Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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Local gamers out to bask in the sun

Since its launch in 2019, Arudem, Uganda’s first professional gaming and esports brand, has transformed from a gamer hobby into a vibrant pop culture engine.
Currently run by a strong team of 10 people, Arudem has successfully built a community of around 5,000 people worldwide.
Arudem founder and team leader Ivan Kibuuka told the publication: Someone who is a cool gamer.

Kibuuka said Arudem “has invested heavily in revamping every visual brand identity touchpoint to embody coolness.”
“We found this concept a bit difficult for people who aren’t into games to wrap their heads around, so we took the opportunity to fill this knowledge gap,” Kibuuka said of the non-gaming community.

The most popular online video games are like Battle Royale. Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Apex. Halo Battlefield and call of duty multiplayer is also popular.
“We have a sizeable number of gamers in our community who use consoles because some of the current AAA titles like Call of Duty require a good graphics card to play. There are more and more gamers using PCs,” says Kibuuka. A gadget that gamers love.
That’s enough growth that Ardem Hangout is launching this year at a fast sports fusion inside a design hub on industrial 5th Avenue in Kampala.
Ardem will continue to use its administrative office space at Old Port Bell Road, Kampala as its main office.

Uganda’s digital arts industry is showing signs of growth and expansion, but still suffers from many challenges. These revolve around a skilled workforce, finances, lack of data and exposure, a clear definition of what this subsector is, female gamers, and more.
It also persists that Ugandan society still looks down on the digital arts industry, which includes illustrators, animators, video game developers, graphic and motion designers, coders, videographers, photographers and musicians.
“Fundraising and exposure are the biggest challenges facing Uganda’s digital arts industry. , Lauren Ntaate, told the publication.

Mugabo, an animator, graphic and motion designer, believes that limited “respect for digital artists” means “less funding for their projects.”
“The market is still small because the audience has not yet understood the power and influence of animation. said Mugabo, founding director of “High taxes and shipping costs are affecting prices in the local market,” he added.

comic book
The same problem plagues the comic book subsector. Kab Comics founder Brian Humura says that because of this, “few people use comics as a viable option for storytelling and communication.”
Unlike others, the digital creative economy has been positively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. At least in Humura’s book.

“Oddly enough, the Covid-19 pandemic may have increased the need for the digital creative economy. There was,” says Humura.
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has identified video games as a key source of skills development in its Africa Trade Report 2022, titled ‘Harnessing the power of culture and creative industries for accelerating structural transformation in the AfCFTA era’. I point out that It adds that games are a source of income for young people in Africa.

Video games and esports generated $1 billion in revenue globally in 2019, according to Afreximbank report. The African video game industry is projected to grow 12% by 2025, led by South Africa and Egypt. The proliferation of video games and esports events has provided opportunities for young people to be identified and trained to compete at pan-African and international levels.

A Kab Comics stall selling comic books and Nyege Punks NFT vests at the 2022 DigiArt Fest at Acacia Mall, Kampala.

The growth of the African video game industry is constrained by limited connectivity and soft infrastructure. Video games have empowered young people economically, socially and creatively. Despite its popularity, the industry still suffers from a lack of fast and stable internet connections, soft infrastructure, and high tariffs on related equipment.
Ntaate told the publication that the gaming industry in particular needs to remove bottlenecks as it will “not only create more opportunities, but also grow the economy.”
Humura agrees, adding, “Digital art can create job opportunities for young people through comics, animation, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and filmmaking.”

bastion for men
Another challenge is that this subsector is still male-dominated. Ntaate believes that women can be drawn into the subsector “by creating coordinated projects that include women’s gender and by encouraging partnerships with women-based organizations.”
Humura added that women already in the industry “should be encouraged to join their peers by providing more training and job opportunities.”

“In my opinion, the future of digital art is trending toward NFTs, to provide freedom for artists, not to mention solve the problem of ownership of digital assets,” says Natasha Karungi, aka Kashshu, A self-taught illustrator says:
NFT adoption is still in its infancy in Uganda, but Humura believes the country has “a lot of talented artists who have made great strides in the industry.” He notes the presence of “two of his NFT collections made in Uganda and his forthcoming NyegePunks collection is his third.”

All of this came after DigiArt Fest, the sixth edition of Uganda’s annual comic convention for illustrators, animators and video gamers. The event will be held from December 16-17, 2022 at Acacia Mall, Kampala with the theme “Digital Art, The Next Frontier”. The festival brought together the skills of creators of animation, comics and video games with the common purpose of improving Uganda’s digital arts industry.

The event kicked off with a game jam where video game developers from Uganda and other countries created their games and published them on the website portal. The works of cartoonists and animators were on display.
The first edition of the event was held in 2017 and has attracted thousands of visitors from all walks of life over the years. Organized by Tribe Uganda, the aim of DigiArt Fest is to foster collaboration between digital content creators and companies in other sectors, providing a platform to showcase their skills and production processes.

“We had more curious parents participate. [in 2022]This gives hope to the future of the industry as it strives to involve more of the younger generation. “
While Kibuuka was thrilled to show “The Arudem Hangout”, Humura had the honor of showing “New comic books from our fantastic superhero series Ndahura and Tales are sold out.”
Ndahura is a superhero fantasy series set in the Batembuji dynasty, and Tales is a new series featuring two more realistic short stories,” he added.

According to Humura, the NyegePunk prints exhibited on the 6th stage of DigiArt Fest allowed owners to be placed on an exclusive whitelist for the NyegePunks NFT collection, which is set to be released next year. “The Whitelist is an exclusive list of people who have the privilege of making their entire collection available to the public and minting his NFTs of choice almost free of charge.”


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