By Samuel Bankole
When Seun Sanni, a video journalist with an international news agency created a board game he named ENTER, perhaps he might not have realised that he was preparing the ground for the realisation of his long-held desire to impact lives.
Since the time he created the game, he had reached some parts of Lagos, Nigeria’s economic nerve centre which has long been neglected by the government and the elites.
According to Sanni, the initial and primary aim was to create a game that will help people make decisions that would be profitable to their daily lives. He believed that the game could help people to avoid costly mistakes made through wrong decisions in life and save them from heath breaks.
“I have always wanted to do something commendable with my life, things that will affect people positively.
“I discovered the power of decision making and how wrong decisions can shatter a healthy heart within seconds, so I decided to build the board game on one principle which is to help people make decisions they will not regret,” Sanni told the Global Financial Digest.
He said that there are three stages in the game which are baby decision, aligned decision and risk decision. In my conclusion “I realized that an aligned decision is the best which is also the best route in the game.
“Happiness comes anytime we make the right decision and it also increases our well-being.”
The board game; ENTER is a tabletop board game that typically uses cowries as the driver, dice as the conductor, calved bamboo as dice cup, coconut shell as scoreboard and pieces as the number of games won.
He said the game is fashioned like a transportation system; the game allows the passengers to be their own conductors and drivers. It’s a game of life.
In this game, dice are used as the conductor while cowry is the driver.
The game allows players to feel the pressure on the conductor when calling passengers into the bus and the argument between the conductor and the driver when the bus is stuck in traffic.
Playing the game also allows the players to make the choice of whether to allow the pressure to get into them or not.
Why use cowry as a major part of the game? Sanni said; “We use cowry as the driver because for us it’s a good way of bringing relevant African cultural materials into a transportation system that is alien to our traditions.
“Cowry was once used in Africa as a form of money which of course people used to exchange for means of transport from one place to another.”
He also said that the carved bamboo cups were designed for the dice in order to reduce the noise of the dice while the player shakes the cup, this also signifies that Africans don’t make noise.
On how the game is played, Sanni said that; “the game continues even if player A or B wins the first set, the second set continues until the final set is played. No stopping at the first set after it has been won, the winner shall continue the second set while the loser continues from the same position the cowry is.
Whoever wins the agreed number of sets in the game is the winner.
He said the board game; ENTER is good therapy for distress or stressed mind. Sickle cell warriors testify that the game made them forget their health issues while seniors from elderly care homes here in Lagos laughed throughout the game section.
Our aim with ENTER board game is to give back to society through what makes them happy.
We give drinks and food items to every player who wins a set during the game. We’re happy to see people smiling and play carefully during the game sections this shows that ENTER teaches players calmness.
On his future plan for the distribution of the game across the country, Sanni said that; “I am not distributing the game yet and I don’t think I will do that anytime soon.
“I am currently using the game to preach my ‘gospel of quality decision making and charity.’ I reward every good decision a player makes at the end of the game with food items. I have done this in the slum, care centres, schools etc.
“I have few copies of the game and what I do with it now is I take it to places for adults, children and the elderly to play, learn, be happy and go home with something they can eat or drink.
“My future plan is to deploy the platform provided by the games to pay school fees for vulnerable kids, using my own personal resources.
“I will identify the kids, teach them how to play the game and they will compete with one another. The winners will get one-term school fees paid by me. I intend to do this regularly.”