Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

September 18, 2008 -

Kenyan game designer Wesley Kirinya says that people in Africa are willing to buy games "if the content is relevant and it is African."

But if game development is challenging in the more developed nations, it sounds positively daunting in Kenya. Kirinya, creator of The Adventures of Nyangi (see video) talked about the challenges of game development in Kenya with website All Africa:

When I made my first video game, I first wanted to test whether people in Kenya would pay for it. What I can say is that, yes, there’s a market here, but it’s not as big as in the U.S. or Europe. It’s the sort of market that grows with your product. But if I made a video game, it wouldn’t be just for Kenya. I could sell it all over the continent, especially if the content is relevant and it is African...

 

It’s tough to find the people with the necessary skills to program a video game. It’s like you’re designing a whole virtual world. It takes skills in physics and math, and a video game is nearly a real-time application...

Funding is a major issue, Kirinya said:

The second problem is finding capital. Video games can take one to two years to make. That means one to two years without generating money. The only way to operate sometimes is to take people on a reduced salary or stipend with the promise of a large bonus after the game is created.

 

It’s also… difficult to get the exact machine you want from computer dealers here. The kind of computers I need to buy cost about 200,000 Kenyan shillings (about U.S. $3,333). Then add another 50,000 Kenyan shillings (about $833) to ship them. Then you have to clear them through customs. The entire process from purchase to use can take months. Those kinds of delays can cause you to lose morale. So when we want to use the same machines as guys in the U.S. or Europe, we’re already at a great disadvantage.

Cox Newspapers reported last year on Kirinya's game project, citing comments by Kenyan economist James Shikwati:

For him to just come up with a computer game is well ahead of his time because people will say, 'Kenyans, computer games? No, we don't make computer games. He has shown that computer games are not a preserve of the Western world.


Comments

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

Thanks good job;

Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing travesti or little and need to start saving costs. and dizi izle

YES.

Now I don't have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

Wait... I think that sounds like a good idea.

But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God's Sake... least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

I'm all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there's one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what's stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you'll find they don't think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they'll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless... yeah.

The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can't figure out the controls for Halo so it's frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it's in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child's life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can't be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It's too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

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Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

 The answer to this article is Absolutely!

The answer is non obvious though.  The government needs to divert education initiatives 

into online education.  The initiatives already underway to provide solar, wind and other renewable types of electricity along with low cost laptop (with wireless) devices and newer cell tower technology is leading towards the capability to provide next to free education for all the children.  Instead of having thousands of teachers develop lessons for the students, why not use some fraction of those funds and resources to develop learning modules on the web and then provide the tools necessary to access the web.

This means that the education should be developed as video games (somehow without the killing monster type) so they get "addicted" to playing and are learning at the same time.

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

How many children are going to be willing to use their free time to learn?  And when has there ever been a really succesful game that was an educational game?

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

Carmen Sandiago?

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

Touché!

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

*facepalm*

I still remember playing "Where In The U.S.A. Is Carmen Sandiego?" on my PC. I look back and say "ULTIMATE Fail"


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I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON'S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.



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I AM DOOMED TO HAUNT JACK THOMPSON'S DREAMS UNTIL HIS CRUSADE AGAINST VIDEO GAMES ENDS.

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

Since when have computer games been "a preserve of the Western world"? Japan is part of the West now? 

To the actual market in question: video games markets are predominantly found in economically strong nations. If Kenya is developed enough, there shouldn't be any problem starting a video games industry.

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

If India can't leverage their software development industry to create a growing games industry, I can't see how Kenya would. You need a big market of home video gaming if video games are ever going to get popular in any place.

The developers themselves already have financial problems getting their work computers, so how would you think the average Kenyan family would manage?

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

I suppose the thing is for me is the developers act as though people care what country a game was made in. I don't even know where half my games were written, and even if I did, I wouldn't buy them for that reason, I buy them if they are a good game which is enjoyable to play and rewarding.

If you are going to make a country oriented game, then the biggest mistake I often see is to make the 'elitist', and inaccessible to anyone outside the targetted audience, which is, in itself, going to make the game far less accessible to other players. The most succesful games are those that don't rely on the player being a specific gender, race, colour or creed.

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

15 minutes before they start making Ethnic Cleansing titles.

~You Could Be Mine, But You're Way Out Of Line..~

~You Could Be Mine, But You're Way Out Of Line..~

Re: Can Video Game Development Help Africa Develop?

No joke. Hell the advertising writes itself;

"Tired of the big nosed Tutsi being richer and better off than you?  Get revenge with your Hutu bretheren!  Use all manner of weapons, from machete to rifle, as you kill people who are only barely different than yourself!"

Also, when do we get games about denying food to citizens so it can be squirreled away by warlords?  Or forcing children to mine diamonds or fight in your wars?  What a great RTS that would be, eh?

 
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