Game On in Nigeria

Hundreds of guests poured into the Pinefield Schools auditorium in Lagos for the second annual West African Gaming Expo, a showcase for software created in the region and hardware built elsewhere. Adedoyin Ogundoyin, the founder of local online gaming marketplace AfricGames.com, says he organized the expo on a budget of $5,000 to demonstrate to sponsors—including Google, local bank GTBank, and the U.K.’s Bournemouth University—that the region’s developers deserve more investment. The coders’ projects, and the attention and financing they attract, also show students, parents, and schools that games can be more than silly distractions, Ogundoyin says. Photographs by Ima Mfon for Bloomberg Businessweek

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    A group of students from an all-girls secondary school make their way into the expo.

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    Children participate in a Mortal Kombat X tournament, organized by local arcade owners. Other tournaments featured one of FIFA’s soccer video games and the fighting game Tekken.

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    A focus this year was getting younger children to start developing games early.

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    Adedoyin Ogundoyin, founder of local online gaming marketplace AfricGames.com and organizer of the West African Gaming Expo.

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    An attendee tries the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset.

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    Some of the young developers who presented at the expo in the last days of October took home Google Cardboard and other merchandise from the sponsors.

     

    Developers who presented products at the gaming expo: 15

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    Charles Odili, a representative from Google, showing off Google Cardboard.

     

    Budget put up by Google and others: $5,000

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    A Microsoft Kinect captures players’ moves during a dance-off.

     

    Amount organizers are trying to raise for a larger venue and bigger prizes next year: $75,000