Designing for #EnterAfrica: a pan-African boardgame collaboration spanning 15 countries.

The Goethe Institute has been doing a mega project called EnterAfrica, which has two parts: Part one involves each of the 15 African countries involved creating location-based mobile games in their 15 cities that tell a story about the past and future of their city, and part two is the creation of a mega analogue game (tabletop game) by a collaboration of all 15 countries.

I was fortunate to have experience both in graphic design and tabletop games design, and I was involved in part one of EnterAfrica, and so was serendipitously brought in to help bring this ambitious game design project to life.

It was a tall order: the goal was to synthesise the voices, experiences and cultures of 15 diverse countries to create a united vision and expression as one game. The project was led by Christoph Deeg, a German gamification and digital/analogue strategy specialist, and various members of the Addis Ababa Goethe Institute. We had a one week workshop in Addis Ababa to get to know each other and home in on a game design which will then be crafted and designed further.

And what a week it was! We worked hard, exchanging and talking about everything from the principles of game design to cultural ideas and ideals, to individual and group experiences. I knocked out prototypes in record time and wrote and re-wrote rules. We learned from one another, laughed with one another, and had our eyes on the ball – the culmination of a single game that will represent both the diversity and the unity of the participating group of African countries.

I’m super grateful to the Goethe Institute for such an amazing, ambitious and expansive initiative, not only is the vision for such inclusivity astounding, the sensitivity with which the whole project was handled was inspiring and something I’ve learned a ton from <3

The week-long workshop is over, and we have a game design that’s all about trading resources in order to achieve one’s nation’s goals. The game is far from done yet, but we have the core values and rules that will take it to the finishing line. The game is planned to show in 2019 at A MAZE Berlin and Gamescom, so if you’re gonna be there, look out for the game. And with some luck, maybe I’ll see you there?

Comment ( 1 )

  1. / ReplyAgushie
    It's an amazing project and overwhelmed by the endless possibilities of this project #EnterAfrica #SomethingBigIsComing

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