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Game Development In the Heart of Africa 72

Posted by kdawson
from the feed-'em-up dept.
Peace Corps Online writes "The Internet has been credited with 'flattening' the world economy, giving anyone anywhere with the requisite skills the opportunity to build a game or create an app on Facebook. Now the Mercury News reports on a new game for the iPhone called iWarrior. It was produced by two 26-year-old developers in Africa, Eyram Tawiah (a Ghanaian) and Wesley Kirinya (a Kenyan), who created every element of their game — the mechanics, the graphics, the music — overcoming considerable obstacles to develop their first product. The game is 'a feed 'em up game, not a shoot 'em up,' says Tawiah, where you 'defend your village by feeding and driving away the animals before they crash it and feed on your livestock and garden!' with threats including thundering elephants, mighty rhinos, swift cheetahs, and crafty hyenas. The developers' company, Leti, which means 'star' in the Ewe language, was nurtured by the philanthropic arm of San Francisco-based Meltwater Group, an Internet business services company, which in 2008 founded the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in Accra, Ghana. 'We believe talent is everywhere,' says the Meltwater founder and CEO."
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Game Development In the Heart of Africa

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  • by DarkKnightRadick (268025) <> on Saturday April 03, 2010 @10:43PM (#31721254) Homepage Journal

    The US is no longer the only place that is a land flowing with opportunity and people willing to take a risk to make something new. This is very good news and probably would not have happened without the advent of the Internet in those countries (or anywhere else that such collaboration takes place). I wish the developers the best of luck (I have no plans on buying an iPhone or purchasing anything from Apple, sorry guys).

  • Ignorance. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_raptor (652941) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @11:22PM (#31721440)

    Do people really think Africa is only peopled by savage tribesmen running around with grass skirts and spears? They have cities with computers and nearly everyone has a cell phone (copper landlines tend to get stolen).

    Africa's problem over the last several decades has been loss of intellectual and managerial power in the transition from white colonial rule to self-rule. The continent had a fair bit of light industry and a decent agricultural industry but those have largely failed due to the previous white owners either fleeing or being thrown out*. As the Soviets showed in the 20's and 30's you can't just kick out upper management and expect the shop floor worker to do as good a job. African countries needs non-corrupt leadership and properly trained upper and middle managers to create self-sustaining economies based on agriculture and light and heavy industry. Not fickle industries like tourism or app development. The latter produces money but the former produces wealth.

    Training thousands of Africans in western management styles would help them more than all the food and monetary aid we currently give them.

    It is a a travesty that African countries are leasing huge swathes of land for foreign countries to farm, and sells mineral rights to foreign corporations to plunder and pollute.

    * Which is why Zimbabwe is a joke and South Africa is teetering on the precipice.

  • by carlzum (832868) on Saturday April 03, 2010 @11:40PM (#31721516)
    The US may no longer be the land of opportunity, but it has been the source of a lot of opportunity. Don't get me wrong, the US has not been the lone source of innovation in the world. But for everything bad associated with "free market" ideology, off-shoring, tax shelters, etc., there is an American notion of freedom underlying internationalization. There have been moments of backlash, greed, and economic setbacks, but in general, the US has championed economic development and cooperation.

    It's not always pretty or altruistic, but give people a foothold in the global economy and their quality of life, rights, and social mobility improve. Improvement has been slow in China and Russia, but there has been positive change. Africa doesn't need military intervention, charities, documentaries, whatever... they need sustainable industries. Foreign companies strip mining or pumping oil will never foster a middle class, technology, manufacturing, or research will.
  • Re:Ignorance. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AHuxley (892839) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @12:24AM (#31721706) Homepage Journal
    The problem with 'properly trained upper and middle managers' is that they will charge their white colonial importers market prices for rare, expensive raw materials.
    They will then seek and buy "heavy industry" on the open market and not from " white colonial" powers.
    If your a " white colonial" power, much of Africa is just fine as it is now, divided, at war, exporting low cost pure raw wealth and importing generational debt.
  • Re:respect please (Score:1, Insightful)

    by chilvence (1210312) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:17AM (#31722512)

    Don't take it too personally, all the racist stuff here, just a bunch of geeks showing everyone how socially retarded they are. None of them would say it to anyone's face because that would earn them the swift kick in the teeth they deserve! As it happens, they are so ashamed they won't even say what they think using their USERNAMES... on the INTERNET!

  • by sirlatrom (1162081) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @07:46AM (#31723332)
    Please read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine" before continuing your praise of the US championing 'economic development and cooperation.'
  • Whoa (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @05:00PM (#31727352) Journal

    ONE IS CORRECT? My god, I didn't think racism like that survived in this day and age.

    If you can't see that both statements are racist, then there really is no hope for you.

    Plenty of blacks who can't dance but do hold a steady job. And plenty of whites who can dance, but ain't got a job.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?