“Enter Africa” at A MAZE. / Berlin
Action games through Africa
For the first time, the creative African network “Enter Africa” had the possibility to present itself on the European gaming stage. Supported by Goethe-Institutes in Africa, members of the individual “Enter Africa” teams showcased their 15 location-based games at the A MAZE. / Berlin.
By Nina Fink
During his opening speech, A MAZE. / Berlin festival director Thorsten Wiedemann explicitly mentioned Enter Africa and expressed his thankfulness and excitement for hosting the young game developers: Consisting of 15 different African nationalities, the team presented its current games. They took the audience on a journey through different places in Africa and showed the history and design of the games.
Matthew Hansen from “Enter Africa” Accra presents their location-based game “The Chronicles of Klinu” | Photo: Andy Katambwe, Mitglied von "Enter Africa“ Kinshasa
Prejudices and stereotypesMany exhibitors and visitors engaged in discussions with the team of “Enter Africa” about their ideas behind the games, technical aspects or what the “African” of African stories is. It soon became very clear that there is a lack of knowledge about Africa – be it politics, culture, or industries – and prejudices and stereotypes are still prevailing in the media and the general picture about the continent. However, there is a growing appetite and big eagerness from both sides to change these perceptions.
“People really want to know more about Africa and I mean they want to know more about African Stories, African tales, etc. They are really looking forward to see this project succeed, they want that Africa take his place in the game industry.” Abdou Aziz Sall, “Enter Africa” Dakar
Those discussions were deepened during the workshops “Enter Africa” offered: Topics discussed ranged from future cooperation possibilities, about the chances and challenges of being an Indie Game Developer in Africa, and finally how to fight stereotypes and create own characters to bring African stories back to the continent.
Interested visitors and exhibitors engaged in intesive discussions about African Storytelling and the African gaming industry | Photo: Evelia Essenam Gadegbeku, member of “Enter Africa” Ouagadougou
A group of magic mindsThe participation at A MAZE. / Berlin showed that “Enter Africa” still has a long road ahead of itself, regarding both its presentation at Gamescom in August 2019 as well as the future of the network as a whole. Nevertheless, the great potential of Enter Africa was visible to everyone.
“Enter Africa has unified a small group of magic minds and can therefore do the same even on a larger scale. We have to keep on going because this is what we have all been longing for, a platform where all African stories and experiences can be told.” Laurean Ntaate, Enter Africa Kampala
The “Enter Africa” representatives celebrated with festival director Thorsten Wiedemann their success at A MAZE. / Berlin | Photo: Evelia Gadegbeku Essenam, member of Enter Africa Ouagadougou