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Ghana’s Black Stars celebrate World Cup push (video)

July 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Events, Featured, Games, General, Sports

I’m quite proud to be a Ghanaian right about now.

The Black Stars haven’t just made Ghanaians proud.

Being the only African team left in the cup, they are being cheered on by fans across the continent – all wanting the dancing to continue right through to the final. – BBC

Video: The Black Stars, Ghana’s football/soccer team, celebrating at their hotel after the win that sent them into the World Cup 2010 Quarter-Finals (via Pearcesport)

Video: Ghanaians celebrates World Cup win over US

If you can’t see the videos above, go here

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The long-lasting impact of 2010 World Cup on S. Africa

September 23rd, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in Business, Events, Games, General, Politics, Travel
2010 FIFA World Cup
Image by coda via Flickr

This guest post by John Kim

The Olympics and FIFA World Cup are often hailed as huge boons for their host countries or cities. At least that is how they are described prior to the event. Local organizing committees, civic and business leaders, and celebrities alike sell the economic, social, and cultural benefits of hosting international games.

But history has shown that the bold projections and promises are not generally met. A few noted successes have been the Barcelona Summer Olympics in 1992 and the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. Barcelona is hailed as a good example of using the Olympics as an opportunity for making long-term investments in the city’s infrastructure. Sydney’s event is noted as contributing to the successful branding of the city and country resulting in increased tourism.

But there have been many that have not lived up to their promise such as the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Vast structures were built only to never be used again and leaving the city and taxpayers deep in debt.

What will be South Africa’s legacy? No doubt the event will bring a huge boost to the GDP from tourism and the sale of merchandise. Efforts are being made to increase the footballing infrastructure in support of the next generation of South African footballers. Intra-city transport systems will see vast improvements. And large new stadiums are being built all around the country, which have contributed to the direct employment of many South Africans. But what will happen when the games are gone and preparations are being made for Brazil in 2014? What will happen to these gleaming and impressive new stadiums; the 94,000 person capacity Soccer City in Soweto. How will the local communities benefit in the long-term from these efforts and expenses?

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa, more than any before, comes with a huge responsibility to all involved; it needs to be a success. And it needs to be a launching pad. I argue that more than ever before multi-national corporations, long-time sponsors of the events, need to embrace this opportunity and make an even greater contribution to the country, beyond the usual sponsorship efforts. Corporations can help make a lasting impact, for themselves (increased brand awareness and market penetration), and more importantly, for the country and its people.
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John Kim has his master’s in public policy from Georgetown University and has worked in Morocco, South Africa, and Malawi. He blogs about the World Cup and corporate social responsibility (CSR) at www.WorldCupCSR.wordpress.com and you can follow him on Twitter @WorldCupCSR.

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Virtual game teaches African history to MTV generation

August 8th, 2006 | No Comments | Posted in Film/Television, Games, General

Africa MMO by Africast and Rapid RealityThough it is part of our history many young Africans (myself included) cringe at being characterized by drums, spears, and war paint. But one innovative company is hoping to change the implications of those descriptions. With their creation of a virtual Africa circa 1200 AD, Rapid Reality is hoping their game Africa MMO, a multiplayer online video game, sheds light on the misunderstood continent. The brains behind the Africa MMO game are John Sarpong, grandson of Ashanti king Prampeh of Ghana who runs Africast Global Media, Inc., a company that acquires and distributes a variety of Africa-focused media content, Adam Ghetti, a 19-year-old creative director at Rapid Reality, and Tracy Spaight, a 35-year-old lead designer who studied history at the PhD program at Cornell University and taught world history for five years, to include African cultures. Due to be released in December 2006, the game has already received the Most Innovative Concept Award at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Expo). To add to the draw of the game the developers are making the game accessible to Africans on the continent as well. “Africa,” which will be distributed via the Internet, will be designed to run well even on the less powerful computers frequented by Africans in their countries’ cybercafes. While I’m not familiar with online gaming (I stopped playing video games at Super Mario Bros.) I am quite optimistic about the game.

Here are some quotes from the game’s developers:
“We’ll take African mythology, folklore and legend and take all the bits that are somewhat familiar – we want it to be new so that people experience something they’ve never encountered before any MMO before and it’s rich and deep and fun.”

“We felt very strongly that video games can help increase understanding and education about Africa and get the unmotivated public fired up about what is going on with Africa”

“The African mythology back from 1200 to 1400 A.D. is thousands of times richer than the J.R.R. Tolkien series of novels. Don’t get me wrong, he was an amazing individual with brilliant ideas. But that’s been milked for 80 years now.”

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