On Tuesday and Wednesday, the New York Liberty Women’s National Basketball Association (or WNBA) team will be playing against the Los Angeles Sparks on a basketball court that’s covered in Xbox logos and console-inspired designs. Microsoft says that it’s the league’s “first gaming-inspired basketball court,” with the area under the net made to look a bit like the ventilation holes in the Xbox Series X.
Of course, there’s also a “metaverse” tie-in as well — the court has been recreated in the Dunking Simulator Roblox experience. While the gameplay doesn’t look quite as realistic as something like NBA 2K, it could be fun for those of us who won’t be able to attend one of the actual games.
Microsoft says it’ll donate up to $50,000 to the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation or Girls Who Code, giving $10 to one of the foundations for each submission to its Power Her Dreams site, as part of its goal to bring more attention to women in sports and gaming.
A report from The Guardian last year highlighted how women are massively underrepresented in the list of top earners in esports, and players in the WNBA are paid far less on average than their NBA counterparts. WNBA players have just started to appear on the cover of the popular NBA 2K video game series in the past two years after the league was added to NBA 2K20.