AOPPYC Hosts Online Game Night for Youth as End of Summer Event

Kyle Knox

Gila River Indian News


As summer break comes to a close for school-aged youth, the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council hosted an online Game Night on Friday, July 30. Youth participants were able to play games together safely from the comfort of their own homes utilizing their chosen game console, phones, and tablets with Internet connectivity. 


“We wanted an end of summer activity which any youth could join and have fun. And the main goal was to bring youth together to socialize and create new friendships among one another,” said Michael Preston, AOPPYC Coordinator. 


Utilizing Zoom and online gaming platforms, local youth and others from California and Washington played Among Us, Fortnite, Mario Cart Tour, Wheel of Fortune, and Mini Militia. Various prizes were awarded to the winners of each game and raffle drawings were held throughout the night. 


A month of planning went into the event. Members had to research games that were easily accessible and did not require money to play. In addition, several AOPPYC members volunteered to host and coordinate the gameplay. Though the AOPPYC is accustomed to hosting virtual events, this new venture posed some Internet connection challenges that were quickly overcome, ensuring everyone could play.  


AOPPYC member Waylon Webb coordinated the Fortnite portion of the event and enjoyed the evening. Webb liked the chosen games because it is “what the youth play nowadays.” He also mentioned the opportunity to host more game nights with new games if the AOPPYC decides to host future events. 


“I think the Game Night was a lot of fun, as it gave us a way to connect with each other online through Zoom, and I really enjoyed being able to be a part of the event and finish off our summer on a good note,” said AOPPYC member Jada Young, who coordinated the Mario Cart Tour and Among Us games. “I  hope we can continue this event and expand it more, so more youth can participate,” said Young.


Despite minor connectivity issues, the AOPPYC provided an enjoyable, safe night of games for everyone who participated. At the conclusion of the event, many youths shared their “gamer tags” with each other to continue their gameplay outside the event. 


Future “game nights” are a possibility based on the success of this event. The idea will be a topic of discussion for AOPPYC members at their next meeting.