Four teams of serious games developers will next week pitch for ZAR1 million (US$74,000) in funding at an event in Cape Town.
Disrupt Africa reported last year the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) had partnered had partnered Serious About Games, Interactive Entertainment South Africa (IESA), 67Games, the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI), and the Western Cape Government’s Department of Economic Development and Tourism to host the competition.
The 16 teams that were initially selected for the competition have now been whittled down to four, who will present their prototypes at the final at the Woodstock Bandwidth Barn on April 4, in front of a panel of local industry experts that includes game design lecturer Hanli Geyser, international game developer Veve Jaffer, and startup consultant Alex Fraser.
The winning team will receive ZAR1 million in funding to develop and distribute their game across the Western Cape over the next year, with the competition set to reward the best game for “reimagining communities”.
The four finalists include Team Next Question, which has developed a game that will inspire unemployed youth to start their own business, and Indie Collective, which has designed a game that allows users to manage a community centre.
Also included are Team Vukuzenzela, which will invite users to learn best building and reblocking practices by building virtual settlements, and Team Sea Monster, whose game will see users imagine themselves as superheroes who must use their special abilities wisely to avoid depleting their resources.
“The digital games market is fast becoming one of the world’s leading industries; with almost two billion users across racial, economic, national and gender divides. And along with the huge scope of entertainment games within this US$100 billion global industry, innovative and engaging game solutions to everyday problems like economic inequality and literacy are emerging,” CiTi said.