ENTER AFRICA aims at building a community and network of people throughout Africa and the world who are dedicated to creating a better future in African cities. It incorporates several workshops in 15 African countries over a duration of almost two years. It is a Goethe Institut project run by a Gamification Expert -Christoph Deeg, an Architect-Bethlehem Anteneh and a Software Engineer-Dagmawi Bedilu. The gaming project aims to reach African Cities and its analogue issues playfully as well as digitally.
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.
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 hosted their first Game Night before the launch of the Game.
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
To achieve more progress while establishing the games before their Launch, the Kampala team participated in a Workshop from the 20th – 24th February 2019. 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. To top this work up, the Team held their 2nd Gamenight, which again was open to the public.
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.
Good News! Enter Africa hits the ground running and starts its ambitious journey!
Good News! Enter Africa hits the ground running and starts its ambitious journey! The participants discussed together on the workshop, how the project could and should continue beyond 2019 – establishing a transition from being a project run by Goethe-Institut to an independent structure, all participants following the same vision.
Enter Africa coordinator, Goethe Institute Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, invited representatives from each of the 15 Sub-Sahara Africa participating countries from 5th-8th March 2019. Enter Africa Uganda was represented there through Kampala-based team member Keya Nemesis. The participants discussed together on the workshop, how the project could and should continue beyond 2019 – establishing a transition from being a project run by Goethe-Institut to an independent structure, all participants following the same vision:
“We are a creative African organization made up of different bodies. We exist to enhance the living conditions of African people. We create a gaming ecosystem that represents African culture and reimagines African futures” (Goethe Insitut Addis Ababa)
The mission of the future is to collect African games on a platform, so they can be for sale and collection, as well as to create, promote, innovate and sell the African content. Regular gaming events will be organized all over the continent, where Gamification can be used as a tool to enhance people’s day-to-day activities. Structures will be established, that build an ecosystem for advocacy, lobbying and networking. Emphasizing on Science, as well as on technology, these techniques will be used also in the future to be able to innovate, create and tell authentic African stories. Local communities can take their big part in the project, contributing to the ecosystem in whole. Goethe Institut Gamification representative, Julia Sattler, is stating the aim of Enter Africa:
“Ultimately, we interconnect people through Gamification”
One important next step towards this independent international organizational structure will be to have 15 elected country representatives, to liaise with during the transition phase. These 15 elected country leaders will – out of this circle – elect 5 people for the executive committee.
Still, the heart of Enter Africa lies in the local teams and ecosystems, just like in the work the Kampala-based Enter Africa team does. But at the same time, a structure will be established, that represents the whole network. Right now, this is still the role of the Goethe-Institut, which will be changed in the process. Through the international structure, it is then possible to support local activities and, at the same time, make them visible in connection with the other country activities and on a higher level. The first Milestone to achieve this is to vote for a country representative, as well as for a vice-representative. Then, an executive committee will be established by the end of April. Out of 15 country-representatives, the 5 people for the executive committee will be elected. As soon as the executive committee is established, the local ecosystem will be finalized. This will then be linked with the international Enter Africa structure.
As soon as the 15 country representatives are voted in each country, application forms will be send out to these, so the executive committee will be enriched by the position of the Regional Manager, Strategy and RDI (research, development, innovation), Marketing and Communication, M&E, as well as Finance.