OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – A movement to revitalize the Mvskoke Language Program plans to release a video game using the Mvskoke Language to win the game.
The game is in its early development stages, with a demo already played by citizens who attended recent language symposiums.
College of Muscogee Nation President Dr. Monte Randall has led the project since it was introduced to him through a partnership with an Oral Roberts University Alumni who is a video game developer and owns Sound Puzzle, Inc.
Randall’s outside-of-the-box thinking carried the idea and later developed it into the game, implementing the language and making it a part of the revitalization process.
According to Randall, no other video game uses a Native language.
“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity and one-of-a-kind video game,” Randall said.
With the growing potential of this opportunity, Randall knew this video game would be able to reach a much larger audience than the CMN students. He contacted Principal Chief David Hill to discuss this development. Second Chief Dell Beaver also supported the idea.
“He understood that language revitalization is more than just one method,” Randall said. “It’s not just this video game. It’s going to be multiple approaches to a comprehensive revitalization plan.”
After the discussion, the language program was then tagged into the process. Surveys were sent to citizens for feedback on how they believed they could best learn the language. From this point, symposiums were planned to collect more data.
“This video game started to emerge again, and we wanted to see more of it,” Randall said.
The National Council voted to approve the purchase of the demo played at a ten percent value of $22,000 last summer. The video development at a basic level was a total of 2.2 million.
Once the game was demoed, a language revitalization committee wanted to see it at its highest level utilizing multiple players, virtual reality components, online connectivity, mobile applications, and available on all platforms.
The distribution of the video game is yet to be decided. “If it were up to me when we’re talking about saving our language, every citizen would have it,” Randall said.
Randall believes this technique will be highly engaging among a large age group starting as young as eight to 50.
“I am not much of a gamer myself,” Randall said, but he claims he knows plenty of gamers of all ages.
The latest National Council Full Session postponed legislation funding needed for the full-scale development at 3.7 million using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fiscal year recovery funds. Bill sponsor Representative Galen Cloud made the motion, and with no discussion, the council voted to postpone 14-0.
Mvskoke Media will continue to follow the story as it develops.