Learn about game development in Africa


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Kind of tangential, but: Anyone have any insights into the table top / pen-and-paper roleplaying games scene in any regions of Africa?

Long been curious about the degree of interest in pen-and-paper RPGs and their development outside the US and Europe. I hear a little now and then from fans in a few other parts of the world, but not a lot.


Somehow, I hadn’t realized until this afternoon that I’d never heard anything about games development that came from anywhere other than here, Europe, or Japan. I’m gonna have to do some digging, after watching the trailer for this, I want it. I wonder what else I’m missing out on.


Sadly, we can probably say:

And change out games development with almost anything else, other than war, poverty, illness/disease, or corruption. This is especially true for anything coming out of Africa, but tends to hold true for the Middle East, South East Asia, and Latin America. It’s depressing, especiallly given the huge numbers of people who live, work, and create in the global south. The way we think about the world tends to assume that creativity and progress all emerge from the US/Europe and are only copied elsewhere. We’re all missing out on a hell of a lot, I suspect, by not having a broader vision of such processes.


I’d love to find out more about this, too. I kind of wonder if anyone is working on this? I’ll have to do a search on Jstor to find out… I’ll do that later and if I find out something interesting, I’ll report back.


This is WAY too true. Well put.

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Sounds good.


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Welp, sadly, there isn’t much in J-stor or the couple of other research guides on my schools library website. I found some articles on sports (soccer/football), game hunting (ugh!), but not much on video games or role-playing specifically.

I did a search on lexis-nexis, and found an article about how the middle east is expected to surpass Europe in expected growth for multi-player games, especially as broadband penetration increases. Found this in a couple of newspapers, including Daily Nation (which is apparently a Kenyan paper). From that article, I found this line interesting:

But games tailored for local users are expected to increase and capture more than 15 percent of the market within three to five years.

They are talking specifically about the MENA (middle east and North Africa), so it sounds like it should be an expected area of growth on a local level… I found much less about sub-Saharan Africa sadly (with the exception of a couple of articles on South Africa), and pretty much nothing on table top and role playing games there (or in the mid-east). That doesn’t mean the scholarship doesn’t exist, just that my school databases haven’t found it. Like much other scholarship of MENA and Africa, the best stuff is probably coming out of there, as opposed to coming from Europe and the US.

I’m probably going to be meeting up with the west African historian in the next week or so. Maybe he knows something specifically about his region of study. I can ask…

I eagerly await your findings and admire your willingness to inquire into these matters.

I’ve long been self conscious enough about my interest in “elf games” that I tend to avoid discussion, unless I know my fellow interlocutors are both aware and enthusiastic about the subject. Even now that I’m old enough not to care so much what people think, I’m still pretty awkward at explaining the concept to who aren’t aware of it.

Unfortunate that this thread will probably close in a couple days though.

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