Lost/gained in translation: Oware 3D, Ananse: The Origin and questions of hegemony | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-191X
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1928



The computer and its related technology are typically interpreted as signifiers of western culture. Thus, when a ‘non-western’ cultural product is parsed through an electronic format, there is the inevitable gesture towards the extent to which the process of adaptation is a ‘westernized’ one. Irrespective of the tenuous nature of this question, hegemonic repercussions occur; thus this article considers the literary as well as socio-political implications of two different adaptations of aspects of traditional Ghanaian culture into mobile video games. The two games are Kobla Nyomi’s Oware 3D (2014), which is the virtual descendant of the Akan traditional board game Oware; and the Leti Arts produced Ananse: The Origin (2014), which refashions the Akan folk tale trickster Kweku Ananse into a superhero. This article processes the two adaptations as paraphrase and translation, respectively: the paraphrase from a board game to a mobile video board game on the one hand, and the translation from an oral literature-based folk tale to a mobile video action/adventure game. This comparative analysis is undertaken in the context of the game-making hegemony that is concomitant not only with globalization and cultural exchange, but also with the intersections between creative license and tradition.


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