Discover the inspiring journey of three African game developers—Tatiana Skliarenko, Eyram Tawia, and Thomas Shiva—as they represent Africa at Gamescom Congress 2023.
Africa is becoming a promising centre of creativity and innovation in the ever-changing field of game development. Three exceptional game developers from Africa, namely Tatiana Skliarenko from South Africa, Eyram Tawia from Ghana, and Thomas Shiva from Rwanda, had the privilege of representing the continent at the esteemed Gamescom Congress 2023.
Gamescom, the world’s largest games event, entered into the next round with its unique festival character. Gamescom took place from 23 to 27 August 2023 in the Cologne exhibition halls and online.
This article delves into their extraordinary journey, their valuable contributions to the gaming industry, and the enlightening insights they shared during the Panel Discussion on “Empowerment through esports, games, and collaboration in and with the global South.”
The Trailblazers from Africa
- Tatiana Skliarenko – Games for Change Africa: Tatiana Skliarenko, hailing from South Africa, is a passionate advocate for using games as a force for positive change. As the driving force behind “Games for Change Africa,” she has dedicated her career to creating games that address critical societal issues. Tatiana’s commitment to impactful gaming caught the attention of the Gamescom Congress, where she shared her vision of using games as a catalyst for positive social transformation.
- Eyram Tawia – Leti Arts: From the vibrant gaming scene in Ghana comes Eyram Tawia, the co-founder of “Leti Arts.” Eyram is a visionary game developer who believes in the power of storytelling through games. His company, Leti Arts, has gained recognition for its captivating narrative-driven games that draw inspiration from African folklore and mythology. At Gamescom Congress 2023, Eyram shed light on how Leti Arts is preserving and celebrating African heritage through gaming.
- Thomas Shiva – Digital Realm Entertainment: Rwanda’s gaming industry is making strides, thanks to talents like Thomas Shiva, the mastermind behind “Digital Realm Entertainment.” Thomas is an exceptional game developer known for pushing the boundaries of virtual reality and immersive gaming experiences. During the panel discussion at Gamescom Congress, he provided insights into the technological advancements and creative innovations happening in the African gaming landscape.
The Panel Discussion: Empowerment through Esports and Games
At Gamescom Congress 2023, these three visionary game developers participated in a thought-provoking panel discussion. The panel, titled “Empowerment through esports, games, and collaboration in and with the global South,” delved deep into Africa’s gaming industry as a global creative bridge. Here are some key takeaways from their discussion:
Challenges and Successes: The panellists discussed the challenges faced by African game developers, including access to resources and funding. However, they also highlighted the remarkable successes achieved against all odds.
Education and Skill Building: Education emerged as a critical factor in nurturing talent in the African gaming industry. The developers emphasized the importance of educational initiatives to empower the youth and provide them with the skills needed for game development.
Empowering Marginalized Communities: The discussion revolved around how gaming can be a tool for empowerment, especially in marginalized communities. By creating opportunities and giving a voice to underrepresented groups, gaming can be a force for positive change.
Tatiana Skliarenko, Eyram Tawia, and Thomas Shiva, three exceptional individuals, brought attention to the incredible talent of African developers in an industry that often overlooked them. Their presence at Gamescom Congress 2023 not only garnered the recognition they deserved but also showcased Africa’s potential as a major player in the global gaming scene. As we applauded their accomplishments, we also acknowledged the vast opportunities awaiting African game developers in the future. The future of African gaming is bright, and these trailblazers are leading the way.