This is a keynote address delivered by the Managing director, Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited, Chief Peter Arogundade, fncs, at the 2016 schools’ Computer Club Summit held at the computer science auditorium, University of Lagos, Akoka on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016.
I am delighted to be part of this auspicious occasion and activities marking “Games Development Extravaganza Season 2” Programme. It is a timely deliberation as the dynamics of technology is heavily taking in doses of gaming applications.
Video Game, the Goldmine for all Round Development
The sudden surge of video games wave is taking the world by the storm. It is no more a frivolous engagement but now developmental support and strong engine for economic growth. An online report from Statista gave the trend of worldwide games app revenues for six (6) years from 2011 to 2016 as 8.32b, 18.56b, 26.68b, 34.99b, 45.57b and 58.21b. This shows that there is something about video games and the momentum keep on increasing year I year out with no sign for slowdown. This yearly, increasing revenues from Games is an indication that game development is indeed a rewarding venture yielding a substantial addition to any economy. What a feeling to know you are contributing to the growth of your country while doing what you enjoy”
The top video games makers in the world today include: Nintendo, Konami, Sega, EA (Electronic Arts), Ubisoft, Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment. Video games have been around since from the late 70s but did not receive boom like it is presently and its diverse gains was in no time so firmly recognized and articulated as now.
What is a Game and what is Video Game.
Game can be roughly defined as an activity that one engages in for amusement. From sociology-cultural standpoint, our local games include activities like Ayo, Ludo, Chess, Skip and host of others according to our respective backgrounds. They are good for recreation, developing of physique for military advantage and character building. The use of educative, luck & strategy games are not new to the educational sector. Several games teach children numeracy, social reform principles, colors, and financial skills such as Monopoly which teaches financial skills, Ayo and Ludo teaches numerical skills, Chess is a strategy game.
Technology through video games has elevated the developmental embodiment of games to a new sophisticated height. The increment in the complexity of the world around us and the need to develop generation of people that can think and acquire skills in spatial intelligence, has led to the enumeration of the following games concepts:
- Games motivate players to take risks and actions
- They motivate players to persevere through failures
- They motivate players to set and achieve increasingly difficult goals
- They motivate players to devote attention, time, and effort to acquiring knowledge and skills.
- Games track players actions and assess the players’ achievements and skills.
- They motivate players to devote attention, time, and effort to acquiring knowledge and skills.
- Games allow for graceful failure; game designers embed failure into the game mechanics without a lot high-stakes negative consequence to encourage balanced risk taking and exploration.
- Games are complex problems waiting to be solved in a way that is both fun and challenging.
The Core Aims Behind Game Design
Reason 1: Game Design make you a more creative problem solver.
Games are complex systems, that are made up of inter-working elements. Game Design helps you learn about how systems work and how they can be modified or changed. Often you have to come up with very creative solutions to solve problems within the design of a game so your end product works and is fun for the people playing it.
Reason 2: Game Design help you learn how to collaborate
Another thing you’ve probably heard your teachers talk about is collaboration. There’s a good reason for that. Someday, you’re probably going to have to work as part of a team to get stuff done. You’re not going to learn to work well with others by being forced to do class assignments that you could do just fine on your own in a group of random peers. You’ll either just divide up the work like a pie, ending up with an end product that looks like five different people made it, or you’ll just have one member do all of the work while everyone else sits there and argues or gossips.
Reason 3: Game Design gets you thinking out of the box
“Think outside the box” has become a popular phrase. That is, games Helps you think in new and creative ways. Most schools put everything in a box. You go to Math class, then you report to Language Arts, then Social Studies, and so on. Occasionally, when not preparing you for State tests, your teachers will get together and make you do a project that includes all subjects, but the math teacher grades the math component and so on.
Game design often gives you problems that require you to grab stuff you learned everywhere. Think of the games you play. There’s often elements of history and science in the setting and mechanics of the game. The characters are developed as well as any literary character. The soundtrack is carefully put together to affect your mood and involvement in the game. To design a good game, you have to learn how to find and use information from all subjects in ways that add realism to your game and make it more fun and interesting.
What Games Impact
Games encourage self-directed learning which allows the children to learn on their pace and it also help them to have a retentive memory. It helps teachers measure learning through the children’s feedbacks when playing.
Games create a compelling need for the children to know, ask questions, examine, assimilate, and master skills and content of the game board while and after playing.
In the business world, games are used as a recruitment and marketing tool. It is a fact that playing a game requires you to understand the rules and the underlying constraints quickly, and then use them to your advantage. For Recruiters, this is an interactive process of engaging the Candidates and recruiting the best hires for the job.it is used to measure a job candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in a way that’s fun for that person
Games strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception, according to recent studies.
Games have critical implications for education and career development, as previous research has established the power of spatial skills for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, i.e., problem-solving skills and creativity. Asi Burak, an American who is the President of Games for Change foretell the ubiquity of games, “We will see games everywhere around us. I’m not explicitly talking about ‘gamification’ or thin applications that strip games of their depth. We will see deep and immersive experiences that will transform learning in and outside of school, workforce training, medical treatment, social interactions, how people practice and rehearse real-world skills, and of course, entertainment.”
Opportunities in Video Games Industry
One of the fastest growing job markets right now in the technological world is the video games design industry. In 2014, U.K grossed £3.94bn and The US $22bn respectively; in 2015, UK had revenue of £4.2bn while US had $23.5bn. So every employer in this job field is looking for the brightest, most talented new recruits they can find, and they are willing to pay those who have the skill a very good wage. There are many employers like Blizzard, EA, and Microsoft leading the way. According to a Game Makers Salary Survey this is what they are willing to pay:
· Programmers and Engineers Range from $50k to $88k
· Lead Programmer Range from $56k to $90k
· Video Game Technical Directors Range from $56k to $90k
· A video Game Artist Range from $42k to $67k
· Video Game Animator Range from $47k to $75k
Experience from $80k to $215$
· Video Game Designer Range from $46k to $70k
· Creative Director/Lead Designer Range from $45 to $54k
Experience from $81k to $180k
· Producer Range from $62 to $80
· Executive Producer Range from $50 to $82k
Experience up to $200k
· Game Tester Range from $32k to $50k
· Lead QA Range from $40 to $50k
Experience $60k to $215
· Sound Engineer Range from $50 to $66k
Experience up to $74
· Composer for Video Game Range from $55 to $62k
Experience from $90k to $215
This indicates potential wealth that can be created if brilliant, young Nigerian students can be guided to also focus video game development. The entire ICT industry in Nigeria has got to make it a priority to entrench game through incentives, scholarship and other form of encouragement.
Starting a Career in Game Development
Currently 85% of smartphone users in Nigeria have access to the internet and the number keeps growing. This means if you are able to create a game which people love, you have access to about forty-three million potential customers to buy your game for just one naira earns you forty-three million naira in Nigeria alone.
Recently, an 11-year-old boy Tayo developed a game that caught the eye of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the world when Mark came to Nigeria. Tayo has since received lots of encouragement and support. Some other games developed by Nigerians include: Chop Up (http://www.chopup.me/), Maliyo (https://www.maliyo.com/), Sonbim Games(https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Sonbim+Games&hl=en), Smad Studios (https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=Smad+Studios) and Throne of Gods (https://www.facebook.com/ThroneofGodDevs/)
All you need is to develop your game and place them on the popular app stores such as google play store, iOS App Store, and Window store for almost free.
Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO, Entertainment Software Association summed it up, “Video games are the future. From education and business, to art and entertainment, the industry brings together the most innovative and creative minds to create the most engaging, immersive and breathtaking experiences we have ever seen. The brilliant developers, designers and creators behind our games have and will continue to push the envelope, driving unprecedented leaps in technology impacting everyday life for years to come.”