Dez Loreen has had plenty of firsts in his life.

But being the first Inuvialuit to be featured in a video game was not one of them — until now.

“It’s pretty cool man,” he said. “An indy-game developer says they’re making a GM-based game. I’m like, hell yeah, I’m down for that. They want to have the biggest roster ever, and I said well, if you’re taking applications I’d definitely like to.

“Granted, there’s hundreds and hundreds of guys in this thing, so it’s definitely not like getting picked for whatever merit. But I think it’s super-cool to be the first on in Totally Arctic Wrestling to be in a video game.”

Loreen put his wrestling persona, Deztro the Eskimofo, forward for the registry of Indy Pro ‘22, currently in development by Valdarix Games. The booking sim, essentially a fantasy-football style game, puts the player in charge of his own wrestling promotion and simulates the experience of operating it.

Entirely strategy and organization based, the game doesn’t feature 3D graphics or even visualizations of matches, so Loreen won’t be strapping on a motion capture suit just yet.

“It’s managing a roster, whose going to fight each week, which wrestlers do you want on contract,” he said. “There’s something to be said about these fantasy text games. You can use a lot of imagination and have a lot of fun with it without a lot of processor powers and graphics.

“I’m super-pumped for it. It’s pretty niche, but as someone who is a pretty avid gamer I think it’s pretty neat.”

Although Loreen hasn’t put any other Totally Arctic Wrestling bruisers forward for the game, he’s given them free reign to do so. Another feature of the game is the ability to take over a pre-existing wrestling promotion, though Loreen has offered TAW up to the game designer as a potential stable.

In the interim, Loreen is turning his attention back to getting to the mats. Plans to host a show in Tuktoyaktuk fell through with the Covid-19 outbreak and the rapid drop in temperature made training in their unheated space rather undesirable.

But with his wrestlers returning from vacations and other business, Loreen said another season of Saturday Night Skoden is in the works, with a story arc and plans for an outdoor brawl at some point.

As for his next public show, Loreen has his fingers crossed and sights set on jamboree season.

”Covid-19 has definitely slowed down our plans to do a winter show in Tuk,” he said. “That was going to be our big comeback, so we’re going to have to re-map that one out a bit. We’re trying to negotiate some time with a local venue, because we’re in the middle of winter already. In the last 15 to 20 years it hasn’t been this cold so quickly.

“So we’re trying to work something out with a local venue located indoors so that we can be in there during weekends to practice matches and tape the next seven episodes of Saturday Night Skoden. But everything costs money at this point, so we’re just trying to keep the wheels turning.”

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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