The Ghanaian elders’ take on video games..Part 1

Traditional Ghanaian elder + Video games =Reciepe for Disaster.NO?


It is no secret that video games are becoming more and more popular all over the world, especially among young people and some grown adults. With the rise of mobile gaming, easy accessibility to gaming systems, the global esports industry and the break into mainstream media in Ghana it is no surprise that even Ghanaian elders are taking notice of this growing phenomenon and industry.

However, not everyone is convinced that video games are a good thing. In fact, there are many who believe that video games are nothing more than a waste of time, and money and a form of entertainment that is only suitable for children and adolescents.

This is not the case, however. Video games can be an incredibly powerful tool, one that can be used for learning, career development, and even personal enrichment. Video games are helping make positive impacts.

For the average Ghanaian elder, Video Games and gambling have always been in the same cloth. To them, video games are seen as a form of gambling and a waste of time and promote laziness. However, to the younger generation, video games are a form of entertainment and a phase that everyone goes through, Some also seek to create career paths from video games.

The Ghanaian elders see video games as a waste of time because they believe that children should be outside playing and not gambling. They also believe that video games are childish and that people should grow out of them.

However, the younger generation sees video games as a legitimate form of entertainment and a way to spend time with friends. The business aspect of video games is also something that the Ghanaian elders are not fond of. They believe that video games have no real value. Unfortunately for them, the video game industry is a trillion-dollar industry and holds high value. It should be noted that the video game industry is bigger than the movie and music industries combined. Some countries like Finland have their revenues boosted by the video games industry.

In this article, we will explore the Ghanaian elder’s view and take on video games

A Brief History;

Before we outline their views however we have to take a step back and see the rough history of video games in Ghana. No one knows how it started but it was definitely in the late 90s that gaming got its boom in Ghana. The problem however was accessibility, there were no “arcades”.People had to rely on Game Centers to be able to play games.

it didn’t help that the kids would skip school to go spend the whole day at game centres. Some went as far as spending their feeding money there and starve. Yes, there were the dbees(rich folks/kids who got consoles and gaming systems at home), but for the average child, game centres were the only way to play. The concept of video games was so mesmerizing that some kids while on errands just end up in the game centers.

Which would prompt their parents to come to look for them at these places. It didn’t help that the centres were mostly dirty and weren’t very conducive and were tagged “KUBOLOR”( kubolor is a Ga word which means a truant or a vagabond) places.

It didn’t also help that some kids and adolescents stole from their parents since they couldn’t ask their parents for money to go play games and would gamble at these places. This would eventually become the norm for parents, which cemented the bad image for video games. Now let’s continue:

It all started with the elders

The elders in Ghana have always been traditionalists. They see video games as a western phenomenon that is slowly encroaching on their culture. For the most part, they disapproved of video games and kept their distance from them. They fail to see how they can use video games to teach and preserve traditions.

(elders playing dame)

The elders’ take on video games

The elders in Ghana took on a more negative view of video games when they started to become more popular in the country. They saw them as a form of entertainment that was only suitable for children and adolescents. They disapproved of the amount of time that people were spending on video games, and they were concerned about the potential negative impact that they could have on people’s lives due to the behaviour, the kids and adolescents were displaying.

The benefits of video games

Despite the negative view of the elders, there are actually many benefits to playing video games. Research has shown that video games can improve cognitive skills, problem-solving skills, and even hand-eye coordination. They can also be used for educational purposes, such as teaching history or geography. In addition, video games can be a form of stress relief, and they can help people socialize and make new friends. Some people use video games as an alternate source for exercising.

Video Games have so much more to offer people of all ages. It has become a medium of entertainment, and wealth and some elders have started to grasp the positive impact video games are having on the youth and elders alike.

The Ghanaian elders’ view on video games

It is clear that the Ghanaian elders have a negative view of video games. However, there are many benefits to playing them, and they are an important part of our lives. We should not let the elders’ views stop us from enjoying all that video games have to offer. They can be used for learning, stress relief, socializing, and for entertainment.

In Part 2 of this Article, we will dive deeper into how video games can:

  • Boost the Economy of this Country
  • Transform how people learn
  • Create Jobs and Careers
  • Video Games as a professional sport
  • Preserve old Traditions and Games and so much more

What do you think? Were you a dbee or had to go to game centres? Share your thoughts with us.

For all gaming, continue to watch this space. You can read more about Ghanaian gaming here. Follow us on social media here

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