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Nordic Playground - Connecting computer game industry and game research with Nordic culture

  • Publisert 01.03.2006
  • Sist oppdatert 08.06.2011

Frontpage report

Connecting computer game industry and game research with Nordic culture
To compete in the global market the Nordic countries need to foster the development of new products created in the convergence between computer games, toys and game research, educational resources and cultural production. A joint Nordic effort can offer a wider and more credible selection of game related knowledge, in addition to a forum for the dissemination of research results.

Conclusion and Recommendations
Nordic Playground recommends further investments in cross-disciplinary events and projects in the interactive entertainment industry. In addition, networking is a fundamental strategic tool in order to create a dynamic and competitive Nordic interactive entertainment industry. A valuable network channel has been created through the project, facilitating cross-disciplinary contact across the Nordic countries. It is essential that this channel remains open.

Emerging Markets
There are some areas within interactive entertainment that are viewed as
especially emerging markets, namely mobile games and pervasive games. The mobile game market has expanded during the last years, and is estimated to continue to expand over the next couple of years. This presents an excellent business opportunity for the interactive entertainment industry in the Nordic region.

Pervasive Games
A newcomer in the market is pervasive games. The Swedish game company
previously known as “It’s Alive!”, now “Daydream”, gave life to the first commercial location-based game. In doing so, they coined the definition “pervasive games”. Now game academics use the term ”pervasive games” to describe games that pervade into reality through e-mail correspondence, fake websites or location-based activities. 

This type of new gaming experience is viewed as the most interesting game research area to explore, both currently and in the future. In a pervasive game, the game interaction stretches beyond the computer screen: together with spatial, temporal and social aspects in the game. When playing a pervasive game, you might as well use your mobile phone, physical objects with augmented computing functionality or other location-based activities.

Three Core Technologies
Building a pervasive game is a challenging engineering task because it touches many aspects of software computing and game design, from networking to the fields of human-computer interaction. Pervasive games are built upon three core technologies: mobile devices, wireless communication, and sensing technologies that capture players’ contexts. The Nordic countries have a world leading position through Nokia and Ericsson when it comes to the infrastrucure needed to make pervasive games a reality, namely wireless communication, mobile devices and sensing technology able to pick up changes in the players environment. Besides the existing infrastructure, research is needed to find a balance between the pervasive game conducted on the streets and the non-players who inhabit them. 

Both mobile gaming and pervasive gaming are areas with great potential for the Nordic countries. The financial investments need to match the areas` economic possibilities.

Project duration: February 2005 - September 2006 

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  • Maria Åresund

    Project Manager, Game Studio, The Interactive Institute, Sweden