Jozi, Joburg or simply „Town“– Johannesburg has many names, but none of them is actually as fitting as “eGoli”. eGoli, Zulu for “Gold”, sums up in one word the whole evolution of one of the biggest, most vibrant cities on the African continent.
THE "EL DORADO" OF WITWATERSRAND
Johannesburg was born in 1886, when the first European settlers found seemingly inexhaustible amounts of gold in the hills of the Witwatersrand area. Soon, news of the mystic “El Dorado” spread globally and fortune-seekers from all over the world arrived. Johannesburg quickly emerged as the major metropolitan area in the country and continues to do so.
HEARTBREAKS AND SUCCESS - FINDING YOUR PERSONAL "GOLD"
“The ‘Golden Gumboot’ signifies a working era in which Johannesburg was a mining town”, says Nathi Tshabalala, a member of the Johannesburg Enter Africa group. He picks up on the fact that in the present day, people still come from all over the world to find their fortune, their personal definition of gold: “The metaphor is about people coming into Johannesburg seeking wealth. What lies within the promises of Jozi is a lot of heartbreak, but a lot of success as well. So our game idea is to seek locations and make tasks that make people aware of the possibilities of success and failure when you’re seeking gold in the City of Johannesburg”, he continues.
Diversity as an asset and liability
Tshabalala’s background as an Intelligent Transport specialist is just one example of the diverse composition of the Enter Africa in Johannesburg, as it consists of an architect, an IT specialist in Data analysis and two young game developers to only name a few. Exactly that diversity is what the group also found to be the most beneficial, yet challenging part of Johannesburg.
THE GAME “WALK WITH ME”
© Steven Tu
That is why they capture this theme in their location-based Game. It incorporates real-life spaces and places within Johannesburg that can be discovered and interacted with. Combined with the focus on diversity and the personal search for gold, players will experience the city through the eyes of different characters that live in Johannesburg. In neighborhoods such as Newtown or Maboneng, there are different tasks to be completed, tasks that will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the city. Learning is an important aspect of the game: “That’s part of our idea of the game: for the players to discover the experience how one finds his gold in Johannesburg…we want our players to reinforce their knowledge of an area or even to discover the city through our game”.
© Steven Tu
THE TEAM FROM JOHANNESBURG
Thabo Tsolo, Carmen Ho, Nima Dadkhah, Nathi Thabalala, Steven Tu, Geoffrey Hunt