FG partners Microsoft on video games to showcase Nigerian culture, fashion

Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, has unveiled plans to reposition the video game animation industry in Nigeria.

Ms Musawa disclosed this during the third quarter edition of the Xbox Developer Hangout, organised by Microsoft, in Lagos.

According to her, this will be done in such a way that Nigerian movies, music, fashion and culture will feature in every locally produced video game.

She said the industry holds lots of employment potential for the youth, adding that consultations with Microsoft would help in actualising her vision in that regard.

She said that a working document had already been developed to actualise the mission but needed input from Microsoft.

“We want to look at the kind of innovation we can achieve through gaming, with the huge talent we have in the sector. I want the gaming space transformed and I know with collaborations we can achieve a lot.

“I promise to support in whatever capacity to actualise this and this is the reason I will continually remain grateful to President Bola Tinubu for creating the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy.

“I perceive Nigerians as the most creative beings who will transform the gaming industry, the billion-dollar industry, with help and support from the government.

“We want to see a situation where our indigenous movies, peculiar fashion sense, music and elements of our culture will serve as contents of our locally produced video games,” she said.

Earlier, Country Manager, Microsoft, Olatomiwa Williams, noted that the organisation was committed to empowering everyone with the needed tools to grow in the industry.

Williams said it was important to leverage opportunities to achieve President Tinubu’s agenda for economic diversification.

“Partnering with the Federal Government is a thing of delight for us, young Nigerians deserve every right to thrive. We are creating an inclusive industry also for women to thrive.

“Microsoft has been in existence for over 20 years and I can say that Nigerians have been contributing to our solution areas,” she said.

Also, Founder, NuConti, Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, said, “The video game industry is larger than Nollywood and the global music industry, it is a billion-dollar industry which should be taken seriously.”

Speaking on the needed tools for video games, Matthew Isikhuemen of Unreal Engine, said they included epic mega grants, epic game education, epic unreal fellowship, unreal marketplace, epic games store and twin motion among others.

Also, Creative Director, Dimension II Games, Winston Ohunyon, noted that infusing culture into video games could be achieved through storytelling which entailed description and expanding beyond traditional elements.

“The tools for this description can be seen in the plot, setting, theme, characterisation, composition, dialogue, story and all. We must be careful about how the stories are relayed to protect our identity as a nation or a continent,” he said.

Also speaking, Founder of Dooshimagames, Dooshima Anger, noted that to fully support inclusivity in video game industry in Nigeria, more collaborations and awareness must created.

Besides, the Chief Executive Officer of Kucheza, Bolaji Akingbade, said, “I can see a lot more parallel industry when we talk of women representation in the video game industry.

“We need more intervention in the early secondary school levels to influence active participation.’’ Mr Akingbade said.