Online Multiplayer Gaming in Africa
We believe that multiplayer PC gaming is not just a source of entertainment; it's a highly educational competitive sport, a driver of Internet infrastructure development, and a catalyst for local content generation.
We host servers in Uganda which allow anyone with a computer and Internet access to play games with other people in the African region. While the primary purpose is to have fun, players indirectly learn valuable skills such as leadership, event management, computer networking, graphic design, and systems administration. Further, Internet gaming generates demand for network infrastructure improvements at both the local and regional level.
GamersNights is supported by the players and donations from the technology community. Our primary sponsor, Liquid Telecom, generously donated a $20,000 server, rack-space, uncapped access to their international backbone network, and low latency access to every network they interconnect with in Africa. Past sponsors include the S7 Project, Smile Telecom, Orange Telecom, Outbox, and Hive Colab.
More about education & local content: Our players manage servers, organize events, engage sponsors, create t-shirts, design advertising materials, develop custom graphics, and design custom game levels. All of this occurs organically without formal management or instruction.
More about local connectivity: In Uganda, when the server and players use different ISP networks, traffic between those networks is routed via the Uganda Internet eXchange Point. This affords Ugandan players low network latency which translates to fast in-game response times; a crucial component of any multiplayer gaming experience. This also affords network service providers a significantly higher profit margin as the data traffic does not traverse their expensive upstream connection(s).
More about regional connectivity: In Africa, data traffic destined for networks in neighboring countries is often routed through Europe. This inefficiency makes regional communications slow and vulnerable to outages. It is also expensive for Internet service providers and discourages large content providers from deploying in Africa.
By generating demand for low-latency services that require robust and efficient network connectivity, we create a commercial incentive for service providers to improve their terrestrial infrastructure and interconnections with other networks -- thus improving the state of regional connectivity.