Special Olympics Launches eSports-Focused Gaming Initiative

by Mike Futter on Oct 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Special Olympics has announced a new program that will connect its athletes and volunteers with the gaming world. With the help Force Multiply Gaming, Special Olympics will be forming an advisory board of industry executives.

The 46-year history of Special Olympics is one of inclusion and acceptance, with 4.4 million athletes around the world. The organization's mission is to "empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of society." 75 percent of Special Olympics' constituency lives outside the United States, and gaming is a vehicle to connect those individuals regardless of geography.

Special Olympics and Force Multiply Gaming are gearing up for the start of their campaign. “Our first event will be announced and launched on November 1,” says Lou Raiola, founder and president of WarpSpeed, Inc., which manages Force Multiply Gaming. Raiola isn’t yet ready to reveal the details, however.

As for the advisory board, he tells us that an announcement will be coming. “We have multiple confirmations, and we look forward to announcing them,” he says.

We inquired about connections Special Olympics is making with the eSports community. Those, too, are underway. Raiola says that they are in discussion with “multiple eSports organizations.”


Our Take
While details are still under wraps, I’m very interested to see how Special Olympics partners with the gaming world. While organizations like Extra Life and Child’s Play have tapped the gaming community from within, few nonprofit groups outside the community have turned to the industry for partnerships like this one.