Table Of Contents
This is a transcript from our weekly YouTube live AMA:
SPEAKERS: Anita Mlakar, Sandi Bitenc, Alice Anangi and Dagmawi Bedilu.
About AMA: In this AMA we had special guests, Alice Anangi and Dagmawi. Hear them talking about gamification and future of games.
AMA Duration: 01:11:02
Anita Mlakar: 00:19
Hello, everybody, and welcome to 3air AMA. It is a week before the Christmas, and we are here again like every Wednesday at 5pm Central European Time. And of course, we are happy to have you here. If you are with us do writes down in the comment section, say hello, say where you are? what you are doing? we are really happy that you are a part of our community. If you are not a part of our communities yet, then please check out Discord, Telegram and Twitter, we are there and you’re welcome, of course to join anytime.
Anita Mlakar is my name, I’m the host of this AMA. And I’m really looking forward to this one. Because of course, Sandi Bitenc the CEO of 3air will be with us. We have also special guests coming up. One is still a secret guest but in a couple of minutes, you will also know who is with us. You have of course an opportunity to ask questions or write comments in the comment section. Use also this opportunity in our communities, we are also there, answering your questions, but today you have the opportunity to do this live.
Now, what we always do at the beginning is of course a short introduction of our project of what 3air is doing and this is what I will do now. So, connect Africa cities with a fast and stable internet connection and then become the first decentralized telecom platform in the world is the goal of 3air. We are connecting the unconnected and once people have an internet connection, we can provide them with digital identities. Then we can bank the unbanked we are giving them a wallet, and this is all through blockchain.
The next step is for providing financial services. We have fiat onboarding, and off boarding ramp and peer to peer cash crypto onboarding, DeFi, we are working on microloans and yield farming, our outside partners will provide additional digital revenue streams. Once we put people through all those steps, they’re connected, they’re banked and empowered. All this time, we’re also educating people because we think that education is very important and that’s the real empowerment. So, this is a short section of what we are doing.
Anita Mlakar: 02:41
Now it’s time of course to invite our the one and only CEO of 3air Sandi Bitenc.
Anita Mlakar: 02:50
Sandi Bitenc: 02:52
Hello. Hey Anita.
Anita Mlakar: 02:55
Like I said before you have a special glow today. There you are. Hello, Sandi and welcome.
Sandi Bitenc: 03:08
You also have a special glow.
Anita Mlakar: 03:09
Yeah. And why did you say that I have?
Sandi Bitenc: 03:15
The horns there.
Anita Mlakar: 03:17
Sandi Bitenc: 03:19
Today’s angels and devils.
Anita Mlakar: 03:21
Yeah, of course, we could talk about who is the angel and the devil, but maybe we’ll do that next time.
Sandi Bitenc: 03:30
When we can talk about it when you sing.
Anita Mlakar: 03:33
Okay. But anyway, we are all angels. This is a special time of the week, the year this is the first reason and the second. We’re doing good things. Also, very important things and I think angels are the ones also doing nice things and let’s just stay with angels. Okay? Sandi, welcome to Slovenia, by the way.
Sandi Bitenc: 03:57
Yeah, thank you. We just arrived just in time to start the AMA.
Anita Mlakar: 04:03
Yeah, was it tough way or what was it?
Sandi Bitenc: 04:10
It wasn’t as bad it was quite okay. So, we woke up at 5am a bit and then the flight here. I thought I would need to do the AMA on the way because there’s also the way from Vienna where we landed to Slovenia. But we were just in time like literally opened up the door to the apartment and then jumped on the AMA.
Anita Mlakar: 04:39
Okay, I’m just reading the comments. Someone is writing that there is Sandi Clause and Angel Anita. Oh my god. Sandi, did you manage to make the tree in this two hour since you have?
Sandi Bitenc: 04:54
It’s not my tree. So, we don’t have an apartment here. So, we’re in an Airbnb and they set up a Christmas tree. Very nice. We were really surprised.
Anita Mlakar: 05:07
That is nice, really nice. Sandi, we have special guests today and I’m really looking forward to that. But before that we have a special announcement. Since we will be giving away something today. Will you tell us more about that?
Sandi Bitenc: 05:21
Absolutely. So previous time we had some guests in from Illuvium from the game. You remember, right?
Anita Mlakar: 05:30
Sandi Bitenc: 05:31
Today we’ll be giving away 50 Private passes to their Beta Version of the game. The game is not live yet, not public. So, you can just play it by being invited and we’re giving away 50 invitations. There will be 10 invitations given away for the next five days. Every day, we will try and do the draw every day at 4pm UTC 5pm CET. So, at the same time as we have, let’s do it six because today, we’re also going to do it at the end somewhere or somewhere in between. There’s one piece missing to it, and we’ll go through it exactly what you need to do to be able to enter into the draw. But before that let’s tease a bit because we have a video. We’ve talked about the gaming and the crypto space in the blockchain space. And we said the problem really is that there are no real games that would be fun enough to play that people would be playing them if there would not be money involved in it. So now this is the games that we are waiting for and let me just show a quick video.
Anita Mlakar: 09:35
Wow, it looks awesome.
Sandi Bitenc: 09:38
It does, right?
Anita Mlakar: 09:39
Sandi Bitenc: 09:40
So, we don’t need to explain Illuvium now. People saw it. Maybe it’ll our guests can come in a bit more because they’re far more into gaming that us too are we’re more into the internet providing but every such game needs an internet connection, so it doesn’t without. We are giving away passes, 50 passes for the Overworld and for the Arena. So, for both of them, and just maybe quickly share the screen so that people know where to enter. You can enter on app.3air.io. So, we’ll also display this in on the screen.
Anita Mlakar: 10:35
Okay and I see all the comments that you are writing. Thank you. They’re all thrilled. Super cool. Absolutely. Looking good. The in-game demo looks fantastic. This is great. The comments that are coming in.
Sandi Bitenc: 10:52
Yeah, it is for sure. So, this is where you enter, you need to go to app.3air.io and then you click on enter giveaway, you will need to connect your wallet. What you need to do is you need to follow 3air. So, you need to follow us on Twitter and on Telegram, you need to follow Illuvium on Twitter, not on Telegram, you need to follow them on Twitter. Then you need to retweet the Illuvium link and the 3air link. Here are the tweets in resources for Twitter. So here the Twitter posts to retweet and the Illuvium post to retweet, so you need to retweet those two posts. You need to of course to watch the AMA that you’re in right now. Once you’re ready, there is a form below here, I already just tested it out, you’ll need to enter a few more things. Then we’re giving the AMA live code during today’s AMA. We’re not saying exactly when, but we’ll give it today during the AMA.
Anita Mlakar: 12:06
Okay, you have to do it like in the next 30 or 40 minutes if you want to be a part of the draw today for the first 10 places.
Sandi Bitenc: 12:17
So, the drawing will be done directly in the app. So, we have a random generator, that’ll just randomly pick 10 winners. By the end of the AMA, we’ll pick 10 today, and then tomorrow at 5pm UTC we will pick another 10 and then the day after. So, in the next five days.
Anita Mlakar: 12:43
Sounds great. Thank you, Sandi. Now it’s time of course to invite our guests because we will be talking about gaming today, very interesting subject and they know so much about it. I cannot wait to hear more also about them. So first, let me invite our first guest, Alice Anangi founder and CEO of a Crypsense Digital Group. Let’s say hello and welcome to her.
Anita Mlakar: 13:07
Alice Anangi: 13:10
Hi, Anita. Hi, Sandi. That was so cool to actually check out the game, looks really awesome, Illuvium game.
Anita Mlakar: 13:19
It does, doesn’t it? Alice, we’re really happy to have you here today. Thank you for taking the time.
Alice Anangi: 13:24
Anita Mlakar: 13:24
And of course, to be able to give us more information about gaming. We will talk about it in the next let’s say 50 minutes. So, it’s really nice to have you here. We said, we have a surprise guest and now I think it’s time to reveal who this surprise guest is. I would also like to invite him in. He is Game Thinker, Tech Innovation consultant, the community builder, serial entrepreneur, and so on. Dagmawi Bedilu Degefe and here he is.
Anita Mlakar: 14:02
Dagmawi Bedilu: 14:06
Hello, Anita. Hello, Sandi and Alice. Nice to see you. Nice to see everyone here and it’s a great pleasure to be here and talk about games and the future of games.
Anita Mlakar: 14:21
yeah, I am really looking forward to that. First let’s start with a short introduction from both of you. So, Alice is Technology Entrepreneur and the Champion of emerging technologies, blockchain and digital asset adoption in Africa. Her carrier extends over 12 years in the technology space. Please Alice, could you tell us more about yourself?
Alice Anangi: 14:50
Hi, everyone. I’m Alice Anangi, founder and CEO of Crypsense Digital Group. So Crypsense focuses on digital assets training, capacity building and management and it’s the first platform in Africa that does this. So, we have different models that we look at.
The first one is training, and capacity building and we’ve actually tried to make it as fun and interactive as possible through the gamification aspect of it. So, academy is actually an intersection of the learn to earn and play to earn model. So where students actually get to learn courses from a complete beginner level, they get to level up and understand as we teach them and progress them through the blockchain and crypto and decentralized finance and NFT space. So, these courses have tests that have actually been turned into games. So, you learn a particular aspect of a content that teaches you a particular task, you answer certain questions within the platform and then gamified, they are very interactive, you do puzzles, you connect tree diagrams, and there’s a timer that actually rewards you as you progress through your learning journey.
At the same time, we’ve also linked to ecosystem. So, we have games, crypto economy games, through our Discord channel and these games actually teach you particular aspects of the digital currency ecosystem. So, you get to play them, look at them, like Monopoly because it’s all about economy, you need to understand it’s game theory and its economy. What’s the right time to purchase businesses? What’s the right time to actually sell businesses? What’s the right time to actually go to work, take responsibility and accountability, when you’re holding assets in your wallet? Because our thought process is, this is actually the best way to actually accelerate adoption of blockchain and crypto assets and basically, digital assets from a broad perspective in the entire globe.
The biggest challenge that users usually experience, especially new users who are coming into the blockchain space, is there is too much content. It’s difficult and really don’t understand how to learn everything that’s there. We have 18,000 different assets, we have 1000s of different protocols. Where do I start? And for someone who is completely new, this can be very overwhelming and too much information can actually even paralyze them. And it can be quite intimidating for them. So, we’ve tried to make it as simple and as fun and as interactive as possible, so that people can actually enjoy the learning process through the gamification aspect of it.
Anita Mlakar: 17:53
Very interesting. Alice, how did you get into this space?
Alice Anangi: 17:58
Well, my journey has actually been five years. So, prior to joining the Web3 space, I was actually an intrapreneur, in leading telecommunication equipment vendor company, and actually got to interact with clients from a perspective of introducing new technology to them. Which is where I come to explain the fact that working with multiple teams makes you exposed to the fact that you might be a techie, you might understand the technology from a technical perspective, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else understands it, but you have to make them understand it in the simplest way possible.
So, when I left, actually, I left the telecommunication space five years ago, but I had already gotten training in blockchain, Web3, emerging technologies, actually, the fourth industrial revolution, that’s coming not to revolutionize how people will work, will interact, how the FinTech space is going to transform, and I resonated with Web3 technologies.
The biggest challenge I notice is, there will be so many people and so many users who do want to participate in this technology, even institutions to transition into Web3 will be a very huge challenge. If there is no bridge, if there is no institution that works as a bridge, especially to build capacity and to train both individuals and institutions on the right way to actually transition. So that’s how my journey began. Actually, it began as an educator. So, as I was teaching myself and learning, I also transferred my knowledge to different people, different institutions and basically it was during the COVID time when COVID struck. People were not going to work. Everywhere, it was work from home and the emergent technology came now as a solution to actually solving the problem of the future of work and businesses shutting down. So, I got a lot of inquiries on training and capacity building and that’s how I also got to empower myself and actually become the best and learn so much about it, learn the challenges, and now build a product around the challenges that actually I noticed that individuals and institutions were experiencing in as far as transitioning to Web3 is concerned.
Anita Mlakar: 20:34
Well, thank you, Alice. Dagmawi, I already said about you that you are Game Thinker and tech innovation consultant, community builder, an entrepreneur. And before we talk about this topic, Ethiopian Games Associations. On your website, you have written if you’re wondering about what I do for a living, I guess we are wondering, could you tell us more about that?
Dagmawi Bedilu: 21:05
Thank you, Anita again, for that awesome introduction, and like a very enticing question. So let me start off with Alice start, because like Alice was mentioning a couple of things like she was talking about gamification, and she was mentioning about game theories, and about like rewards and scaling up, levelling up and these are the concepts. Almost in all our public conversations, there is a continuously recurring theme. And we always say that games are the highest form of art, and a lot of people ask us, like, how can you be bold enough to claim that games are really the highest form of art? And actually, I have a very perfect argument for that.
So, imagine if you go to a gallery, and there is a group of paintings on the wall, right? So, what do you do? You just look at them and you call it a passive observer. Like you just stand there, look at the painting, and maybe try to contemplate what the painter was thinking while painting that specific artwork. If you go to a concert, what do you do? You stand in the crowd, and you just listen, right? So still, that’s what we call a passive audience. If you go to a cinema, what do you do, you sit down and you observe, you watch them. And if you look at in any other art forms, one thing that keeps on recurring is you are a passive audience to something that’s being conveyed in front of you whether it’s in a visual format, or in like audio format, or the combination of both.
In games, now, something different happens, because in games, your don’t have like audience, in games, you have what you have is a game, and we call a gamer, a co-creator, for example, as a game designer, as a painter, all I have to do is express myself on a white canvas and say, I’m done. But if you are a game designer, you will never be done. After making the game, you will only be done when people start to play it. And you’re always thinking when you’re making the game about how people will be playing at and express themselves. And so that’s why we say in games, gamers are co-creators, they make the hope that the whole art full and until the first decade of the 2000s this privilege was only given to gamers. I grew up as a gamer and as a gamer, what you have is you’re welcome to this huge world, and you can do whatever you want. You can slay dragons, you can dance, you can seize you can cheat, you can do a lot of it, but this was only a privilege that was given to the gaming community and gamers. But what happened in the 2000s like after the millennia as people started asking, why only gamers and the beauty of technology and the whole information age was it was democratizing everything.
So, one of the things that was being democratized was this quality, this specific quality that was only given to gamers and now like we look at social media for example, on Facebook, a lot of people don’t consider Facebook as a game but it’s one of the greatest gaming platforms ever developed. Because you take part in it, you post whatever you want in it, you share, your comment, you like you get likes. Now we have influencers are technically the gamers to the social media and whenever we talk about the Metaverse or the Web 3.0. What we did is, we just made games accessible by everyone. We made life a game and that’s why like it’s all always hard for me to explain what I do or what our communities do, whenever we are asked the question, what do you do for a living? Can you say, we make games, and a lot of people have the misconception of saying, like video games? and we say yes and no at the same time, because we’re not only addressing video gamers, but after making games for almost everyone, as a matter of fact, we always say we don’t make games for kids, kids can play with whatever they have they’re already gamers by default, we make up games for grownups, grungy group, the angry adults to make their lives better and more enjoyable.
So that leads us to the whole notion of Game Thinking. Whenever we say game thinking or a game thinker. Imagine yourself playing Mario or any and inside the game, whenever you face a dragon, what do you do? You run towards the dragon. That’s the only way, you run towards the dragon but imagine in real life, if you face the dragon, what do you do? You run the hell out from that space, right? So, whatever, whenever we talk about game thinking is, this is a special privilege to be given for gamers, which is being okay with faders and continuously trying to do things to become the better version of ourselves. And that’s what we call a game thinking. Inside of it, it has a full design, gamification, simulation, for example, think of a pilot, you don’t just give the pilot and ask them to fly a plane, they have to go into this simulators, which are games by design, and they have to train in simulators before they become pilots. So, this whole arena of making the people find their better version because of game thinking, and whoever, actually the basic last piece, we call it the whole space, we call it a Game Thinking or a Game Thinker Space. I hope that’s clear.
Anita Mlakar: 27:00
Yes, gaming and games as an art. Maybe this comment is exactly to the point to what you were saying. We are in an era where all the pioneers of gaming community are now adults, and still playing and buying their own games, was written by Raiden. So yes, this is what you were actually talking about. Alice and Dagmawi, maybe this is a question for both of you. If we are talking about gaming, let’s now talk about gaming scene in Africa. How do you see it? Alice maybe.
Alice Anangi: 27:37
I see we have good strides, especially when it comes to gaming companies that are really trying to build culture centric games that can actually educate the rest of the world on the African culture. I do see good strides in East Africa. I also see good strides from South Africa in as far as creating VR experiences and also building games that are moving on to the Metaverse.
However, one thing that I always mentioned, especially every time I engage with a gaming community, and basically even the Web3 ecosystem in general, is we need to be more impact focused. So as much as we are creating these beautiful experiences, we also need to really build solutions that are solving problems, that are actually in that ground here in Africa that can create opportunities that align with their sustainable development goals, that are really impact driven, that can revolutionize lives, that can create multiple opportunities for the youth because we have quite a number of challenges in Africa that we know blockchain and Web3 and gamification actually comes to solve, right? If we build and we build in the right way. So, we’ve seen so many projects in the past, build from the ground up, but eventually they end up failing because of the lack of the impact aspect of the particular project because here we will have situations where people just want to join your platform, probably if they’re gaming and playing a game, they just want to make the money out of it, maybe from the token or from the NFTs and after a while they are out of it.
Especially now when we come to see we have seasons of bulls, and we have seasons of bears and we understand very well that during the bear season is when now majority of the projects that are not impact focused that don’t just sustainability, in the long run end up failing. So we really need to model solutions that solve real world problems from my perspective and I think we will see more of this coming next year because I see also a lot of support from international organizations, from NGOs, even directed to gaming, the gaming ecosystem, especially now moving to the metaverse and the different aspects now of creating this fully immersive experience that also brings ecommerce, financial transactions on the platform that basically creates now this new economy for users to interact on a peer to peer level. So, I hope to see much bigger and better gaming projects come next year.
Anita Mlakar: 30:25
So, let’s say gaming with purpose, Dagmawi, do you agree with that?
Dagmawi Bedilu: 30:33
As a matter of fact, that’s a very interesting phenomena that’s happening in Africa. I had the privilege of being a speaker at the African Games Week, which was actually only three weeks ago, I think, in the first days of December, I was only in Cape Town. These were like people from all walks of life across the continent of Africa studios, or publishers who came together, like for a week to talk about games and share their experiences. It was a very interesting scene and whenever we talk about the gaming scene, especially in the West, we know it’s the biggest entertainment industry in the world, like bigger than Hollywood, like all the music industry.
When it comes to Africa, we’re not there yet but it has its own different qualities. For example, like, if you come to Africa, Africa, as most of you are already familiar, it’s a mobile continent, meaning we got connected to the internet during the smartphone era. So, a lot of gaming happens, not on a console per se, or a gaming PC, but rather on a smart device, a smartphone or a tablet. This is a common phenomenon. You can see a lot of studios, gaming studios coming up, they tend to focus and tend to target this specific demographic.
Also, like whenever we talk about eSports, eSports is a huge phenomenon in Africa, especially recently, and also, more mobile gaming eSports competitions happened compared to, let’s say, the West, local mobile payments are by far the biggest in Africa, compared to any other continent. So, because of this some seamless transaction, people tend to prefer to game on mobile phones. So that’s one characteristics when it comes to the African gaming scene.
Another special thing, and Alice was mentioning it. As in general, we divide games into two big categories. So, we have games for entertainment. This is what your typical in the interplay games that are made, not like I don’t consider this to be like, a debate for another time, but like, I love games for entertainment, because they’re the best stress reliever like we play games, to kind of having after a hard work day like, you have maybe couples like that been something the whole day, you go home, you turn on your PlayStation and you play a game and you have the sense of empowerment, autonomy and mastery, and the sense of like stress reliever and games are by far one of the most powerful stress relieving tools out there.
In Africa when it comes to the African context, we have more games for impact initiatives. That’s why you will see it in the global phenomena because the games for impact are specifically designed for a certain niche. So whenever I design a game for Doctor, I’m designing it for doctors in Ethiopia who are going into a specific issue and I want to pass a specific message towards them. So that might not adhere to every doctor in the world or any other person outside. So, this is one phenomena that’s really on the rise in the African context.
So, I still consider that as impact. Whereas in general, in the gaming context, you have games for entertainment and games for impact. In the West, it seems to be that games for entertainment are by far the biggest and the most prominent ones. Whereas games for impact, they are considered to be boring and like a lot of people would even claim to say, educational games are not games, they’re just pretending to be games but in Africa, it’s actually the other way around. Like if you come to Ethiopia, for example, then Ethiopian Games Associations we are more on the games for impact, like there is more being done on games for impact. This has to do with simulation, gamification, serious games, educational games, playful design, because we can actually do a lot leveraging the power of it. So as an Ethiopian Games Associations, we have more than 10 projects working in the field of health, gamifying the health system here, the education system, the agriculture system, there are games being developed for farmers for example to help them in becoming a better farmer. For awareness creation games are the most ideal platform.
When it comes to games for entertainment, yes, there are studios. Like, there are even consortiums, for example, I’m also one of the founders for an initiative called Enter Africa. It’s a Pan African gaming initiative that spans across 16 African countries. We have communities in Africa countries, and we explore the concept of what it means to be a game from Africa or an African game because since we are a late comers to the whole digital space, if you look at a lot of studios, they fall into the trap of underestimating what it means to be enough. So, a lot of game designers, whenever they think of an African game, what they will do is they’ll just take Temple Run or Candy Crush, and they’ll just make the character black and assume it’s an African game.
But if you look at games, and if you know about game design, the whole notion of game mechanics, because if you look at the game, it kind of gives you an insight of who made it. For example, if you look at Chase, if you like to play Chase, even so Chase was created in India, it was made a game by the British. And when you play the Chase, it takes you into a portal where you see the mediaeval times in Europe, you have this hierarchy, you have a king, the queens that are so powerful, you have the bishop. So it’s actually the storytelling platform and it’s a signature of the society it creates.
If you go to Asia, and if you played go, you see the Asian lifestyle and Asian essence, in it. You never see like a pawn or a king or a specific hierarchy in that game that shows you a specific culture, which is associated with the east, which is more of a territorial expansion, and less in this social hierarchy system. So, it shows you, it gives you a glimpse into the society itself. So, games are just more than just games, they are also a mirror.
What we are working on with Enter African initiative, we’re trying to conceptualize what it means to be an African. So we made a couple of games and there you will find, you can go to www.interafrica-group.org and you can actually check them out. The claim is, if you play, you can actually have the essence of what it means to be an African, I don’t know if any of you have ever played Mancala or Oware. These are games that were 2000 years ago, lived in Africa, and you played them and there is no for example, sites like there are more sites in the game, or there are no ownership because Africa is more of a communal lifestyle. Like together, we have this V over the eye. So, this actually reflects on our day-to-day activity including our game. So, the new games that are coming out, in a way that encapsulate this and so what needs to an African or to live in Africa. This is something that’s coming in emerging from the African gaming, games from Africa is different, as in like lifestyle in Africa is different. These are typically what’s been going on daily in Africa in the past, let’s say a decade or more.
Anita Mlakar: 38:42
Okay, thank you. So, we are coming back to this word education, which is very important. Alice, maybe I would like to hear more about your thoughts about education, and also the possibilities and this gaming world in our education system.
Sandi Bitenc: 39:04
Keep that thought. I just want to interrupt because we’re gonna give away the code, actually I published it already in the chat. But here it is, for everyone else. The code is “GETILLUVIUM,” and you need to go to app.3air.io and enter it there and by the end of this AMA we’ll be drawing 10 lucky winners that will get access. Just to give a bit of my perspective, there are 2 million people that are waiting to play this game and you can be one of the first ones in.
Anita Mlakar: 39:45
Okay, this is a beta version. Absolutely a great opportunity to be a part of it. Thank you, Sandi. I hope you did get the code and there it is, again opportunity to write it down. Okay, so Alice, if we go back to your thoughts about the gamification aspect of our education system?
Alice Anangi: 40:12
Yes, well, I think it’s actually a very exciting time to be in the Web3 space with the potential that education and gamification of education actually brings. Because here we are looking at areas where students can actually be able to learn progressively, they can interact with content in a practical way depending on the particular skill that is actually taught. And if you look at Web3 space, let me start with Web3 before I break into know how it integrates into the normal education system. But we know Web3 actually is more or less skill based. So new careers actually stemming out of the Web3 ecosystem, new jobs, the future of work is actually stemming out of the Web3 ecosystem, where you can actually learn a course, it might take a day or two for you to learn that particular course. Get certified as a professional actually, after that learning and be able to join a community where you can practice this skill that you’ve learned, and you already start earning. So, depending on the particular skill that you’ve actually learned.
All this learning actually happens on the blockchain, and you even get paid via crypto or digital assets. Depending on the particular tasks that you’re performing. So, I think that gamification of education actually brings a very interesting concept. Where students can even hold NFTs, right? Because that’s exactly how we actually have it on our academy. These NFTs actually the digital footprints of your learning journey. So, as you progress through your learning coursework, and you earn rewards, as you’re performing your tests, and you’re performing certain tasks attached to verify that you’ve actually learned, the skill that you’re supposed to learn in that particular coursework, you get rewarded and this NFT actually proves as a digital certificate. So, from that, there are opportunity gateways that are created even within our ecosystem after you’ve completed that task in the Learning Channel, because you have to factor to achieve that goal, because there’s so much capacity needed across multiple organizations, when it comes to blockchain and Web3, it’s a new concept, we know that just a small percentage of the world has adopted it. And yet, we also know that within the next five years, this percentage is actually going to grow bigger and bigger.
So that means there is a gap already in the existing institutions that are looking to transition into Web3. So, they’re looking for professionals that can actually build on Web3 and this capacity can only be built through the right education. So, these are the opportunity gateways.
Now after you get your digital certificate, now you are linked to a particular project within a particular partner organization where now you go and empower that particular team. So now it creates a whole ecosystem where you learn, you get certified, you can prove via the NFT and now you go to work. Then you can even come back as a mentor and curate new content depending on how quickly and how faster their space transitions.
Now imagine this, imagine a future where students who are going through the learning process are actually holding NFTs as certificates to prove that they’ve actually learned what they needed to learn. So, these are interchangeable, they’re on the blockchain and slowly, this is how the Web3 ecosystem can even be integrated into the normal education system. It’s through gamification, and it’s also through using NFTs as verification of your learning journey and also like reward cuts, basically.
Anita Mlakar: 44:25
There is another thing, Alice, I’m sure we all agree on that. To do all that gaming, education, everything on Web3, connection, connectivity is very important. How are you, let’s say coping with these challenges in Africa, because this is what 3air actually doing, connecting the unconnected. How is the situation? How do you see it?
Alice Anangi: 44:52
So, actually, very recently, I was involved in the Mobile World Congress Discussion, and this was actually a major topic. It recently happened in Kigali, early last month. Where now, for the very first time, startups were in emerging technology who actually brought to the same seating table with the leaders who are in mobile connectivity and the mobile communication system.
Why was this done? It was done because it was clearly seen that there’s a huge gap. And a need in as far as connectivity is concerned, especially to make sure that Africa is not left behind in as far as now the digital transformation is concerned. So, for the very first time, we actually got to sit on the same table with the leaders, industry leaders and mobile connectivity, and talked, speak about our project, speak about the challenges that our projects are having the impacts that connectivity has, in as far as giving accessibility to the end users who would benefit so much from these particular projects that are in emerging technologies. Also, to hear out the industry leaders in as far as the challenges they’re experiencing, in as far as the usage gap is concerned, because there is a usage gap.
Connectivity in Africa could be good. However, we have a handful of users probably because of lack of education, or maybe language barrier, or just they choose not to adopt and connect. Basically, it becomes also a very big challenge for the mobile operators and mobile connectivity service providers to scale and also invest more in as far as connectivity is concerned until you solve that usage gap.
From my perspective, I think, in as far as the usage gap is concerned, it’s more going back to the community, we have to go back to the ground to the community, we have to get certain community leaders within that space to actually create more education to the people so that the people cannot see connectivity as a threat, however, they can see connectivity as something that actually comes to help them and scale them up economically, give them access to some of the opportunities that the rest of us are having that they do not have.
Another challenge is also devices also because we know not all users can be able to afford as much as we try and make it very affordable as equipment vendors and connectivity providers. The cost of mobile devices also needs to be looked into. Can we come up with collaborative models? Between innovators and producers on mobile devices, instead of actually having to charge these users for their mobile devices? Can we come up with a model that works in that maybe we can have applications installed that we know will be of value to these users and have a revenue shareholder in place? Or, you know, it’s open for discussion, because there’s that challenge that really needs to be solved. And both the innovators and also the vendors that are responsible for the manufacture of these devices and distribution of these devices. This is a challenge that actually needs to be looked into. So I think we need to create more collaborative spaces and come up with new business models that can solve this problem in the long term.
Anita Mlakar: 48:32
Thank you, Alice. Sandi, it’s always good to hear all those views and challenges, of course, that they’re facing in Africa, when it comes to connectivity, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 48:45
It is for sure. It’s not good to hear that there are challenges but it’s to get a perspective, and it’s good to educate the people. Because if you don’t go there, you just don’t know. It’s so different. It really is and it’s even difficult to understand it when you listen to people who actually need to go and experience it. There was one thing that I was thinking asking before and we were talking about, I think that was even before we entered the live AMA that Africa is actually leading the mobile adoption, kind of they just jumped over the computers and laptops and all of this. So, my question more or less was, how does this impact the game developers in a sense that if you really want to have a really cool game, for the most of them you still need to have a really good computer, right?
Alice Anangi: 49:56
Yeah, that’s true. So maybe I can throw it also to Dagmawi, I think you can take it up.
Dagmawi Bedilu: 50:09
I think context is very important. In the West let’s see, like, how do you gain like, if you look at the gaming scenarios in the West, how this will happen is like you buy a console, like you go to everyone’s house for like games, and most probably have a PlayStation, or PS5, or Xbox or Nintendo Switch, right? That’s the common phenomenon of like gaming in the West. If you come to Africa, giving you the Ethiopia context, or come to Addis, console games exist, but you don’t find them in everyone’s home, how was it will happen is, it’s a combination of the culture, and also like the resources of the culture. We have more than 4000 games zones. How the culture kind of goes past these resourcefulness, resource scarcity is by becoming resourceful meaning now there will be businessmen who buy a console and set up as for gaming station, and people can actually go there pay small amounts of money and game on a console or a gaming laptop.
In every society, like you are mentioning about challenge, as a matter of fact, for every child in a society for the intrapreneurs, within that society, a challenge is always an opportunity. So how a businessman would come in and leverage on that and creates the business model that works for it.
Coming to the mobile industry, like the mobile gaming industry, yes, still now for the past, almost, say 10 years, we do purchase, and we never had like ethernet banking in Africa, we just jumped through, like, a lot of people never went going to a banking institute and open the bank account, that was the majority of Africans. So, a majority of Africans were introduced to the banking system, through telecom providers. So, that’s how people actually open their first bank accounts, not in an official banking institution, but in a telecom institution that has a wallet, that provided them the wallet service.
So, for those who have never seen that realm, if you come to most of them and talk to most of the youngsters in Ethiopia, about banks and how banking works or console gaming. It’s a huge alien concept and they will tell you, like this is more convenient to have my smartphone 24/7. You have a smartphone that have a very high end, and you can go most of whatever gaming formats that you can have all the experiences that Xbox or PlayStation will give you five years 10 years ago. So yes, that’s how we’re actually jumping through it.
When it comes to internet connectivity, it’s the same issue. Until recently, a lot of internet connectivity was only in hotels, or in this gaming station. So, people have to go there, pay small amounts of money, they’ll get free access to a Wi-Fi, and they game online, or they take part in online gaming. Recently, that’s changing because now the mobile reach has becoming like now, we have 5G in most African countries, there are still a lot of countries in the West that don’t have access to five G’s at the moment. So yes, like the way the technology is advancing. And the way like the whole leapfrogging or jumping into the next ship, as Africa is a great example for that.
If you look at the gaming scene, whether from a creator perspective, almost, I can say 90% of games to use developed for mobile games. Almost, there are a very small amount of gaming studios that actually developed games for console, like to publish it on Steam, or even like for computer gaming. So, with the culture, the demand and the culture was kind of connected. So, for every culture, there is a Creator that feeds the cultures need, and also the payments modalities. Now it’s common in the West to have subscriptions, or like pay as go. Here, the formats are pretty much obvious. You have a lot of freemium models and in app purchases, which is in app purchases is the recent phenomena in the whole gaming scene, but in Africa in app purchase, is the first and the only phenomena because we’ve never had that previous experience. So, in a way like the beauty of it is like you can see Africa is almost in the same pace as the West, but kind of you look deeper, we just jumped most of it.
Sandi Bitenc: 55:22
In a sense, the games right now are becoming a bit global. They do online gaming, and so on and for that, if you want to take part usually you need to have a piece of hardware that fits to it. And if it’s a global game, then it’s probably not going to be redesigned for Africa specifically, but Africa will need to start adapting to that part also.
Dagmawi Bedilu: 55:54
To give you an interesting example for that is like, for example, like ping grades like so. African internet coverage has its issue. So, for example, African gamers when they’re playing PUBG was European gamers, there is a huge lag within the online gaming platform. So, the African gamers tend to not become the best players, but that determine what it’s made, it’s made African gamers very good at playing in a lagging internet connection. So, the moment they get the best connection, they become the best gamers out there.
So now even for gaming recruiters, you can take an African gamer who’s been playing on a 200 ping or the 100 pings, the moment you that player, that gamer an access to a 20 ping, you have the best game out there. So, it’s like why most Africans are good at planning, running, long distance running, because it’s common to run in Africa compared to the west. So, by far, it’s kind of a culturally. So, if you kind of look at that problem, it’s also on the other it’s obviously the silver light, yes. You can’t just sit there and say like, oh, my God I have the 200 ping we don’t have access to these gaming laptops that are really expensive. But what people are actually doing is they’re not sitting down and crying about their misfortune, as a matter of fact they are laboring on whatever is accessible, it’s possible for them, and making the best out of it.
Now if we look at mobile gaming, it’s becoming big. I can guarantee you in the next 10-20 years, most greatest mobile gamers are going to be from Africa. Of you look at even the gaming scene, if the global gaming scene, Call of Duty mobile, Call of Duty is putting a lot of money in pushing Call of Duty mobile, because they are seeing this market and they’re seeing the potential it has. Most African countries we don’t have servers, gaming servers in most African countries, so we’re still playing in servers that have power in the Middle East or in Europe. Yes, they use most of the time, but the moment they have access to a server in Africa, they’re going to be the best gamers you can imagine. So already most studios have, again, most publishers from the West have already understood this and they’re actually putting a lot of money in kind of recruiting these games. If you look at like Wesco, the whole the eSports consortium, they are spending a lot of money to kind of start registering African users and get them from when no one is actually marketing for or looking for gamers from Africa, they’re already registering most African gamers. So, it’s like a huge market.
Sandi Bitenc: 58:52
How big would you say that the gaming market is in Africa, actually?
Dagmawi Bedilu: 58:57
Now that’s a very interesting question, because if you look at Zynga is one of the most popular gaming data recording platform. As a matter of fact, if you look at the data, you’ll never find Africa like Africa is just a black continent, you’ll see something like no data. That’s where we come into place like for example the Ethiopian Gaming Association we have almost a lot of data with regard to Ethiopian gaming. And with our Enter Africa consortium, we have like almost every ecosystem, the localities have, by far a very interesting numbers.
I can’t give you a number for Africa personally, but I can actually tell you about the data in context, and you can do somehow an interpolation. So, we’re talking about like 120 million people. So that’s a lot, the second biggest nation in Africa, like the I think that is 11th from the world and we have a population of 70% of the population is under the age of 70. So that’s kind of tells you how much younger society it is.
The internet penetration rate at the current moment, we’re talking about 30%, internet penetration. But this %30 might mislead you, because like 10 years ago, it was 0% the pace of it growing, like we were talking about earlier on the pace of adoption to technology is exponentially growing. So, if you ask me next year, it’s my predict 80%. So that’s actually how it’s slipping. So, from this, if you look at the smartphone industry like how many kids have smartphones, and how many kids are actually playing games?
Now, imagine from the 30%, you can go to the 70% and from the 70% person, we’re talking about 5, 6 million youngsters who are casual gamers. Who just play games for the fun. Now, these people have never introduced to the financial benefits of gaming and that’s where we come to earn to play, because we are trying to create awareness on, “Oh, you like to play games, but you can earn the money by playing games”. So, a lot of gamers out there, and even gender wise, we’re talking about it’s not a huge gap like we are talking about 40%-45% of woman gamers and 55% of male game. So, you can see this democratization with gaming.
Only missing element is access. When you look at from a big population, 5 million as more or less, most European countries’ entire population. So, from this, if you kind of set up the perfect infrastructure in recruiting, training, and getting them into the actual, the eSports scene, or the global earn to play, or whatever, like actual gaming scene, that’s a huge pool, which can get a lot of great gamers out. So that’s only for Africa. Across 54 African country, we’re talking about 1.5 or 1.3 billion people. And more, as we all have the same scenario, most African countries have a very young population, the internet connection rate, like the technology adoption is exponentially growing.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:02:39
The opportunity is huge, right? And the gaming studios should be looking more and more into Africa. Probably, once the technology is there, in regards to connectivity, and in regards to devices, this will probably skyrocket.
Dagmawi Bedilu: 1:02:58
it’s going to be a disruption, it’s not going to be an evolutionary process. Because people are already working in a very large infrastructure, and they’re doing a lot at the moment they have access to data.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:03:13
It’s good that our connections have sub 10 millisecond latency, so the ping is gonna be really good, right? We actually also build out wherever we go, we also build out a data center so we can host servers there and so on.
Dagmawi Bedilu: 1:03:31
Yes. Now, Epic Games, Unity, I don’t know if you have listen to the news but now that the Call of Duty actually set up the first server in South Africa, only a month and until now, because of this, there was no data that everyone assumed, “Okay, there was no gaming.” But now like with the whole rise, now that everyone is making money, the Tencent is fighting Epics and they’re trying to set up like a smart servers here as possible. So, it’s like the same like the Chinese writing with the Americans becoming the best friends, the BFFs for African. So, this is I think the next economic battle is going to happen in Africa. That includes gaming as well and the whole industry.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:04:25
We are a bit over time.
Anita Mlakar: 1:04:28
This is such an interesting subject. We could just go on and on but there are so many things that we haven’t even touched and maybe this is an opportunity for another AMA and to actually talk about gaming more. Alice and Dagmawi, we thank you very much for being a part of this AMA. Thank you for sharing your experiences and of course, you are really familiar with the situation in Africa, and it was really nice to have you here to tell us more about it. Thank you very much.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:05:01
Yeah, so we’ll do the draw just now at the end, there’ll be 10 people that we will draw, but there are 40 people still waiting. So just go ahead and let your communities know they should sign up here. Now the AMA will also be recorded, and you can just watch it on YouTube later on. So, there’s still time to enter in the next four days, and the probability of winning is quite high.
Anita Mlakar: 1:05:38
Thank you to both of you.
Dagmawi Bedilu: 1:05:39
Thank you for inviting us. It was a nice discussion, looking forward to the future conversations as well.
Alice Anangi: 1:05:46
Anita Mlakar: 1:05:47
Yes, absolutely. Bye. Bye. Thank you.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:05:51
Alice Anangi: 1:05:52
Anita Mlakar: 1:05:54
So, Sandi, we have a draw to do right now. 10 people on shore are waiting to have the opportunity to play the game that we have introduced at the beginning.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:06:06
Yes, exactly. So, let’s see if we can do this. Okay.
Anita Mlakar: 1:06:21
Jingle bells, Jingle Bells, Illuvium all the way.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:06:29
Christmas is coming few days early.
Anita Mlakar: 1:06:31
Sandi Bitenc: 1:06:32
Okay, let me do the first draw, 3-2-1… So, let’s see… Okay, so that’s the first winner. And you will need to check your wallet. So, if the first few and the last part of the wallet is being shown just to preserve privacy. And I’ll just, click few of those in. So, we have the second wallet. Don’t worry, we have your other information that you put in. So, you will be contacted by Illuvium directly on your email and get the pass there. So, I’m just clicking in now 10 winners for today. So, this doesn’t take too long.
Anita Mlakar: 1:07:44
We have six already, right?
Sandi Bitenc: 1:07:45
So, four more… 1… 2… 3… and one more. Okay, so these are the 10 winners, and you can check this also on logging into the app. So go to app.3air.io. You can also check some really cool stuff there while you’re already there. So, you can go to our coverage map, you can check out the coverage map here. You can go to the marketplace and buy a connectivity NFT. You buy connectivity to connect to school. So, there are some things that you can do there but congratulations to winners!
Anita Mlakar: 1:08:58
Congratulations to all 10 winners, and of course to another 40 that will be coming up in next days. And of course, enjoy playing the game. It looks really awesome.
Sandi, thank you. Thank you very much. It was such an interesting subject, gaming really is. I’m so happy that we learned more about it also about gaming in Africa, and everything that it brings and looking forward to the next opportunity to learn more about that.
Sandi Bitenc: 1:09:42
It’s a very connected topic actually to what 3air is also doing. One of our pillars there is revenue streams and games for sure. Look like might be a potential revenue stream, for sure they already are. We’ve seen that in the past. It’s very much prominent in Africa and I think it’s gonna be really big there. It’s going hand in hand currently with the narrative in crypto and blockchain and I’m pretty sure this is probably the way for bigger adoption of blockchain.
Anita Mlakar: 1:10:30
Yes, absolutely. Thank you for being with us Sandi. Enjoy your thing in Slovenia. Enjoy the holidays. All of you have a great holidays. Have a great Christmas. We will be back after Christmas, right Sandi?
Sandi Bitenc: 1:10:42
After Christmas still in Slovenia.
Anita Mlakar: 1:10:45
Still in Slovenia. Have a wonderful evening. Thank you for being with us. Stay a part of our communities on Discord, on Telegram and on Twitter and of course, subscribe to this YouTube channel so that you will get notifications when we are going live. Have a wonderful day. Bye.