Microsoft Brings Innovation and Excitement of Kinect for Xbox 360 to Policymakers and Families on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C. ― June 24, 2011 ― Last night, Microsoft Corp. hosted the second annual Capitol Hill Family Game Night, bringing the excitement of the E3 Expo 2011 to the nation’s capital while showcasing innovative gaming technology, education and family-friendly fun to policymakers and their families. The event was presented in cooperation with honorary congressional hosts Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

The event, which took place in the Rayburn House Office Building, featured the controller-free Kinect for Xbox 360 and exciting game titles, including the yet-to-be-released “Kinect: Disneyland Adventures” and “Dance Central 2,” just announced at E3 in Los Angeles earlier this month.

“This year, we are thrilled to bring the magic of Kinect for Xbox 360 to members of Congress, their staff and their families,” said Fred Humphries, vice president, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft. “This is an exciting time for growth and innovation. Families and friends of all ages are embracing innovative technologies that change how we come together, play and experience entertainment. With Kinect, your voice and gestures put you in control, and you can share those experiences within your community and around the world.”

“New technologies and online entertainment have enabled people around the world to interact with each other in new and exciting ways,” Rep. Reichert said. “Capitol Hill Family Game Night is a great event that allows families, staffers and lawmakers to learn about these new developments from the talented teams that created them. I’m proud to represent such an innovative workforce in Congress and to help support this event.”

Last night’s event not only featured the latest innovations in gaming technology, but perhaps also the next generation of innovators. Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington were on hand to talk about their experience creating games for Xbox 360. These young people worked for several weeks with Microsoft mentors to conceive and develop original video games using Kodu Game Lab, a visual programming language designed to inspire interest in computer programming and other topics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

“It’s so important we provide our young people with real-world experiences that will help them build a great future,” said Dan Rauzi, senior director of Technology Programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Through our partnership with Microsoft we are able to introduce our members to technology in a fun, meaningful way.”

The Get Game Smart program also was a key element of Capitol Hill Family Game Night. The public education program brings together Microsoft and leading children’s advocacy organizations to educate parents on the tools and resources available to set boundaries and encourage family dialogue on safer, healthier and more balanced approaches to digital media consumption, including video games.

About Kinect for Xbox 360

Kinect for Xbox 360 brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways ― no controller required. Easy to use and instantly fun, it gets your whole body in the game. See a ball? Kick it. Want to join a friend in the fun? Simply jump in, Kinect recognizes you. Imagine controlling movies and music with the wave of a hand or the sound of your voice.

About Get Game Smart

The Get Game Smart program takes a fresh approach to helping parents and kids establish healthy habits for playing video games, watching TV and browsing the Web. It encourages parents and kids to participate in a variety of both online and offline activities that will help them make smarter decisions about their family’s media choices, while encouraging a dialogue between parents and kids.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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