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.
Prejudices and stereotypes
Many 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 takes his place in the game industry,” says Abdou Aziz Sall from “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.
A group of magic minds
The 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,” states Laurean Ntaate from Enter Africa Kampala.