#BlackLivesMatter Support An Initiative

Meet Alphonsina Chikwashi, an artist with a fashion background and a love for video games. She was a volunteer for the Women Game Jam event that took place in August. Get to know Alphonsina and what her experience was at Women Game Jam below.

What kind of games do you like to play?

I love a good action-adventure game with a strong artistic direction and style; think Hollow Knight, Transistor, or Gris. If the game has bright colours and big animations, I will probably love it! I’m a fan of anything SuperGiant Games makes (I’ve played Transistor at least three times, and it never gets old!) because everything from the script to the voice acting to art to music blends together perfectly.

What made you interested in Women Game Jam, and what role did you play?

I designed the poster and social media artwork and did some event photography for the Women Game Jam Zambia. I attended previous game jams and was in awe of the work they would do in a period of one weekend, I love when people explore new things or get in touch with a side of themselves they put aside. I’m on a mission to ensure everyone has a hobby, so supporting the Women Game Jam Zambia was a no-brainer, I also wanted to challenge myself.

Tell us about your experience making the artwork for the event. How do you feel about having your art shared in an international women’s game community?

Any piece of artwork, especially for an event, should convey its message immediately. When I make any artwork, I always mind map and write down ideas. I knew this piece needed to show many things, such as working remotely, the various elements of game development, and of course, that black women were welcome. We talk a lot about coding when we talk about game creation, so I made sure to show someone on their computer. Art is an element, but I think there is some assumption that the work has to be done in Photoshop on a giant Cintiq, and it takes 50 hours to draw. It doesn’t have to! I chose to have our artists hand drawing and painting their artwork on the floor. No fancy equipment is needed.
Lastly, I wanted to include voice acting because I didn’t see it enough in previous game jams. When done well, voice acting lends a lot to a character, e.g. Bayonetta or Hornet (Hollow Knight).
I’m stoked that my work has an international audience, especially when you think about the chances of that happening. My work is sitting next to some phenomenal posters from all over the world, so I am honoured.

Did your experience at Women Game Jam spark an interest in you to create your own game? If so, what would it be about?

I got to spend time with participants on the first day, so I caught a glimpse of them having brainstorming sessions for the games, and that looked like a lot of fun. While I don’t think I’ll be making my own game anytime soon, I would like to create characters for a potential game.

What would you like to see more of in the African gaming scene and the gaming scene globally?

My first thought is that I love seeing different art styles. On a global level, I want to see more work from people around the world. I would love to see more women involved and receiving recognition for their creative roles in game development. Whether it’s writing, voice acting, or composing, it would be great to have more women whose names are synonymous with a studio, a genre, or a particular style.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us? A fun fact?

Fun facts stress me out!
I am a published illustrator. My work was featured in Rachel McCord’s guide to nailing social media, “Slay The Fame Game.”

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