Lulamile Mohapi

Lulamile Mohapi is a Games Developer/ Entrepreneur/ Educator, and an Accidental Techno-activist. In 2019, his docu-tribute 2D game on Winnie Mandela was presented at The NEoN RE@CT Digital Arts Festival in Scotland, where he, and various academics from across the globe demonstrated how video games and immersive techno-Art cultures (VR/ AR/XR, etc) play a role in critical thinking and social change. Between 2018-2019 he taught Game Design at Wits University.

He is the Founding CEO of Fishknife Gamelab, a Game Studio based in Johannesburg. Lulamile consults on Intellectual Property; Digital Entrepreneurship; and Cultural and Economic Policy for video games.

Video Games and the New Apartheid: Algorithmic Toyi-toyi; Press “T” to Toyi-toyi; Theorizing vernacular game design frameworks from the virtual margins

FROG 2022 – Talk

This article applies Sizwe Mpofu Walsh’s theory on “The New Apartheid”; combines Lindsay Grace’s Critical Game Design concepts with Miguel Sicart’s literature on Political Games, to discourse on the digital embodiment of the marginalized people in video game design; and to propose or formalize what I shall term “algorithmic toyi-toyi” and “Press ‘T’ to Toyi toyi” as resistance-based game mechanic(s) design framework from the oppressed. Toyi-toyi is a procedural interchange of song; dance; and resistance slogans performed in South Africa’s political protests. Such performances convey participatory and liberatory forms of expression which I argue, should not only find algorithmic interpretation as techne (through game mechanics/ systems design or in Ian Bogost’s Procedural rhetoric) but also in using games as a catalyst in the struggle against the New Apartheid (The perpetual privatization of apartheid in social engineering) ; and in using games for promoting dialogue and freedom.


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