, marking that this controller is something special even during unboxing. Others can be found on posters and as wallpaper in the Xbox system – available to millions of Xbox owners. The illustrations are also the focus of the social media campaign accompanying the campaign on Xbox’s Instagram (@xbox) and Twitter (@Xbox) channels.
The limited-edition controller was sent to a selection of the world’s biggest gaming influencers in 23 countries on 4 continents, giving the message for equality additional reach under the hashtags #GamingForEveryone and #WomenInGaming.
The Women in Gaming Controller project was developed within the Serviceplan Group and implemented internationally. Design, creation and strategy were the responsibility of Serviceplan Campaign Hamburg and the Creative Board, with support in packaging design and final arts from Serviceplan Campaign in Munich. The media design was done by Saint Elmo’s Hamburg, Serviceplan Global Key Account Management was responsible for project consulting.
Serviceplan global creative strategist, Maximilian Schöngen, stated, “We would like to thank Xbox for trusting us to implement this global campaign. Where better to place a message against discrimination in gaming than in the controller itself?”
Diane Schulz, Serviceplan business director for global key accounts, added, “The Women in Gaming Controller initiative not only gave us the chance to use our creative power for a very important cause, the project also gave us a great opportunity to show what we are capable of in terms of supporting clients and projects at a global level. We are very proud of our great collaboration with the Microsoft team and its extensive international impact.”
Creative & Strategy Agency: Serviceplan Group
Global Chief Creative Officer Serviceplan Group: Alexander Schill
Global Creative Strategist Serviceplan Creative Board: Maximilian Schöngen
Managing Partners Creation Serviceplan Campaign Hamburg: Leif Johannsen & Patrick Matthiensen
Creative Director Copy Serviceplan Campaign Hamburg: Daniel Steller
Creative Director Art Serviceplan Campaign Hamburg: Pavel Bondarenko
Art Director Serviceplan Group: Tudor Cucu
Junior Art Director Serviceplan Group: Theresa Fechler
Business Director Serviceplan Global Key Account Management: Diane Schulz
Account Director Serviceplan Campaign Hamburg: Ann-Kathrin Frohloff
Head of Design Serviceplan: Ben Hug
Media Designer Saint Elmo’s Hamburg: Till Felix