No longer is the familiar image of a ‘gamer’ equated with a plus-sized-to-obese Western kid, with food smeared across his face sitting on an old, ratty couch in an American living room, playing video games in his soiled underwear – the quintessential “couch potato”. Nope!
Africans have joined the global gaming craze in droves.
So much so that video game development studios and ‘game houses’ have begun to open in countries from Nigeria to Kenya and South Africa to Egypt. With various sources of funding in hand (from the somewhat traditional to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo), Africans are creating their own video games, bringing African culture and texture to the gaming experience…because, like everyone else, Africans wish to see themselves in their favorite video games and are going about the business of making that a reality.
Like Cameroon’s own called Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan featuring an African hero, and his imaginary world inspired by African folklore, or Kenya’s, Ananse: The Origin, based on Ghanaian mythology, or Mzito, which takes users on a journey to save Africa, or the Okada Rider, from Nigeria that simulates the legendary traffic gridlock of Lagos, or…
Recently, these types of gaming designers, developers, engineers, graphic artists, players and gaming enthusiasts from all over Africa were assembled, at the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, Ivory Coast around the theme: “Video Games in Africa, it is possible.” The Electronic and Video Game Festival of Abidjan (FEJA) ran from on Saturday, November 11th to Monday, November 13th.
During the month of September, avid gamers participated in qualifying tournaments. A total of 256 players from 6 African countries were selected to compete and try to win rewards of more than 10,000 euros ($11,795.50).
The event attracted participants from the entire eco-system of gaming in Africa including those working in animation, game design and sales of gaming technology. The nascent gaming industry in Africa is experiencing a boom with ever more African themed games, local studios and rapid growth in mobile game revenues. FEJA, showcased the best of e-sport in Africa and provided participants an opportunity to connect over games, win prizes and be a part of one of the fastest growing industries in on the continent.
The speakers in the video appear in order;
- Sidick Bakayoko, Event Organizer
- Mahaman Sani Housseyni, CEO of Mog Media Design, Niger
- Kunmi Adenipebi CEO, Naija Game Evolution, Nigeria
- Selasie Brown, Gamers, Ghana