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Republic Of Gamers : How big is gaming in Zimbabwe?

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Entertainment is not all that big in Zimbabwe, more so when looking at the case of local gamers and how gaming communities are so isolated. Looking at our neighbor South Africa we could see how big gaming is in our region, where there are forums as well as commercial LAN and online gaming tournaments.

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Me being a gamer, I know the most engaging part when gaming is battling it out in a live event with your fellow mates in a full blown LAN session showing off skills acquired from endless hours of plastering the CPU in its hardest setting.

I remember going through the internet sometime last year and it was said that Call Of Duty players spent  25 BILLION hours online and I just wondered, time is the world’s most precious resource. If we have spent more of it gaming than we have existed on this planet, surely there is something more to it.

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So why is it not taken seriously in Zimbabwe? I am part of a community of gamers from all over Harare, some as far as Chitungwiza and we come from all walks of life and gaming is actually a big thing  happening out there. Its becoming more and more accessible to a broader community especially in tertiary institutions where a laptop has become a basic requirement in these institutions. So if we have the hardware and the software, then what’s holding us back from making it big?

Results from a LAN session of Call Of Duty held by a gaming community in Harare
Results from a Call Of Duty LAN held by a gaming community in Harare

Well from my few years in  the gaming community I saw its  facing 3 major hurdles namely

  1. Central, convenient and affordable venues
  2. Affordable, fast and reliable internet
  3. Gaming community platform

The games are there and with the shift of the demographics in favor of PC gamers as opposed to console gamers, it is getting easier to get the latest games as they come. One of the head-scratchers of a gaming community has been finding a venue that is convenient to everyone with respect to location. If one such location does get to sprout up the venue would often charge a leg and an arm which then ruins the turnout.

If you wish to sharpen your skills with a broader audience online then you are left at the mercy of our local internet providers where in the case of most Zimbabweans the internet packages that are being subscribed for are the most basic ones offering speeds that in most cases do not meet online gaming requirements. Online gamers will sympathize with me that no buzz kill beats that experienced from the dreaded LAG.

What I think is the biggest drawback of the Zimbabwean gaming community is the lack of a proper platform for gamers. What I mean is imagine a website or better yet a mobile app which allows gamers to register on it, throw in their locations and if a certain location is hosting a LAN, every gamer gets a notification of details of the event.

I’m positive each city and each suburb in Zimbabwe has at least one gaming community. The numbers are most definitely there, but I feel the experience can be further enriched if these communities converge at a LAN event.

Also, I see this being a huge opportunity for internet providers as well as IT software and hardware retailers to showcase their products to an audience that potentially is their biggest and most reliable market. I mean not many people know there are stores like FuserTech that sell high-end gaming computer hardware and accessories.

If lets say these companies host an annual LAN and offer consolation prizes to winners in the form of maybe free unlimited internet or a high-end GPU, I know for sure,as a gamer, I would not think twice when attending that event.

If it gets big enough, collaborations can be made with regional gaming organizations and international tournaments can be held as well I mean who says we cannot have gaming Olympics?! Already mobile games like Clash of Clans are attracting serious attention in the mobile online gaming arena. Im sure if the reduction in mobile data tarrifs comes through, more and more mobile gamers will come onboard.

Gaming, if taken seriously has the capacity of being  a profession where some serious gamers out there are raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in tournaments as well as online. What better way to blow your time than on what raises the hair on your skin and gets your adrenaline pumping!

Console, PC and Mobile gamers out there, I don’t know if you see our local community as big as I do. If so I would love to find out how you feel on local gaming. If you are in gaming groups on social media tell us the group and how many members it has. Hit us up in the comments! Show that within the Republic Of Zimbabwe that there is an actual Republic Of Gamers.


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13 thoughts on “Republic Of Gamers : How big is gaming in Zimbabwe?

  1. this is a very good topic I have been thinking about here in Zim we really need to raise our gaming standards! Only data must fall because unlike older games which exclusively used lan now there is need for internet

  2. we need more gaming articles please. On the topic tho, the thing is it’s hard to dedicate time for gaming even for the good gamers. it’s mostly a casual pastime, something you do when you come together and feel like breaking an hour or two with your buddies.

    with that, most of the folks go solo, for one reason and many you mentioned. maybe shedding more light on gaming picks and possibilities that make gaming better could give a better sense to those willing

    thanks

  3. This is great! As we are in need of a bigger gaming community, my friends and I meet almost every saturday night for a LAN session (about 8 of us). If anyone is interested, reply to this comment and we can link up (Harare)

  4. A group of gamers here are starting up “the bunker”, a gaming related project…. we are starting off with a forum at http://www.bunker.co.zw which you can check out, there isn’t much content at the moment because its still very new, but that should change when we have more gamers to contribute. we also have a facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/TheBunkerZimbabwe/ so feel free to check that out too… once we have a large enough community gathered, we will start posting details about our LAN events for anyone to join. In the meantime, we have details posted on our forum about our dedicated servers we currently have set up here locally including our Minecraft server (aka Zimcraft) and more coming soon! (Wurm unlimited, Terraria, Call of Duty MW3 etc.)

    At first things might be a bit slow to take off…. but we hope things will pick up and run smoothly!

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