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.