The following entry is a guest contribution from budding game designer Dominion Ero, one of the developers behind the Conqueror of Words game.
Unless you have intentionally stayed away from most news sources, you would be well aware by now that the Nigerian government has placed a ban on Twitter following their removal of one of the President’s recent tweets.
For a Nigerian game developer working to establish their name, project or brand in the games industry, Twitter has been nothing short of a blessing. In the year following my decision to pursue a game designer career full-time, Twitter’s social networking has put me on a first name basis with a number of top executives at international organizations like Ubisoft, Square Enix, Raw Fury and Filament Games. Several Nigerian talents have been able to attract investments and partnerships because they consistently expressed the progress being made in the development of their games (something we call “Building in Public). More than ever, studios worldwide are ready to hire talents from here, as day-to-day online interactions with game developers in Nigeria eliminate any pre-existing biases that harmful media stereotypes might have created.
Now if you can imagine a world without us on Twitter, It’s one where the massive growth we as game developers have made would hit a brick wall. Understand that a band here in Nigeria does not stop Twitter from being a bedrock of communication in the global games industry. What it does is eliminate the chance for people like you and me to communicate and influence conversations in real-time. there’s no way to comment on fast changing #gametwitter trends, retweet announcements by your favorite game devs or even quickly DM prospective partners and investors.
Slowly and surely, the global ecosystem will fall back into believing Africa’s most populous country with a median age of 18 is not interested in games. With less visibility for the Nigerian game dev eco-system, less credit is given to our talents, works and events.
If we are to hold on to our progress so far, then we must stay involved in the conversations and be aware of what is happening daily. Nigerian Game Developers should do at least one of the following:
- Get a VPN: Virtual Privacy Networks lke Windscribe and Tunnelbear allow you to change your device location and use regionally restricted software.
- Look elsewhere: They might not be as active s Twitter, but platforms like Reddit and Facebook have a considerable number of Game Devs who use them on a daily basis.
- Subscribe to Newsletters: The Games Industry Africa newsletter ensures that you receive information about the latest in the African ecosystem on a daily basis. You can stay up to date and do so at your convenience.
- Create content: Whether it’s YouTube, Twitch, Instagram or even Tiktok, online content is a great way to spread the news about what you and/or your team are up to.
So, to tweet or not to tweet? No matter your choice of action, Nigerian game developers would keep working to further strengthen our ever expanding ecosystem.