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September 22, 2019
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Xbox's revamped avatars are 'built with inclusivity absolutely in mind'

June 14, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

"Our new avatars are built with inclusivity absolutely in mind."

- Microsoft's Kathryn Storm, speaking at E3 about changes coming to the company's Avatar system as part of an "Avatar 2.0" rollout later this year.  

The Avatar system for Microsoft's Xbox platform is due for a revamp this fall, and in a livestream from E3 today (skip to about 1:55 in the recording above) Xbox staffers made it clear the new "Avatar 2.0" models are being built in Unity with an eye towards inclusivity.

"Our new avatars are built with inclusivity absolutely in mind," said Kathryn Storm, an interaction designer at Microsoft "We want people to feel like we have endless options to really reflect who they are."

As Polygon aptly points out, it's a notable effort on the company's part to make a system players can use to represent themselves online more accommodating.  

"If you see it in the store, you can wear it," added Storm, responding affirmatively to a question about whether or not clothing in the new Avatar system would be gender-neutral. "We're not holding you to any sort of checkboxes."

This Avatar revamp effort was T, when Xbox execs responded to a Twitter user's request for wheelchairs in the Avatar system by sharing some early models of Avatar 2.0...avatars rocking wheelchairs.

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