The Goethe Institut Lagos’ interactive exhibition, Games and Politics, which saw the public display of explicitly political games created since 2004 by the ZKM (Zentrum Fur Kunst und Medien) came to a close yesterday with the Enter Africa Lagos open play day. While welcoming participants to the event, the Director of Goethe-Institute Nigeria, Friederike Möschel, explained that the creation of local content in the game design space is the motivation behind the project.
The Location Based Games
15 African cities have worked in clusters on this project–Addis Ababa, Kampala, Dar Es salaam, Windhoek, Kigali, Johannesburg, nairobi, Lome, Abidjan, Kinshasa, Ouagadougou, Lagos, Dakar, Yaounde and Accra. During the last year, each of the teams has created a location-based app game that deals with a specific challenge of their cities. They were supported by the two experienced designers Bethlehem Anteneh and Dagmawi Bedilu as well as the German gaming expert Christoph Deeg. They have accompanied the game labs in the respective countries and advised the teams on game development. Now, the countries have come together for the first time to incorporate their visions and ideas in one game.
The Enter Africa “Megagame”
In October 2018 representatives from the 15 Enter Africa country teams came together in Addis Ababa to discuss common topics for a truly African game. A game narrative emerged around the topics of borderlessness and the promotion of African culture. Incorporating the different visions and ideas in one game has been a challenge – but this was solved in a fun and of course playful way — through intercultural exchange, mutual respect and fruitful brainstorming.
Laurean Ntaate, Enter Africa participant from Kampala, Uganda, during the Megagame Workshop in Addis Ababa
“We are all different people, we are coming from different parts of the continent. But in a way, we think alike. If you look at all these ideas we collected, they are not so different. Maybe the English is different or possibly the cultures – but we have the same idea. It’s literally the same idea. And just getting to meet these other people, opens you up. The way you think. Because, we have different cultures, but we also share something. And I’m like: ‘Oh wow, you also do that.’ And: ‘Yeah, we also do that, the same thing.’ You get so excited about that oneness you share.”
Enter Africa Lagos Location Games
The Lagos cluster presents its own location based games on the last day of the Politics and Games Interactive Exhibition which ran from April 23 to May 15, 2019. The games are location-based in Obalende, Freedom Park, Sabo-Yaba, CMS, Ikeja, Surulere, University of Lagos, and the Lagos City Hall.
To participate in the game play, players download espoto, a mobile app (available on both ios and android platforms) then scan a QR code to enter the game.
The games across the different cities will be presented on different occasions across the African continent. They were presented at A Maze April 10-13, 2019 and will be presented at theGamescom happening in Germany August 20th- 24th, 2019 .
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