Do Traditional Nigerian Games Need Digital Makeovers?

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One of the biggest surprises of the internet is how it has helped traditional games make a comeback. It will have been a commonly held belief by many that advanced technology would send older games packing once and for all.

This hasn’t been the case, though, and a range of offerings from board games to bingo has been rebranded and rebooted for modern audiences With this in mind, it may be the perfect time to take some traditional Nigerian games and bring them kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

Why do Traditional Games Need to be Digitalized?

Purists who love traditional games may feel that they don’t need to undergo a digital makeover. This was certainly the case among many dedicated poker fans before the internet poker boom. The select few who were used to playing in real-world scenarios thought that the game just couldn’t be represented properly in an online setting.

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They failed to see the bigger picture that it was actually good for poker and helped it to evolve as a game. It also made it world-famous and saved it from fizzling out.

Digitalization can be seen as a good way to preserve cultural activities and prevent them from getting forgotten about. This happened with bingo, which threatened to disappear in the mid-2000s after a vast number of bingo halls closed down across the world.

Now, the random ball draw is one of the biggest and most popular games on the internet. This has enabled the culture to continue but in a different way. Instead of going down to a bingo hall to play and socialize, modern bingo lovers now congregate in online settings and communicate with like-minded players from all over the world. Some people even do this as an alternative to using messenger apps like WhatsApp or Telegram

What Games Have Enjoyed a Resurgence Online?

Along with poker and bingo, there are various other games that have survived through digitalization. For instance, there are numerous iconic board games such as Scrabble, Monopoly, and Risk that have all received online updates.

Most of these board games can be enjoyed in different ways now, on a multitude of diverse platforms. Take monopoly as an example: this classic Hasbro offering has appeared in so many different forms, in so many different locations, since the internet came about.

Often considered at the forefront of many online innovations, the online casino industry has made sure to tap into Monopoly’s versatility. There are four different Monopoly titles at Betway for example, including Monopoly Heights, Monopoly Megaways, and Monopoly Electric Wins.

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On mobile, there are countless apps for lovers of the property buying epic, including Monopoly Mobile and Monopoly Bingo. This will appeal to the great number of people enjoying increased mobile connectivity and, as a result, turning to mobile games in Nigeria. There is even a Monopoly game for console players developed by Ubisoft.

Some games that have been around for centuries have had an online makeover, suggesting that traditional Nigerian games would not be out of place. Checkers and chess are two age-old pastimes that are now played by millions of people in an online setting.

Which Nigerian Game Deserves Digital Treatment?

If developers were to focus on Nigerian games and give them digital versions, they could help to preserve a longstanding culture from the country. This may be the perfect time to do so as well, as mobile gaming is on the rise

The offering that most Nigerians would probably agree on that needs a computerized reboot is Ayo. This is a game that uses a board with six holes on each side. Each hole is filled with four seeds, for a total of 48 seeds.

Going clockwise, every player takes it in turns to gather as many seeds as they can in 30 seconds. One of the primary skills required for this is dexterity, so it may not translate perfectly to computers. However, clicking a mouse quickly could be an interesting alternative. The game could also be modified for today’s audiences with new additions or special themes.

Other traditional Nigerian games that are exclusive to the country come in the form of sports such as Kokawa, Abula, and Dambe. While these can’t really be adapted in the same way as board games, it could be good to see them getting some representation in the world of video games. This could be an excellent way to ensure these classic forms of competition get carried on down through the generations.

With so many classic games in various cultures all getting the digital treatment, it is about time more Nigerian offerings followed suit. This is the best way to preserve the classics and ensure that they are enjoyed for many more years to come.