1851 Agidingbi Game, Nigeria’s first indigenous variant of the game of chess based on historical events in Lagos is expected to be launched. The app is named after the year 1851 because of its historic milestone – the year Lagos was invaded by England’s infamous HMS Bloodhound. It’s a contemporary style way to export Lagos to the rest of the world via the digital landscape. Created by Oludamola O. Adebowale, researcher, culture advocate and senior curator of the Nigerian Brazilian Public History Project, the app is a fully immersive and expressive chess game created to teach aspects of Lagos history while improving IQ, mental awareness, risk analysis, leadership skills and more. It is available in single player and multiplayer mode and it is also available as a board game.
âJust like the traditional features of the chessboard, the game has the chessboard design with the six pieces such as Erelu-Kuti of Lagos as Queen Mother, Oba of Lagos as King, Adamu Eyo as turn, Omo Ogun Eko as The Pawn, Eletu-Odibo as The Bishop and Abagbon as The Knight, “said Adebowale, who is also the Creative Director of Wildeye Creative Solutions LTD.” By using the Agidingbi 1851 game, users can play on both sides, like the Eko Defenders or the British Invaders.Before venturing into the game, players must understand the simple story of the Lagos invasion segmented as feud, envy, greed and invasion.
The feud began as a battle between Oba Kosoko and his uncle, Oba Akitoye. According to him, plans are in full swing for the game board launch in December to commemorate the 170th anniversary of the British invasion of Lagos. Adebowale also revealed how this project had grown from a mere dream to a reality: âThe Agidingbi game of 1851 is a very personal project. It’s not just with the game but with the narrative that surrounds it.
The history of Lagos in regards to this British invasion has never been explored before. ” Agidingbi actually started as an experiment from an exhibition I had in 2017 at the Lagos Book and Art Festival. I did something around the history of Lagos and we had over 20 art illustrations that were displayed. The game board that gave birth to this app was actually on display. I saw the way people interacted with it and it was beautiful.
At that point, I saw an opportunity and saw a product. I worked there. People aren’t going to invest in an idea unless it’s a product, âhe revealed. The lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic gave Adebowale free time to work on the app which he described as his “pandemic experience.”
He said: âI worked on the design as well as the legal side of the project. In the years to come, I will lead a number of projects in which I will infuse the culture and technology of history to form an educational or innovative tool to stimulate the economy, the socio-cultural part of our lives and for promote and preserve history. “The game app will be available for download following the October 16 launch at the Red Door Gallery, Lagos.”
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