The owner of a local amusement park and a friend have organized a dance and combat video game tournament this weekend in the Golden East Crossing mall.
McKeith Myrick, a co-owner of Hot Wheels Amusement Park on Wesleyan Blvd. and Bounce-N-Around in the Golden East Crossing mall, has teamed up with dance video gamer Nick Denty to hold the event, which runs Friday through Sunday in the empty space by JCPenney that was previously a dollar store.
In the dance games, players get an aerobic workout as they stand on the video game’s dance platform and hit colored arrows laid out in a cross with their feet to musical and visual cues.
Competitors from as far away as Florida have signed up to take each other on in the tournaments.
“We’ve probably got about 10 people from Florida coming, five to 10 from Virginia, maybe five from Georgia, potentially two people coming from Las Vegas,” Denty said.
The admission fee for the “Rocky Mount XI” event is $10. Players also pay $10 to participate in each tournament.
Cash prizes will be awarded based on the number of competitors who sign up.
Dance games include Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, Dance Dance Supernova, In The Groove 2, Pump It Up Fiesta and The Dance Game Gauntlet.
Fighting games include Xbox’s Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 and King Of Fighters XIII. Also, PS3 contests will include Injustice: Gods Among Us, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Super Smash Bros. Melee Singles and Super Smash Bros. Brawl Singles.
For a $20 fee, teams can play Super Smash Bros. Melee Doubles and Super Smash Bros. Brawl Doubles.
Denty said the fees being charged will pay for expenses such as leasing out the space, and the rest will go to prize money.
“I guess you could say it’s a nonprofit. I’m not really looking to make money,” Denty said.
Denty, a junior information technology administrator at Eastern Petroleum Corp. in Rocky Mount, said the video games, particularly the dance games, are his hobby.
He’s organized dance and video game events separately in Rocky Mount before, but this time he’s putting it all together in one big event.
The last dance video contest he organized was in 2009 at Mini Putt Family Entertainment Center.
He said he’s been trying to hold bi-monthly video fighting game contests, with the last one being held in April at Hot Wheels Amusement Park.
The number of participants at the events continues to increase, Denty said.
“In April we had 50 people come to Hot Wheels just for fighting games,” he said. “It has been growing. The first two events I did out there had maybe 10 people show up.”
People can register for the dance events on Saturday starting at noon on Friday. Events will continue during the mall’s hours of operation throughout the weekend until Sunday at 6 p.m.
Players also can register for the fighting games on the Rocky Mount XI Facebook site, Denty said.
Myrick said he and Denty are friends, and the event should be a positive for the mall and local economy. Several players have reserved rooms in local hotels.
“We’re trying to bring something positive to the area,” he said.