The Australian TV Show, Cleverman debuted just over 2 weeks ago and is now into it’s second episode. As the first high profile SciFi TV production to be centred on Aboriginal Australians and their culture (80% of the cast are Indigenous Australians), Cleverman is breaking new ground when it comes to diversity in the superhero genre. While overall buzz and discourse could be better at least people are actually talking about the show, the question is, what exactly are they saying?
During a conversation between well known comedian, Joe Rogan and founder of Vice Media Shane Smith on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast I came across the term Africa Fatigue for the first time. Smith used ‘Africa Fatigue’ to describe the growing level of disillusionment people are beginning to feel having been bombarded with numerous stories of how poverty, corruption and disease have plagued Africa. The conversation up until that point had been very insightful and enlightening however, when it came to the subject of Africa there was no detail, no context, no case studies, simply two words: Africa Fatigue. My original intention for this post was to attack this horrendous term and dive into how blanket statements like Africa Fatigue only worsen the issue. However, perhaps about an on going problem, worded problematically will only exacerbate the problem. Therefore, I’d like to propose a competing idea, Africa Intrigue.
An awesome indie games studio based in Montpellier, France. The Game Bakers are actually situated atop a bakery, hence the name. Despite being independent, these guys have developed several world class games such as Combo Crew,the first beat’em up for mobile to have touch controls and asynchronous multiplayer and the Squids’ franchise, a series of games featuring action, strategy and RPG. The Squids’s games allow you build your team of Squid heroes for epic turn-based battles against corrupted crabs and shrimps. All of these games are available on the App Store and Google Play.
It wasn’t long ago that gaming and Africa were two words you would almost never see in the same sentence. Fortunately that trend is now a thing of the past with the gaming industry in across Africa beginning to grow at an accelerated pace and developers across the world taking an interest in many of the different cultures across Africa. Although console game development has yet to really take off, we are beginning to see a flurry of mobile and PC games set on the continent.
I don’t think I can remember a year gone by where there wasn’t at least one film (if not 2 or 3) film released that was inspired by Greco-Roman Mythology. In fact I think that this trend goes beyond film and extends into all areas of storytelling whether it is gaming, fiction or comics. We have direct adaptations such as 300 or God of War however, the real volume lies in more subtle adaptations like the Hunger Games, inspired by the legend of Theseus or O Brother, Where Art Though where the Cohen brothers re-imagine Homer’s Oddysey.
If you’re a fan of Japanese anime and manga chances are you’ve noticed that characters with dark skin hardly ever show up. Even when they do they are often portrayed as criminals or slaves (not to dissimilar to hollywood actually). (more…)