Usiku Games, a mobile games developer, has unveiled an amateur football mobile game titled Footah, to promote outdoor physical activities and sportsmanship amongst the youth in East Africa.
Footah aims to transfer physical football skills to a virtual gaming space. This is as they continue to learn critical values such as fair play, confidence, teamwork, discipline and social diversity.
The mobile game was developed through a public private partnership between GIZ Regional Project Sport for Development in Africa and Usiku Entertainment.
Footah allows players to develop their personal player card profile in the game, featuring their stats and a self-selected profile picture. They are then able to create a team including different player cards of other players around them, that is, their friends and other users within the game, bringing in the aspect of healthy and fun competition with togetherness.”
Players go through daily matches against each other, increasing their stats by training, which is done via playing a series of minigames combined with information on physical activity collected through integration of Google Fit.
Commenting on the new game, Kristin Richter, GIZ’s Regional Manager for the project said, “This public-private partnership will go a long way to helping grow sports and outdoor physical activities in Kenya. Sports has been identified as a major platform for resolving some of the social issues facing today’s youth such as crime, unemployment, and violence against women. We recognize that physical activities and sports have holistic development benefits for children and youth.”
Also speaking during the launch of the mobile game at the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), Jay Shapiro, CEO of Usiku Games noted, “The minigames are fun, accessible, and encourage the players to get up off their sofa and move around to boost their energy inside the games, this is where the Google Fit integration comes in. Google Fit helps Footah fans to measure their fitness goals, promoting a healthier lifestyle and regaining their energy stats within the game.”
According to Footah developers, the Google fit feature in the game does not store any of the user’s personal data. The integration provides a confirmation of activity simply as a means to increase the players’ stats and motivate or coach players to a healthier and more active life.