On November 14, our latest Guest Lecture went down! Annakaisa Kultima & Solip Park from Aalto University explored the dynamic industry landscape of game development in Finland in their hybrid guest lecture. While Solip Park took to the stage on site, Annakaisa Kultima joined the talk via zoom.

Both of them gave insights into different aspects of their studies. Kultima started off with a quick overview of the history of games in Finland – covering everything from the first Finnish video games to ancient games played with Reindeer bones. Those who are interested are welcome to try out these games in the Finnish Museum of Games, which currently also has an exposition titled “Finnish Game Jam Stories”. Solip Park then went on to share the perspective of expats on the Finnish game industry. While it is composed of rather smaller companies, it is supported by strong local communities. The key to the Finnish game industry’s history of excellence is a culture of sharing – “sharing rather than competing”. Lengthy group discussions are also typical of the Finnish game development style – one expat even claimed that Finnish game developers would spend 80% of their time discussing things and only 20% with game development itself. More insights can be found in Solip Park’s web comic “Game Expats Story” on Instagram and Facebook.

About the Speakers:

Annakaisa Kultima is a game scholar at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland and has been leading Games Now! learning community since 2017. She has been teaching and studying game design and development since 2006 in several universities in Finland and Sweden as well as toured as a visiting lecturer around the world including universities in US, China, Denmark, South Korea and Japan. Her research is concentrating on game development cultures, creativity, game industry trends, and game jams. Kultima’s PhD dissertation “Game Design Praxiology” examined the multitude of issues of understanding ‘games as created’. Kultima is also an active member of the game ecosystem in Finland and internationally: she is working as a judge in several game competitions, running and participating game jams as well as curating exhibitions on games. She has been leading Global Game Jam theme committee and been the regional organizer and site organizer for Global Game Jam for many years. She is also a member of the founding team of The Finnish Museum of Games and the head of non-profit organization Finnish Game Jam since 2013 advocating the game making hobby and indie cultures in Finland.

Solip Park is a doctoral researcher at Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in Finland and the co-host of Games Now! open lecture series. Solip’s current research interest is focused on game production culture and immigrants/expats in the game industry. Solip have two master degrees: one from Carnegie Mellon University in the USA (Master of Entertainment Technology), and Aalto University in Finland (Master of Arts) where she was announced as the winner of Game Thesis Competition 2020 by Finnish Game Research Society. Solip is the author and artist of “Game Expats Story” comic series (https://www.instagram.com/solip.comic/), while acting as a member of the board at Finnish Game Jam Ry since 2021 contributing to game jam culture in the region. She also collaborated with the Embassy of Republic of Korea (South) in Finland connecting gamers and devs in Finland and South Korea. Prior to coming to Finland, Solip was one of the founding members of Nexon Computer Museum in South Korea, the first permanent museum in East Asia dedicated to the history of computer and video games.

(Text by Anton Sinner)


Upcoming Guest Lectures

November 28 | 5.30 pm
Carmen Schneidereit (Activision Blizzard)
Lighting in Games (-> Link)
Hybrid Event: CGL | 2nd floor | Aquarium & online