Can games make a better world? Can new forms of participation be made possible through gaming and gamification? Can the culture technique of gaming have an impact on the development of cities and countries? And how should such processes be designed? ENTER AFRICA wants to create a playful experience concerning these questions on the future of the city.
During the program, which takes place in 15 African countries, participants create a local based game that is connected with the future of each city. The programme consists of two game lab sessions (4 days in 2018 and 3 days in 2019) in each country and online support in between. Every team in every participating country has the chance to send one representative to an additional Game Lab in Addis Abeba to create an African wide game based on the first Game Lab workshops. This mega game will be presented at the Gamescom in Cologne, Germany in 2019. Gamescom is one of the biggest fairs worldwide for game developers with 919 companies from 54 countries presenting their latest games, current software and innovative accessories.
Gaming is about creating games while Gamification is about using game-mechanics in a non-game context. The project uses both to create a digital-analogue playful experience that will be about one or more aspects of the transformation-process of the city. Participants design, develop, and test a real local-based-game that deals with the future of your city the way they want it. This includes getting an insight into the core of game mechanics, creating a story line, learning how to implement analogue spaces into a game and feeding all the elements into a digital platform.
The project 'Gamify Your City Future!' was first run for the first time in early 2017 for the city of Addis Abeba by Creative Future's support. Playful Experience and Gamification was first introduced to a team of interdisciplinary backgrounds after which they produced the first interactive, location based Game for Addis Abeba, Battle Of The Times. After recognizing its enjoyable potentials towards targeting and reaching a city's issues and its culture in a new way, Goethe Institute took the next level. The Next Big Level: “We have had the experience of adapting one City from passively analogue to interactively digital and playable. How about we try to do the same in a bigger scale? In a much bigger scale? Africa?”
**About the facilitators**
Christoph Deeg is a consultant, speaker, and author in the field of gamification and digitalanalogue strategies. He is consulting national and international institutions, organizations, and companies on the development and implementation of comprehensive and sustainable digital strategies and is developing and realizing gamification projects in countries such as Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Austria, Germany, and Mexico. He lectures widely on this topic at national and international conferences and is the author of “Gaming und Bibliotheken” (Gaming and Libraries) and founder of the interdisciplinary network “games4culture.”
Bethlehem Anteneh is an experimental architect that felt an outsider amongst reserved architecture. Her natural curiosity in trying to understand intangible causes and processes that drive the world brought her forth with game-thinking. Her graduation project was then an application of that curiosity resulting in a new daring urban concept. Caught between experience design, playful experience and architecture, she specializes in the possibilities arising from the combination of game-thinking and architecture as well as urban development. Amongst her initiations are Rethopia, and co-founding of the Ethiopian game-thinking and gamification network Chewata Awaqi. It was created during the project “Gamify your City-Future!” with the Goethe Institute in Addis Abeba. Ever since, Chewata Awaqi’s main focus has been on the motivational process for civilians to engage and redefine possibilities of their future in real locations and situations through game-thinking.
Enter Africa Game Night Vol. 1
On the 25th January 2019, the Kampala based team of Enter Africa invited the public to the very first Gamenight. Numerous people attended the first event that took place in this form in the Goethe Zentrum Kampala/ UGCS library. As part of the project Enter Africa - Gamify your City Future, the guests could test the Prototype of the game. Currently, next to the Megagame of the Project, the Kampala based team is also working on a game about the reviving of talents in the city of Kampala.
The team gave insights in this fascinating project and instructed the players in the rules of the game. Excited about the good response and feedback, we can't wait until the Game is officially launched!
WORKSHOP AND GAMENIGHT VOL. 2
Enter Africa is a project by Goethe Institute that consists of interdisciplinary teams in which 15 African cities, Kampala included, create location-based games with the aim of one Megagame about borderlessness and the promotion of African cultures. The Kampala-based Team, supported by Goethe Zentrum/ UGCS Kampala, participated in a 4day Workshop from Thursday, 20th February until Sunday, 24th February, ended by the second edition of the Enter Africa Game Night at the Five Horsemen, Nsambya – where the Game could be tested and tried out as a Board Game. Enter Africa coordinator, Goethe Institute Addis Ababa, sent her Gamification Lead for the project, Bethlehem Anteneh, to support the progress of the Ugandan Team in Kampala.
After having a Milestone presentation, where feedback about the actual standpoint was reconsidered, the Team spoke about their general launch plans. After several game play-tests, the current game could be revised and improved by the team, considering problems, contradictions and amendments in the game’s story and progression. Incorporating flash cards with the aid of the Design Analysis Method, which Workshop Facilitator Bethlehem Anteneh presented, a depth analysis of the present game could be guaranteed – in the Question and Answer sessions that followed, the Workshop Participants could analyze and connect on how to use the play-test outcomes, in an open document session. In group works, To-Do Lists and personal quests were defined and determined, referring to each individuals input possibilities and tasks in the project.
Using the produced documents of the first day, the participants, on the second and third day, put their efforts into the improvements needed in the structure of the game, continuing the work on the production of the final game. Using Espoto, a Digital Venue, where created content can be put in, the Kampala Enter Africa team created the “Event” of the game – through this also, the several Test Runs could be generated, focusing on “Baby Steps” and never leave the Basic and Essential Steps out of place. The team agreed on tailoring the game to a group of individuals, for how they understand it, influencing the then resulting presentation of the game, as well as on an advertisement schedule and structure via Media and Social Media, while programming of the game is still adjusted and adapted. In this process, it is still ensured, that the rules of the games can be easily changed and adapted to the occurring circumstances.
After the tasks of the Workshop participants had been done, the agreement was made to marking them to actual people, creating a Fanbase connected to the Kampala-based game. Advertisement can then be done via the usage of QR-Codes, easing the access for people wanting to try and play the game. Before April, a playable Game will be showcased, considering the context and background of the people playing it.
Concerning this, big improvements in the game were made, setting up and determining the End goal of the game, what the story of it will be like and how the revival of talents in the city of Kampala can be generated – this orients in how the game can achieve the aim.
Using scripts and the Dramatic Structure Model, Bethlehem Anteneh supported the participants in the “What”, “Why”, and “How” of the game, respecting topics like the importance of an introduction, Penalties and Reward for the several tasks, Quests, Location, Structure, as well as Variables and Constants and the Outgame Experience. A strategy resulting from this was invented.
GAMENIGHT VOL. 2 AT THE FIVE HORSEMEN NSAMBYA, KAMPALA
After the end of the last day, the participants, as well as the workshop facilitator and project coordinator, could look back on the huge progress they made in the game. To complete the Workshop Schedule and the made success, the team invited to a Game Night Vol. 2 – a special edition, where the team could give exclusive insights and leading test players into playing and testing the game, as a Board Game, before the launch. 12 players and other, over 30, attendees of the Game Night, enjoyed this, bringing a big interest in the Game and the project with them. The special location of the Five Horsemen in Nsambya, Kampala, its special atmosphere and stunning view over the city of Kampala topped the Workshop Week off for everyone.