The National Software Engineering Academy (NSEA), composed of a group of young inventors, has since Monday been at the Wernhill Mall demonstrating an automated Owela traditional game, which they developed.
Owela is a much-loved traditional game played in Namibia and many parts of Africa. Traditionally, the game is played using small holes created in the ground. The game dates back to ancient times, as the ancestors and many of the early people of Namibia played it.
The electronic version of the game was developed with funding from the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) that availed close to N$300 000 for the project.
NSEA came up with the dynamic electronic Owela game – engineered to have features that automate the game to create a virtual Owela gaming community, as well as a person-against-computer challenge.
The automated Owela game brings back the fun that many have lost or never had, through harnessing technology to make the traditional game readily available through different platforms.
The game is known as a good tool for learning mathematics, as well as developing and strengthening critical thinking skills. The product is now available on touchscreen, which would further enhance the Owela gaming experience into a real-life simulated environment in the form of electronic “touch table” (touchscreen).
The current prototype allows two users on the same computer, as well as single users to play against the computer. With the grant the young innovators were able to buy equipment, pay the service providers (for sound and graphics) and started working on the project.
They also received training on business administration, business plan development and are still receiving mentorship from the NCRST. The Owela Game Touch Table is now fully functional and has been granted promotional space in Wernhil Mall. The demonstration ends on Saturday.