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Nairobi, Kenya
UNPLUGGED 2121: CONQUER THE ENEMY WITHIN

Nairobi CBD, Kenya
© Yonko Kilasi on Unsplash

In the action-packed location-based game from Nairobi, the players get to save the city from a deadly virus that has infected the society and its systems.

Nairobi - A flourishing City

Nairobi is the economic center of East Africa and has seen a spiraling rise in infrastructure and technology in recent years. Being the capital and largest city of Kenya, numerous multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola, Google and IBM have found their home there, as well as IT and Fintech companies and United Nations offices. The city’s 3 million inhabitants can also proudly say that the Nairobi Security Exchange is one of Africa’s largest stock exchanges.

KAKITU - A virus threatening the city 

However, in contrast to all of that technological and economic advancement, the Enter Africa Team in Nairobi feels that social and moral values have actually deteriorated. Roy Kisielo, member of the team and a graphic technician at the Technical University of Kenia, says: “We look at corruption, the tribalism, the way people treat each other. Because as much as we are so technological, socially people are still breaking.” He furthermore highlights the big problem of crime in Nairobi and compares the social grievances to a virus, “Kakitu”, that has taken over the society.

The Story and Locations

It is exactly that virus “Kakitu” which is at the heart of the location-based game from Nairobi. The virus has infected all of the city and the system is broken down. As a player, you now have to travel through the city and solve different obstacles in different locations, like at the railway museum or the University of Nairobi, amongst others. In each location, the player takes on the role of a different character fitting to the location and thereby experiences Nairobi and its history through the eyes of various people – thus learning interesting facts, e.g. that the city was built in 1899 by British colonialists as rail depot for the Uganda railway, or that the name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi, which translates to "cool water".

Characters from the past, present and the future

One of the characters in the game is the mythical superhero Shujaa (meaning Hero in KiSwahili). “We are trying to recognize our forefathers, the ones who fought for our freedom. Through Shujaa you are trying to save the city. The theme is Past – Present – Future, so through the Scholar (Msomi) you play the future, through the Governor the present and through Shujaa the past”.

Why should I play Unplugged 2121?

“Unplugged 2121: Conquer the Enemy within” shows how games can play an important role in helping people grow and learn more about the world. Who would have known before that the name Kenya appears to have come from the Kamba word Kinyaa, meaning "Ostrich"?

The team from Nairobi hopes to change values and beliefs through their game. ”We also want people to think about how the future can look, to challenge themselves – and we are always open to ideas, because that is how the world changes”.

The Team from Nairobi

Cliff Gor, Mwangi Kamau, Calvin Lichungu, Joseph Ochieng, Wendi Ndaki, Philip Nzioka, Roy Kisielo
The Team from Nairobi© Enter Africa Nairobi

THE GAME

Unplugged © Steven Tu

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