“GIRLS IN GAMING” – EMPOWERING YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE EASTERN CAPE
By Vuyo Madyibi
Girls in Gaming is one of the beneficiaries of the voucher scheme award on behalf of the AHSCE South Africa. In the first inception meeting, a gamut of topics were addressed as the team prepared to execute their proposal.
Xolile Vundla – technologist, Khanyisile Zondi, film PR marketer and Aya Dlova manager at the Cortex hub have come together as collaborators in this project. Motivating the team’s collaboration was Khanyi’s approach to Aya in hopes to discuss animation. Possibilities of an itinerant workshop structure in the Eastern Cape in hopes to encourage the youth of South Africa’s gaiety with regards to gaming and VR technologies was established and thus included the expertise of Xolile Vundla, the technologist who can assist with the media space establishment.
The Girls in Gaming concept seeks to mentor and nurture young girls’ skills in interactive digital media through technical skills as well as awards and incentives given exclusively to the girls to encourage the girls’ engagement. In an age of increased digital and technological innovation, the team hopes to facilitate and pique interest in the minds of young girls to pursue technical education through building a fair, equal and safe environment in the local gaming ecosystem. The access the team provides to VR, animation and gaming will allow young girls to have access and feel included in the digital age, inviting them to consider the career opportunities digital proficiency provides.
Girls in Gaming focuses on the nurturing of young people’s natural curiosity and storytelling capabilities within the gaming and animation sphere. The Eastern Cape has proven to be an emerging media and cultural center. As raised in the inception meeting by Xolile, a study carried out by the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) positions provinces with the most cultural output as Gauteng, the Western Cape, KZN and then the Eastern Cape. However, the Eastern Cape’s overall’s GDP is quite low, indicative of the Eastern Cape’s significant cultural contributions. As discussed, the potential for creative output is identified in the Eastern Cape which is seen to set a mood of encouragement for the Girls in Gaming team.
Although the team faces challenges such as network infrastructure, space, and loadshedding, they are eager to adapt and motivated to provide young girls with these digital creative skills after the first inception meeting. Girls in Gaming is a collaborative effort which seeks to empower the youth through digital gaming and animation. The project then is aimed at nurturing interest in creative media and film through gaming and animation in three regions in the Eastern Cape namely; Makhanda, Qonce and East London. The technical skills will provide a holistic knowledge in both hardware and software expertise which will guarantee career opportunities in the ever-present digital age.
As a proof of concept, they hope to develop this beyond the Voucher Scheme grant and expand it to other provinces without a strong technology or creative sector. Despite their small efforts, all collaborators believe their work is making a genuine difference in the lives of young people in the Eastern Cape. We say to you AHSCE South Africa recognises and sees your efforts. All the best with your upcoming workshops.