OKMULGEE, Okla. – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Recreation Department is hosting the third annual Rez Games at the Claude Cox Omniplex from June 9-10.
This year, the games are adding a video game competition to the list of events, according to Athletic Coordinator Lucas Taylor.
The events will start the evening of June 9, the video game standoff will consist of different Playstation 5 games operating in various rooms inside the Mvskoke Dome.
Taylor said that as new generations become more digital savvy, the department had become curious as to what the event may generate in terms of participation.
“We want to throw it out there and see if we can get some interest generated that way,” he said. “It’s something different, we will see how it goes.”
The idea derived from Taylor’s personal experience from watching his son’s interest grow in video games. It is a form of competition Taylor’s son has grown quite a talent for.
“We have a lot of kids nowadays that don’t like to play sports, but they like to play video games,” he said.
Taylor learned that there are many opportunities out there for gamers including scholarships and careers.
“There’s a niche out there for people that don’t physically get on the courts but digitally while still being able to compete,” he said.
The competition will feature two games and two age groups.
The NBA 2K23 competition will be available for 11-14 year olds and 15-18 year olds. Registration is $30 per team. The competition will admit up to ten teams.
The Call of Duty: Cold War competition will be for ages 18 and over. Registration is $45 per team. The competition will admit up to 16 teams.
Prizes will vary, and will include gift cards to purchase gaming equipment.
As the Rez Games grow, the department seeks to cater to all citizens and other members of the community.
The games were first held during the Covid pandemic to give citizens an opportunity to stay involved in sports activities in spite of physical-distancing limitations.
Friday evening will hold the youth miniature bull riding competition. Youth can enter the competition for a fee of $80 until June 4. Taylor claims necessary emergency services will be on standby in case of an injury.
Winners will compete for buckles, trophy knives and money pots in each division. The department is chipping in an additional $200 for each pot.
Saturday’s agenda is full, starting early in the morning with cornhole, fastpitch, volleyball, basketball and will include vendors selling arts and crafts. There will also be food vendors present.
The event will end with gospel singing at the dome in the evening.
The Rez Games is also hosting this year’s Native All-State Basketball tournament.
For more information call the Mvskoke Dome at 918-732-7984.