Nigeria and indeed, Africa can resolve and solve most of her 21st century challenges and development difficulties by nurturing and deploying philosophically well-researched and structured emotional intelligence digital games.
Philosophy has revealed that life is so difficult to discover with text and words alone; a task effortlessly accomplished by graphic images and animated expressions. No wonder, the emergence and growth of digital video games has disrupted the digital transformation landscape and swiftly surging forward. This trend is unstoppable! According to Socrates, “the un-examined game is not worth playing.”.
Gamification is about innovating our world.
The coded life in us is an infinite game which is now populating the human ecosystem – at all levels of activity. Digital games are taking us to an entirely new world. A world that had been internalized and hidden deep inside our memories for ages. Therefore, innovation has become the ultimate survival instinct.
The philosophy of digital games has emerged to query our world anomaly and redefine the trajectory of human life; leading us to new deep thinking and expressions beyond our imagination. Above all, it does not only represent and give larger voice to the equalization of the digital economy, racism and the class struggle but charts a new world to save humanity from destroying herself.
Digital games are no longer just a fun platform; but mechanisms for exploring the landscape of true human reality – especially at a time like this when deep-lie is drawing a new and unacceptable picture in the hollow space of world population and attempting to summersault the bedrock of our consciousness.
Today, the influence and power of digital games is incredible in its transformational dimension. For example, the malaria pandemic has been killing millions of Nigerians/Africans over the centuries; in spite of thousands of anti-malaria drugs and related medications shipped into Africa and consumed by the people at enormous cost in all currencies of the world without resultant efficacy. Now is the time to deploy a game-changer model; that intrinsically and realistically connects with the mind to deliver lasting solutions.
In 2014, a Nigerian digital games app won the context of the World Summit Awards (WSA) in the Entertainment and Lifestyle Category and was celebrated in Rabat. Malaria Destroyer Game (MDG) – is a breath-taking game designed by Mobile Software Solutions Limited to mentally eradicate mosquitoes and destroy malaria in Africa – with reference to Nigeria. The game was conceptualized to mentally lead and sway players toward; an instinctive knowledge of the major challenges of the mosquito habitat in our environment and deliver curative actions.
Specifically, it takes the players through the pathetic endemic problems faced by Africans, Nigerians and many people around the world; many of whom who are bitten by mosquitoes. They ineffectively scream, cry, yell, hit the wall, their arms, legs, body; so on, to fight back before malaria takes their lives. It is a serious life business.
This graphically loaded digital game does not only invoke the mind for action but creates a pathway for critical actions; including earning and retaining the revenue streams therefrom. Imagine a digital game designed, translated in at least 100 African and world languages, and played by 500 million Africans and well-wishers. Apart from the revenue stream, the philosophy behind this digital transformational game initiative can create millions of jobs for Nigerians/Africans.
Bringing us to speed, Digital/Video Gaming has become a huge market in the digital economy; employing millions of people – mostly the youth. With the advent of smartphones, the groundswell of digital games has multiplied many folds. Mobile is taking more and more shares of the gaming market.
However, the game development studios remain focused on games on PC. Today, 41% of gamers prefer the smartphones as the first option to game. Mobile games on smartphones and tablets make up 46% of the global market. For the first time in the history of gaming, mobile games were responsible for more than 50% the worldwide revenue. (Newzoo). Now let us pause a moment and imagine the possibility of creating a world digital game out of Nigeria/Africa; one that is crafted on the untold stories and adventures of the breath-taking momentums of African history – past and present to reimagine Africa?
Imagine the millions of employment opportunities it will generate to script the narrative environment; scenes, build the characters and the logics that govern the physical world of the games and its life productions and technical support systems? And beyond imagination: that it translates into great wealth for sustainable development.
In 2020, the video game industry raked in $158 billion on global, digital revenue. Studies shows that 91 per cent of global computer games are now digital as of 2020. The top 10 digital games individually earned more than $1billion annually. The message is, our digital transformation adventure will remain incomplete, without the conscious exploration and deployment of digital games. They are and remain the efficacy to unearth the deep- sited challenges to our digital promise and embedded opportunities.
According to the Tech Experience Centre – the first of its kind in Africa: “For long, Africa and Nigeria have trailed in the wake of its more advanced contemporaries in the march to technological emancipation as a vehicle for development and overall social economic development. This narrative is one that we have set out to change through the Tech Experience Centre”. Records show that the Tech Experience Centre, Lagos, Nigeria boasts of high-end technology facilities such as; Cutting Edge Technologies, Smart Gadgets, Brand Variety, State-of-the-Art Technology solutions fashioned for Africa, Showcase of state-of-the art Technologies. These cutting-edge digital technologies facilities are confirmed to rival the best in Silicon Valley scenarios in the USA.
We cannot allow the “big” questions of life elude us. Digital games can help us interrogate issues such as: ‘What is the true nature of reality?’; ‘What is consciousness?’, or indeed, ‘What is the nature of good and evil?’ and other critical questions which have and continue to be explored by great minds in history. Not surprising therefore, available studies show that complex philosophical questions have found their way into the medium of video games.
In recent years, video games have advanced to the level of sophistication and depth of their close counterparts in entertainment, literature, Art, and film. Today, more games convey complex storylines that depict essential blocks of deep ideas and philosophical arguments that provide new insights into layers of life considerations.
Games are no longer just fun to play; but have become thinking rods of life, empathy, and innovative humanity. Good games serve us with fresh new ideas that keep us thinking deep and involved in memory. They lead and guide us into many layers of world and thought processes that are novel and help us to query our world with the big question.
It would be recalled that the Chairman of the ZINOX Group proposed the establishment of a Nigeria Digital Day to ignite the digital fire of innovation of the youth. The foresight of that initiative was to assemble 50 million youths annually from the 36 States of Nigeria and FCT to showcase their digital dreams as well as drink from the wealth of their vision-bearers and fore-runners. It was an advocacy mechanism to unleash the power and ingenuity of the nation to make a global digital statement of the ‘Can Do’ spirit of our people.
This innovative initiative must be revisited and earn its immense values of arresting and taming youth disillusionment; poverty, unemployment, misery, trauma of our youth and security of the nation. My forecast is that assembling two million youths to master digital games development can generate more than $20billion revenue annually: creating over five million related employment opportunities in a noticeably short time.
Above all, the psychological and sociological advantages of well-crafted digital games can positively transform the current mind-set; of the nation into an infinite mind-shift in pursuit of great future for Africa. Let us reimagine our being and give life to the true character of a nation destined to surprise the Planet Earth.
The bird is inside our folded hands – dead or alive!