The Gaming for Inclusion Program was born out of serendipity when friendship visits between The Ability Experience and Club Challenge had to evolve because of COVID last year. By leveraging virtual platforms, meaningful connections between people with disabilities and members of The Ability Experience began to form. What was once a single-day friendship visit, grew into countless challenges, tournaments, and just for fun gaming events that have spanned the distance of a year.
With the announcement of Calmer Con coming to North Florida, the partnership of Ability Experience and Club Challenge jumped at the opportunity to share the mission of Gaming for Inclusion; welcoming gamers of all types and abilities to this sensory-friendly sci-fi event. Those who attended on May 16th were invited to join actual members of Club Challenge to play video games in special gaming chairs, enter a drawing for a Game Stop gift card and take a souvenir photo in a green screen photo booth. There was no shortage of activity in the Gaming for Inclusion booth, including costumed characters from the Star Wars 501st group stopping by for some friendly competition. Club Challenge member, John Garcia, shared his talent for Star Wars voice impressions as one of the Jedi Masters in the Jedi Lightsaber Training experience. “My whole life, I wanted to be a Jedi, and my dream came true today,” Garcia proudly reported when interviewed during the event.