Looks like another MMORPG is in the works, this one based on 13th century African lore and culture. That’s pretty cool; I’ve noticed that, at least in my experience in the US, historical recreationalists and fantasy realms are heavily biased towards/based in European history/myth. We have Renaissance fair(e)s, but I never hear of, say, a Feudal Asia fair(e) you can go hang out in for a weekend. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. Either way, seeing a game look elsewhere than the generic dragons/wizardly magic/knights/medieval England type of stuff for its atmosphere is sweet. Even if it’s a fantastical realm, such a game could only expand people’s heads in regards to African history, or make room for real facts to be poured in.
From their developer weblog:
The game began as a lunchtime conversation in January 2005. I found myself seated across from John Sarpong, founder of Africast Global Media and grandson of the late King Prempeh I. He’s an extraordinary man with a powerful vision of Africa’s future. We struck up a conversation about the power of video games to tell stories, convey ideas, and entertain. Wouldn’t it be cool, I mused, to lead a caravan across the Sahara, to visit Timbuktu, to stroll through the Roman ruins at Lepis Magna, and to explore the vast jungles and savannahs of Africa?
Update: another article fleshing out some details. I originally wanted to put a “if I were looking to promote positive race relations by using the dominant consumer culture to my advantage” spin on this post, but I wasn’t sure that was part of the original intention, but that article opens with: “The grandson of a Ghana king and a 19-year-old programmer in Atlanta both agree on one thing: The Western world doesn’t understand Africa. Their solution? Make a video game about the continent.” So there you go. Rock on. If there’s a Mac version, I’m right in there.