What is OKgamers.com?
OKgamers.com is Oklahoma’s free-to-use website for gamers of all types (console, arcade, handheld, PC, collectible card, tabletop, role-playing, etc) to come together, organize, find events, and meet people in their community! Utilizing a central site to draw attention to local events, players can easily keep tabs on any and all gatherings and events happening in the area through OKgamers.com forums! It’s a place to read up on local tournaments happening around you – much like the promotional events that volunteers of OKgamers.com supports and organizes around the state to get the word out amongst the local player and business communities to promote the site and let them know that we’re here, and give them a way to interact.
Looking for help hosting an event, or wanting to get the word out about your local gaming related gathering in Oklahoma? Visit the forums and start interacting with Oklahoma’s fastest growing community right now.
Why do we do this, and why should you care?
6+ years ago, gamers had no way of finding out about events other than happening upon a flier, or a friend in the know. OKgamers has been changing that since 2006.
Finding new events can lead to meeting gamers and friends in Oklahoma who share your interests. Without something like OKgamers, some gaming communities are left with quite a challenge. Thousands of gamers just like us are out there. OKgamers is the connection that can connect you to a new friend, or a community of people who think just like you, and love the things you love.
If you look across the web, it’s easy to see how small town gamers often envy larger gaming communities or even become disconnected and even resentful towards their own home town. That’s a shame. A gamer can feel pretty alone out in rural areas unless someone steps up to organize the community and give everyone a voice. That’s where OKgamers comes in. We improve our local communities through our volunteer work; we collaborate with local businesses to help them get connected with their core demographics! This stimulates local businesses, and at the same time expands OKgamers.com’s reach; we get the word out to as many gamers as possible. No gamer should be stuck feeling left out or bored when there are countless friends to be made! There are literally HUNDREDS of local events going on each year right here in your state of Oklahoma.
Life is ultimately about the people you meet, the friends you make, and the memories you collectively share. Gaming is that common thread that brings so many of us together, and can create friendships that last a lifetime. Talk with the staff – some of the most interesting people we’ve ever met came into our lives over a game casual game of Halo or traveling the nation for Soul Calibur. Want to meet people in your state that share your passion? Get on the OKgamers Facebook, and dig into the forums to see what you’ve been missing out on!
We do this because it benefits everyone in the Oklahoma area.
You should care – because you’ve been missing out. Stop that.
History of OKgamers.com
Everything starts with a need; such is the story of the early OKgamers.com
In 2005, certain popular arcade fighting game franchise went from being competitively played in the arcade, to being a console game exclusive. Saif, founder of OKgamers, realized that to find competition for his favorite game – he’d have to get the attention of console gamers hiding in their houses. Having a history of helping the local arcade with them, Saif whipped up some flyers and decided to throw some tournaments; the details however didn’t all fit on a single flyer. As a web designer, Saif also knew that flyer based promotion had its limits, so Saif realized he needed to put the info on a website.
Unfortunately Saif’s personal website was out of the question as a Tournament Resource URL; there was a big ol’ curse word in that URL. Needing something family friendly, he began looking for something more broad and inclusive, which led us to OKgamers.com. Shortly after initial talks, Saif and friends realized that OKgamers.com could be far more than a site devoted to one game – it could be a resource for gamers of all kinds across the entire state.
In 2006, OKgamers opened it’s figurative doors and began reaching out to local arcade and console gamers, naively thinking nobody else needed our help, only to soon discover otherwise. OKgamers.com was registered in January 2006, opened up it’s forums in March, and immediately started finding it’s core purpose. Our view started to expand as we began to realize that “gamer”, being the broad term that it is, could easily serve gamers not attached to a console or controller. The longer the site stayed online, the more visitors arrived who drifted towards tabletop gaming, collectible card games, and live-action role playing. We brought anyone who cared into the inner circle and sat down together to find ideas to strengthen our respective communities.
While centralized information was needed by all Oklahoma Gamers; console gamers still lacked the most in the event scene. So, in late 2006 OKgamers.com started throwing monthly tournaments to rally local console players and promote the site. Soon, businesses began to approach us seeking help consulting, organizing, and running tournaments and event for local players. As the site efforts expanded, so did the need for manpower. We opened up volunteer staff positions, and collaborated with any business that we could to bring more events to the community, and also of course, to get the word out about OKgamers.com – a “win win” for both building communities and spreading the word to it.
2007 was the year our work began to be recognized. We grew in leaps and bounds, working with not just businesses, but conventions, and garnering online, radio, and local TV coverage, which all brought more eyes to the website. We hosted more events than we care to remember, and probably single-handedly burned out the entire local Guitar Hero community.
Moving into 2008, we were made aware of, and soon approved by volunteer databases 1800volunteer.org now volunteertulsa.org which opened the door to working with local colleges to help students get their community service hours. This was fantastic as it opened the door to new collaboration, and improved manpower. And just in time; after all that growth we had at least 5 different conventions and large scale events we were working with in 2008 alone.
2009 & 2010 would be years of change; we saw conventions close their doors, and Tokyo in Tulsa grow. We honed our volunteer efforts, and refined our processes.
2011 was a banner year for growth as it saw OKgamers move under the wing of TokyoUSA as its umbrella company, and we became sister programs with Tokyo in Tulsa (Oklahoma’s largest asian culture convention) and Contemplation (Oklahoma’s celebration of words, both for professionals and casuals alike). We hosted one of the Midwest’s largest game rooms at Tokyo in Tulsa 2011, and began to refocus on cultivating the smaller fan followings in the state and help them grow into something larger through weekly home gatherings. Sadly we worked with fewer larger scale events; several were now gone.
OKgamers.com – 2012 and the future?
As we entered 2012, we crystallized our system in 2 very important ways: Promotional Events and Community Leads. A Promotional Event is simply an official name for what we’ve always done – helped businesses and communities while getting the word out about OKgamers; only now we have a set name, and system. Community Leads are the local gamers who aren’t OKgamers staff, but help keep all of Oklahoma playing their games; and with the right rule sets. By taking the position, these Community Leads not only guarantee more events for their particular game in Oklahoma? A “CL” would have watched as OKgamers.com kept it’s promise – rewarding games with CL’s $4,000+ in sponsorship for 2012 so far, poured directly into their games’ tournament payouts.
What else for 2012? We ran Tokyo in Tulsa 2012′s gaming area – Oklahoma’s Largest Gaming Event – seeing not only $1,000′s in sponsored tournament payouts for those games with Community Leads, but helping TnT to see over 5,000 in attendance.
What ELSE for 2012? As always, we want to expand reach as many people possible and continue to transform Oklahoma into a place known for its gaming community. We’re always in the process of expansion and chasing bold new ideas — some we can talk about, and some we can’t (yet). We’re always trying to reach out to tabletop & CCG gamers as well; so many businesses and groups have events for collectible card game players, table-top, and live-action-role-players but do not share the info through OKgamers yet.
Looking forward, 2012 has been a year of massive growth for OKgamers and the community we serve in more ways than anyone can possibly know. For the remainder of 2012, and looking into 2013 we know our Promotional Events list will take on even more additions. And we know, as always, we’ll continue to explore new ways of expanding our benefits and recognizably throughout Oklahoma as the ultimate gamer event resource and central community to gamers of all kinds.