Nov. 3, 2010 – Microsoft is giving Kinect for Xbox 360 to every Boys & Girls Club in the country, the company announced Wednesday at a special event in New York City’s Times Square. Kinect goes on sale in the U.S. on Nov. 4.
All of the country’s 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs will each get a Xbox 360 console and two Kinect launch titles, “Kinect Adventures” and “Kinect Sports,” said Michael Delman, corporate vice president of global marketing for Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business.
“We’re delighted to help make the kids from Boys & Girls Clubs some of the first to experience the benefits of active entertainment that only Kinect for Xbox 360 delivers,” Delman said. “We developed Kinect to bring people together and give them a whole new way to play games, and we’re excited to give kids across the country the opportunity to jump in to the fun.”
Delman was joined in New York by actor and producer Mark Wahlberg, an alumnus and lifelong member of Boys & Girls Clubs, as well as children from local New York-area clubs. Wahlberg, who attributes much of his personal success to afternoons and evenings spent at his local Boys & Girls Club as a child, spoke in support of the announcement and later played Kinect with some of the kids at the event.
Karen McDonald, vice president of Program Youth Development Services for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, noted the positive social aspects of what Kinect brings to gaming and entertainment. “Controller-free entertainment means everyone can jump into the action and play,” she said. “No one feels left out, everyone participates, and it’s a great way to make sure these kids are staying active and fit while having fun.”
How Kinect Is Different
According to Molly O’Donnell, director of integrated marketing communications for Xbox 360, “With Kinect, your whole body becomes the controller. It responds to your full body movements, hears your voice and really makes you a part of the game. We’ve seen first-hand how Kinect brings people together, encourages teamwork, creativity and active play, and we’re so excited to share that with Boys & Girls Club members around the country.”
Microsoft has been a long-time supporter of Boys & Girls Clubs, donating more than $150 million to help the charitable organization realize its goal of enabling young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens, O’Donnell said. The Club Tech program, founded with a donation from Microsoft in 1999, helps equip clubs with technology and computer training, empowering kids and staff members for real-world success.
“The vast majority of kids who go to Boys & Girls Clubs don’t have access to this kind of experience at home,” O’Donnell said. “Kinect is fun for them and healthy for their bodies – and it also gives them access to the latest technology, which can inspire kids and stretch their imaginations. It can help them think big, and have fun.”