There are a lot of stories right now about developers using Xbox Kinect technology to create a whole range of innovative designs and solutions (for an example, see this post about MVPs in Australia “hacking” Kinect). MVPs in Korea, however, recently contributed to community in a different way—offering their expertise in Xbox Kinect to give people with severe disabilities the opportunity to use the Xbox 360 with a Kinect sensor to enjoy sports games they never imagined they’d be able to play.
It started with the gift of an Xbox Kinect from Microsoft Korea to the Korean Institute of the Disabled for Independent Living. The folks at the Institute saw the rehabilitation possibilities offered by the technology and came up with the idea for a contest. Microsoft MVPs, including Xbox experts, volunteered as event staff to help contestants.
The result of the contest went far beyond anything either Microsoft Korea or the Institute expected. From bowling to boxing, the participants became immersed in the games, competing enthusiastically surrounded by the audience and volunteers cheering and applauding.
In the end two Xbox 360 consoles were awarded as prizes: one to an organization supporting people with disabilities and one for an individual winner who showed outstanding effort. The prizes were awarded by an amazing man who lies in bed operating a computer with his eyes, and who has just graduated Yonsei University.
Congratulations to all the participants—and a special thank you to the MVPs who continually step in and exemplify the spirit of community!