Detailed Information on AJABU PDF Print E-mail

A sophisticated computer game for children about Africa

>> An educational adventure with an optimistic message
>> What kind of game is "AJABU"?
>> To which kind of game genre does "AJABU" belong?
>> What is at stake in "AJABU" (topics)?
>> Which story does "AJABU" tell?
>> For which age and target groups was "AJABU" created?
>> Do I need any previous knowledge to play "AJABU"?
>> Application fields and diversity of use of "AJABU"
>> "Can I use "AJABU" in the classroom?
>> Is "AJABU" solely a learning game or is it also fun?
>> Is "AJABU" also a game that supports good parenting?
>> Did you carry out an evaluation for the game's concept and contents?
>> In which areas of studies or school subjects can I use "AJABU"?

AJABU_LinksInfos8 > Download this paper
"Detailed Information on AJABU" (PDF)

"Ajabu" is an educational  adventure with an optimistic message

In "AJABU" we learn about two children's courage to step in the way of a sharp tycoon in Africa. His appetite for tropical timber, crude oil, diamonds and coltan seems to be unlimited.

The players fight alongside Sam and Phoebe  against environmental destruction, resource exploitation, corruption and all sorts of shady deals.

At the end of this adventure, players will not only have helped  new friends, and with them they will have discovered a new, positive and forward looking Africa, but they will also have learned a lot about the international economic system, about globalization and about justice.

AJABU_LinksInfos9And even more: they will have seen that it's not about anonymous forces determining the world, but that behind every decision there are always individuals, with interests, intentions and clear plans .

The players will have learned that they themselves can make decisions, that there a
re always opportunities to be active, to take action and that they can help with change and in making our world a better place.


What kind of game is "AJABU"?

"Ajabu" is an educational, non-violent computer game for the PC on DVD-ROM. 

It is a serious game and a political fairy-tale, but it is also a fun adventure with over 50 tricky combination riddles, logic puzzles and dialogue quests, and -- with about four hours of beautiful and varied animation scenes.

AJABU_LinksInfos3"Ajabu" is a classic 2D graphic adventure that sets great value -- amongst its serious topics, the messages and the content -- upon a good and exciting story, many sympathetic characters, carefully designed and   digitally hand-painted backgrounds, professional voice-overs and an extraordinary atmosphere with a specially composed soundtrack.

"AJABU" belongs to the genres 


What is at stake in "AJABU"?

"Ajabu" deals with pressing issues and themes of today's world using the example of Africa.

 The contents are transported  in the form of an interactive adventure with  an exciting storyline, which makes it perfectly suitable for children.

The themes underlying the story come, among other things, from   the areas

  • Natural and environmental degradation
  • Natural resources and globalization
  • Interest policies and development
  • Corruption und racism
  • Agriculture and trade
  • Science, ethology, conservation of nature and ethnology
  • Medicine, technologies und energy research
  • Society, history and education


AJABU_LinksInfos10"Ajabu" addresses   fundamental moral questions. The game's goal is to develop a more nuanced, and confident picture of Africa in order to     inspire a new way of dealing with Africa and its people.

In the game "Ajabu" the character of the natural resources tycoon, Max Barran, symbolizes uncompromising greed for profit. His immeasurable addiction to raw materials and his cold-bloddedness towards the damages caused by his actions raise questions:

  1. How should we perhaps change our thinking to create a more sustainable and fit for the future economic system?
  2. How do we find the right balance in our actions?
  3. Are the basic questions of dignity, active participation, self-development, justice and true freedom still relevant - in Africa? And with us?
  4. And which choices can we make in order to further develop our skills and our best features , perhaps also to the benefit of others and for a common, sustainable future?

Max Barran's opponents in "Ajabu" are the heroes of the game, Sam and Phoebe. They stand for the values ​​that global action needs to be permanently successful: respect, interest in other people and cultures, friendliness, helpfulness,  openness   and cooperation.


Which story does „AJABU“ tell?

At the beginning of the story there is a 500-year-old, magical figure, a strange, magical map and a talking mask of a gnu. This is how the adventures of Sam Knight and Phoebe Mayflower from New York start out.

AJABU_LinksInfos5A mysterious force sends the two children   to the Kilimanjaro. Once there, they find out that in this paradisian setting dark deeds are taking place. After a short while they meet this mysterious businessman who apparently comes back for more and more of valuable  raw materials .

 Sam and Phoebe decide to follow his trail across the African continent, from the impenetrable jungles of the Congo to the shimmering heat of the Sahara. 

Finally, in an ancient library in the middle of the desert  they unravel the secrets of "Ajabu".

AJABU_LinksInfos13The players support Sam and Phoebe at their exciting chase by finding evidences of corruption, environmental degradation and dark intrigues of all kinds, which of course must be prevented  . This is done in a classic 2D point-and-click fashion.

 On their journey  Sam and Phoebe meet a variety of helpful and interesting people whom they themselves can give something  quite valuable.

Through their adventures and encounters the players, together with Sam and Phoebe, do not only open their eyes for so many things that could really work better in this world. They also understand the magic of "Ajabu" and experience a fascinating continent, with a future to come -- Africa!


For which age and target group was "AJABU" created?

Depending on the child's environment and how exactly the game is utilized,  "Ajabu" can be generally recommended for the age group of 8 to 15 year-olds.

The main target audience, however, are 10 to 13 year olds. This way "Ajabu" is particularly well suited for the use in secondary schools and in 5th to 8th
grades respectively. 

Do I need any previous knowledge to play "AJABU"?

AJABU_LinksInfos11No, you don't. Younger children (8 - 9 year-olds) will appreciate it -- if necessary -- if older siblings, parents or teachers will play the game together with them. The game is laid out linearly, it saves automatically, and it is generally designed with not too complicated puzzles.

In addition, it offers while playing a good help when, at times, one doesn't know what to do next. It works slowly and step by step. Therefore, it is also suitable for playing with or accompanied by instructions in the classroom. The comprehensive booklet provides a detailed entry and help.

 For which contexts would you recommend playing "AJABU"?

  • Meaningful playing during leisure times
  • Language and reading skills
  • School and extracurricular (informal) learning
  • Interdisciplinary teaching
  • Intercultural Education
  • 'Global Learning'
  • Social and political education
  • Early economical and environment education
  • Education for sustainable development
  • International environment & development education and awareness-raising
  • International Africa development & environment advocacy

Can I use "AJABU" in the classroom?

Yes, it can be indeed. "Ajabu" is suitable for use in schools and other educational institutions, as well as it is designed for leisure time.

"Ajabu" is ideally suited for the work of educators, who are open towards the use of digital media in schools.

AJABU_LinksInfos12Through the variety of issues the game deals with, it offers numerous approaches to discuss globalization and ethical issues, the world economy, raw material issues, corruption, political interests,    nature protection and much more without boring the children. This is because the contents are so tightly woven into the plot and they are so basic for the associated game situations that children will rather experience and understand them intuitively than 'learn' about them  .

In "Ajabu" you don't learn the usual kind of pure factual knowledge which is tested later on  in terms of cramming vocabulary or math learning.

Instead, here you're told an interactive story , in which you participate actively, which is dramatic and serious, but sometimes just too funny and unconventional -- and both in exactly   those places where they belong!

When it comes to serious contents, they will not be trivialized, but instead you're told a properly understandable story by that you'll be affected emotionally at the same time .

On racism, rain forest destruction, or threatened gorillas you don't want to hear stupid jokes, but about dull, corrupt captains and sailors you might consider it funny -- and then sometimes they get thrown into the open water or the're otherwise "finished" ...

Also, the game certainly  offers  numerous opportunities for tapping further topics (see also "List of AJABU topics" ).

AJABU_LinksInfos6The game can therefore be used in various disciplines in school and for extra-curricular learning as well. "Ajabu" can also be used very well to prepare classes, and for following-up classes as well.

Is "AJABU" solely a learning game or is it also fun?

Even if "Ajabu" is a "serious game", first of all it is an adventure, an exciting experience!

 As a player you are a member of a special little "crew of heroes", that manages the seemingly impossible: not only  to travel across Africa together while constantly solving the most impossible situations successfully, but in the end to also put a stop to the villain's game .

AJABU_Avatar_11 AJABU_Avatar_14

Furthermore, "Ajabu" is anything but permanently "politically correct" - who wants to get bored?! Therefore almost 50 characters provide you with wisecracks and a lot of nice changes, including weird  ones, such as Theo with his "Top Diving Hangout ", or cocoa liquor inserted sailors, a gasconading hill mynah , or -- especially -- the know-it-all and ultra-educated 'Kinyago", a talking mask of a gnu. That's of course quite a lot of fun !

Furthermore, "Ajabu" is a very communication  supporting game that's just perfect for experiencing it together with friends, siblings, parents or even grandparents.

Is "AJABU" also a game and story that supports education & literacy?

In the sense of a good mind, moral and character education, as well as promoting a lasting positive development of the child in general and a good early political education for children "Ajabu" certainly is a 'formative' game that supports literacy as well.

 Sam and Phoebe, the two heroes, are two strong and open minded, sympathetic and -- even more importantly --   empathetic  children.

Their sense of justice is very strongly developed and they have great interest in other cultures and people -- and in their well-being.

Sam and Phoebe are not passive and consumption oriented, but instead they take matters into their own hands and they solve a lot of problems quickly and straightforwardly through their cooperativeness and their willingness to act.

 Of course, this way they make many new friends - and they find allies for the "good thing". Ideal role models.


Did you carry out an evaluation for the game's concept and contents?

AJABU_LinksInfos15Yes we did . "Ajabu" was examined  by renowned experts and scientists during the concept phase . Among them were the famous German children's psychologist, learning therapist and paedagogue  Wolfgang Bergmann (†), Hanover (>> PDF Download Statement on "Ajabu") and the famous German neurologist, neuro scientist and brain researcher Prof.Dr.Dr. Gerald Huether, University of Goettingen (>> PDF Download Statement on "Ajabu") who both accompanied the making of the game in its concept phase.

 The National Advisory Board for Development Education of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), reviewed the concept of the game and also explicitly endorsed its development.

In which areas of studies or school subjects can I use "AJABU"?

"Ajabu" is particularly suitable for the use in the following subject areas or disciplines, but especially also for interdisciplinary teaching and in contexts of extra-curricular  activities, full-time schools and outside of school hours.

  • Social sciences, languages
  • Geography  
  • History & Political Studies
  • Social Studies/Social Ethics
  • Political social studies
  • Economical studies
  • language studies (depending on localization)
  • Communication studies
  • World and environment studies
  • Natural sciences
  • Biology, nature and environmental education


  • as well as, depending on the school and methodology
  • Arts, visual arts, design 
  • Literature
  • Religion, ethics and philosophy, (where applicable)
  • Education studies, pedagogy, (where applicable)
  • Interdisciplinary arts and cultural education
  • Media studies, media pedagogy
  • Digital Gaming, Games


>> Download Paper "Detailed Information on AJABU" (PDF)

>> Download Paper "AJABU Themes" (PDF)

>> Download Paper "Information for Parents & Teachers" (PDF)

AJABU Einzelbeitrag zur UN Weltdekade
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