I grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, a bustling, metropolis dotted with Buddhist temples, street food stalls, and corporate skyscrapers; a city where diverse views are appreciated. Growing up, I had the privilege of attending the International School Bangkok, so speaking English was natural for me. I love to play video games with many of my Thai friends, although I remember the disappointment of many who were unable to play the same games with me because of a language barrier. I’ve lived in Pakistan, Japan, Australia, Thailand and currently in Seattle, where Xbox is headquartered. I’m grateful to have had exposure to various cultures, beliefs, and stories. My goal is to take what I’ve learned from each of these experiences to expand gaming and develop local talent with Xbox in Southeast Asia.
I am a Senior Xbox Product Marketing Manager. This career path is my ikigai, a Japanese concept of aligning your lifestyle with what you are good at, what the world needs, what you love to do, and what you can be paid to do. There are days where my work just doesn’t feel like work. My role involves reading gaming news as part of marketing research and understanding trends in the gaming industry, but I’m already listening to podcasts and engaging with news on those topics in my free time because it brings me joy.
I dream of expanding representation in gaming. Stories told from Western perspectives often involve the protagonist leaving home as part of the hero’s journey. Sometimes, it can be discouraged or considered negative if the protagonist, as a young adult, still lives at home. But imagine expanding stories from an Asian perspective: stories where the protagonist can develop as a fully actualized human being while remaining connected with their families, where the home is the save point and after each adventure the hero returns to their family. One such story is Children of Morta, an action co-op rogue-lite RPG where you play as various members of a family who are protecting Mount Morta and defending it from corruption. You venture forth as one family member, return home to save, and then play as another family member. Victory hinges upon the entire family unit.
I’m grateful things are starting to change. Titles like Sea of Thieves have added Thai as a language option and Minecraft Legends is launching with full audio support for 16 languages including Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. I’m also grateful that character creation options have expanded in recent years. As a child, I had my real self — a person of Thai and Indian descent — and then I had my “video game” self, always modeled after the prevalent white action heroes at the time. Now, I’m able to choose characters whose facial features and skin tones are closer to my own.
As I continue my journey here at Xbox, I hope to have more opportunities to provide greater representation for the culture, media, music, and gaming of Southeast Asia.
Here are a few ways that Team Xbox will be supporting and celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander communities this year:
Gaming and Impact with Microsoft Rewards
Microsoft Rewards members in the United States can earn and donate points to organizations supporting Asian and Pacific Islander communities with Xbox. The organizations below will be featured on console throughout May:
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC – Advancing Justice – AAJC works through policy advocacy, community education, and litigation to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all.
- AAPI Equity Alliance – AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity) is dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy.
- Stop AAPI Hate – Stop AAPI Hate advances equity, justice, and power by dismantling systemic racism and building a multiracial movement to end anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander hate.
Xbox gamers can earn Microsoft Rewards points in various ways, such as playing or purchasing games after downloading the Microsoft Rewards app on Xbox. Earn points and redeem them for real rewards. Join us today and donate through Xbox.
Artist Isip Xin Shares Her Xbox Logo Redesign Inspiration
In celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Month, Xbox commissioned artist Isip Xin to design the artwork for this year’s campaign. Below, Isip shares the inspiration behind the design:
“The Asian and Pacific Islander experience is one full of mutual inspiration. Together, we create spaces that show just how massive, diverse, and deeply interconnected our community is. For this moment, I used water forms to show the flow of inspiration between us. Organic nerve and root-like imagery give the image a unified, but not statically structured body. The piece’s balanced energy is full of motion. Varied experiences weave, burst, and bloom together. As an artist and a gamer, I am centered around creating, cultivating, and existing in spaces (virtually, physically, and mentally) that make us feel like we belong. Games are an amazing way to discover narratives you relate to. You can find the environment to thrive, and you can be whatever you want. Living in these places and connecting to who lives there with you makes our shared identity unique, and beautiful. It was fun to explore the coexistence and self-discovery that comes with being an API gamer and share it in this piece.” – Isip Xin, Artist
Check out Isip’s Instagram and isipxin.com to experience more of her art.
Microsoft Flight Simulator – Oceania Update
Microsoft Flight Simulator is thrilled to add to the beauty of the simulator with fascinating new landscapes. Known as both a continent and a geographic region, and straddling the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania is comprised of remote coral islands, long stretches of white sand beaches, towering volcanoes, vast interior sweeps of uninhabited rainforest, and populated cities boasting modern architectural wonders. Antarctica is a dream destination for aviators with adventure, intrigue, and boundless vistas of pristine coastal and inland glaciated terrain.
Microsoft Flight Simulator’s World Update XIII includes 13 countries (Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Kiribati, The Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu) plus Antarctica and Hawai’i. There are 2 smaller states (The Cook Islands and Niue) and 28 non-sovereign territories (including Guam, Easter Island, The Galápagos Islands) also covered in this update, many with improved resolution that will allow pilots to experience stunning new vistas throughout these regions. The release is based on the latest aerial photographs, satellite imagery, and digital elevation modelling data.
Check out the Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update XIII here.
Discover Games Curated by Asian and Pacific Islander Communities at Microsoft
Gaming would not be what it is today without the contributions, perspectives, and influence from Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Here at Xbox, we want to honor this richly diverse set of communities by providing engaging gaming experiences that represent a myriad of histories and heritage.
During May and beyond, we are highlighting a variety of game collections that reflect people with a diverse set of backgrounds and lived experiences from East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander cultures. These collections showcase Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander creators, lead characters, and games inspired by Asian and Pacific Islander cultures. Available on the Microsoft Stores on Xbox and Windows, check out the collections of East, South, and Southeast Asian Community Games and Pacific Islander and Indigenous Community Games. These collections will exist year-round as part of our ongoing work to create more inclusive gaming ecosystems and elevate content that resonates with communities.
Featured titles within the collections available with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and on the Game Pass mobile app include:
Ghostwire: Tokyo (Available with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass) – From Japanese developer Tango Gameworks, Ghostwire: Tokyo shows players a unique vision of Tokyo inspired by the duality of the real-life city, contrasting deep-rooted historical sites and traditional architecture with modernized buildings and residential areas. Legends come to life as the protagonist, Akito, takes on vengeful spirits and deadly supernatural forces from Japanese mythology and lore in a quest to save his sister and his city. Not only is this game heavily influenced by Japanese society and beliefs, but Japanese audio is the default setting for an immersive experience.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty (Available with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, Rated M) – Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a dark fantasy version of the Later Han Dynasty where demons plague China’s Three Kingdoms. In this action RPG from Team Ninja, players fight off deadly mythical creatures using a combat system based on Chinese martial arts swordplay and battle styles inspired by the five elements of Chinese Medicine. Aesthetically the game is heavily influenced by Chinese history and legends as well, and the music is made with traditional Chinese instruments.
Coral Island (Game Preview) (Available with PC Game Pass) – Coral Island (Game Preview) is a family-friendly farming simulator inspired by Southeast Asia, including native flora and fauna as well as cultural elements such as ruins and Balinese Hindu temples. The Indonesian development team at Stairway Games wanted to include topics of importance to them, so there are themes of conservation in the way players must maintain the island’s ecosystem, adding a unique take on the genre. Players also have the chance to interact with over 50 characters from all walks of life and a variety of inclusive romance options.
The Legend of Tianding (Available with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass) – Based on the legendary Taiwanese folk hero, Liāu Thiam-Ting, play as the vigilante Liao Tianding in this narrative adventure set in real-life historical events. Rob the rich, feed the poor, and fight for justice in the streets of early 20th century Taipei. All done in the style of Traditional Chinese Manga and voiced in Taiwanese Hokkien, this game captures the cultural look and feel of the time in a beautiful way.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly (Available with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass) – This charming sequel to Coffee Talk is developed by the independent game studio, Toge Productions, in Indonesia. Players enter a calming atmosphere of a coffee shop, becoming a barista who helps a variety of patrons with their problems while delivering customized beverages that will warm their hearts. Pushing even more boundaries of conversation, this game applies a fantasy spin to modern day life while reflecting on topics of diversity and how things like discrimination and stereotypes impact relationships.
New Asian and Pacific Islander Gamerpics, Profile Theme, Wallpaper, and Avatar Items
In partnership with Asian and Pacific Islander communities at Xbox, we’re introducing a new gamerpic, profile theme, and avatar items! The gamerpic and profile theme will be available on console, the Xbox PC app, and the Xbox mobile app. Get your avatar items here and your wallpaper here. Content is subject to availability by country.
Xbox Plays Celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Communities
The Xbox Plays team will once again be spotlighting creators from the AAPI community, inviting streamers to take over the channel at Twitch.tv/Xbox – Tune in every Monday to support your favorite streamers or make some new friends as they play!
SnaxBreak playing Disney Dreamlight Valley (11am PT)
juwia playing Valorant (3pm PT)
ichibadass playing Redfall (11am PT)
Davion505 playing Smite (3pm PT)
Meeeowstv playing Dead by Daylight (11am PT)
ParallaxStella playing Redfall (3pm PT)
StarGirl Racing playing Forza Horizon 5 (11am PT)
DarkEyebrows playing Minecraft (3pm PT)
Microsoft Inclusion is Innovation
Only when we commit to expanding our awareness, understanding, and recognition of each other, can we build a brighter future together. Hear stories from Microsoft employees on how #InclusionIsInnovation by visiting Inclusion is Innovation.
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