Inclusion & Diversity

Situation:

Social Culture of video game industry at a transformative time of cultural battle for inclusion and diversity

Force Multiply Action:

Launch Special Olympics Global Video Game Initiative with focus on Inclusion, Diversity and Empowerment

Inspiration

Unite Industry Wide Advisory Committee for Special Olympics Global Video Gaming & eSpots Initiative

Partners & Alliances:

NEWS

SPECIAL OLYMPICS PLANS TO ENGAGE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY TO DRIVE MESSAGE OF INCLUSION AND ACCEPTANCE

Force Multiply Gaming Assists Special Olympics in Inspiring Social Good on Global Scale

Washington, DC and Excelsior, MN (23 October 2014) – Special Olympics today announced plans for engaging the $100 billion global video game industry in an effort to expand Special Olympics’ global message of inclusion and acceptance for people who have intellectual disabilities. Force Multiply Gaming (forcemultiplygaming.com), a social impact movement and brand of WarpSpeed Innovations Inc. (warpspeedconnection.com), helped identify the opportunity and is assisting Special Olympics in thinking about ways to share its message within the video game industry. Earlier this year, Special Olympics launched a new global “Play Unified” marketing campaign that is inspiring and mobilizing youth around the world to connect on the playing field with people with intellectual disabilities and create more inclusive communities. The campaign is activating millions of Special Olympics athletes, volunteers, and supporters to participate in unified activities around the world including activities in eSports. eSports is a term for organized video competitions, especially between professionals. By engaging with the video game industry, Special Olympics will have an innovative opportunity to further its message of inclusion, diversity, and empowerment by promoting unified play with athletes, eradicating stereotypes, and putting a stop to bullying.

“We are passionate about creating a world of inclusion and acceptance for all people and this involves breaking down barriers across industries and within our communities,” said Peter Wheeler, Chief Strategic Properties for Special Olympics. “In our ongoing journey to join forces with existing and new partners in this critical social movement, I credit Force Multiply Gaming for uniting us with the video game industry and fast growing eSports movement. Many of our athletes are gamers and this is a unique way to unify our athletes with gamers worldwide. While our work is just beginning, we already have received warm and enthusiastic responses from leaders in the video gaming industry and look forward to joining together to advance this cause.”

The video game industry is a global industry and has seen a large surge in popularity outside the United States – with growth in countries including China, Korea and Poland. Special Olympics serves 4.4 million athletes worldwide, with seventy-five percent of its athletes living outside the United States. The video game industry is a strong vehicle to engage the more than 1.2 billion people who are gamers to become fans of Special Olympics.

Force Multiply Gaming is working with Special Olympics to inspire an unprecedented collaboration of senior-level video game industry executives – competitors and partners alike – to form an advisory board that will help shepherd the effort among the worldwide video gaming industry. Specific planned initiatives include developing video game tournaments, educational mentoring programs with Special Olympics athletes, and fitness training programs. The programming also creates new opportunities to provide much needed funding to support Special Olympics.

“With the launch of Force Multiply Gaming, our vision was to serve as the unifying and inspiring platform to bring the video gaming and non-profit industries together as a force for change and a multiplier of social impact,” said Lou Raiola, Founder and President WarpSpeed, Inc. “Given its size, global grassroots foundation, unparalleled ability to transform lives through the power of sport by showcasing the skills and dignity of their athletes, and global reach, Special Olympics presents the ideal global cause partner for the video game industry. This is yet another example of WarpSpeed’s heritage as a pioneer and catalyst to bring together like minded communities to inspire corporate social responsibility and, ultimately, social change for good.”

Video game industry veteran Wim Stocks, Board Member of WorldGaming said, “We are inspired by Special Olympics and, in particular, the drive to create a world of acceptance, empowerment, and inclusion within our industry and to bring involvement for Special Olympics with videogame- and eSports-related strategies, campaigns, and events to help achieve their missions and objectives on a global basis. I humbly speak on behalf of our video gaming industry when I express excitement for helping Special Olympics navigate the opportunities for eSports events and competitions for their athletes, and hopefully to galvanize other videogame publishers, platforms, and consumer brands to do the same.”

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than 1.3 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 81,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics®, The Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Lions Clubs International, Mattel, P&G, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, Finish Line, The Safeway Foundation, and Safilo Group. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, instagram.com/specialolympics and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.

About Force Multiply Gaming by WarpSpeed Innovations Inc.
Force Multiply Gaming, a pioneering brand and marketing platform of WarpSpeed Innovations Inc., is a strategically focused movement to be the catalyst for uniting the global video game industry with non-profit communities. Key pillars of focus include electronics recycling; corporate social responsibility; cause marketing; STEM to STEAM education; fitness education; inclusion and diversity; and community relations. Force Multiply Gaming promotes “Play With Purpose” and engages constituents to join forces to multiply their social impact for good. For more information, visit www.forcemultiplygaming.com.

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