”My Game History” 10.1.- 12.3.2017 Studio

The studio space of the Finnish Museum of Games is reserved for small temporary exhibitions. Among other things, these exhibitions will bring forth interesting phenomenons and products of the gaming world, as well as the history and people around them.

ON DISPLAY

Pixeled Years
21.9.2022 — 15.1.2023

The demoscene is a computer hobbyist subculture born in the 1980s that focuses on creating impressive visual demonstrations, or “demos” for short, using programming, music and graphics.

In Finland, the demoscene was born around the Commodore 64 computer, from where it later spread onto other platforms. Finland and the Nordic countries are the birthplaces of the demoscene. Many families bought their first home computers in the mid-1980s. The Commodore 64 was released in 1982 and quickly became massively popular. In Finland, where it sold the most units per capita in the world, it was labelled the “National Computer”.

Alongside playing games, thousands of young people started experimenting with programming, drawing pixel graphics and writing music on the computer. The youth’s endless fascination with this new technology quickly gave rise to a vibrant subculture with its own events, magazines and publications.

The popularity of the Commodore 64 made it the most important platform of the demoscene’s early years. Throughout the 2000s, positive childhood experiences with this versatile computer have been bringing many authors back to the platform.

The Pixeled Years exhibition is a comprehensive overview of pixel graphics from the Finnish Commodore 64 demoscene, from the 1980s to the present day. The exhibition was created in cooperation between the Finnish Museum of Games and Zooparty ry. It has been curated by Ari “Duce” Seppä and Tommi “Electric” Musturi.

Image by Ari “Duce” Seppä

PAST EXHIBITIONS

Imaginary Geography
9.6. – 18.9.2022

Maps can be used to visualise far away, unknown areas. However, not all maps deal with the real world – they can also be made of imaginary places. Imaginary geography is an exhibition on maps made for Finnish games. They are all imaginary in one way or another, as a map can take its viewer on an armchair trip to a multitude of locations – the nearby orienteering grounds or an entirely imaginary world.

The exhibition displays maps used in games over a period of 150 years. Historically, it has been a common practice to use a map of Finland of a specific locality as the basis for the game board. On the other hand, the game map may describe an entirely imaginary landscape or a locality that simply feels real enough to exist in real life. Furthermore, it is not only the game designers who draw maps – the players are also avid cartographers.

 Which imaginary world did you last visit through a map?

Even if the exhibition is now in the past, you can still go and take a look at the thematic gallery made especially for this exhibition in which all the art pieces are stored with words from the artists themselves to accompany their creations!

Memory Limits – An art exhibition on the Game Boy
7.5. – 5.6.2022

160 by 144px, 5760 bytes
Nine artists, nine Game Boys
What are the limits of memory?

For an entire generation of children growing up in the 90s, the Game Boy was their very own ‘personal computer’. It was not just another piece of hardware, but their first private screen on which adventures could be had, often without the interference of parents. On the schoolyard with friends, or under a blanket with a flashlight, worlds could be discovered on its small and dim 4-colour display. All you needed was a bit of imagination to bring these pixelated realms to life.

Playing is never a one-directional act of consumption. A good game impresses itself on the mind of the player. It is taken in and transformed, and it tickles the imagination of the one playing it. The magic of the Game Boy inspired children to fill in the gaps that games did not want to express, to dream up their own worlds and to express their own ideas. For some, these experiences sparked a career in art.

Memory Limits brings this full circle. For each of our nine artists, the Game Boy becomes the medium for their individual ideas, stories and visions. They have created artworks, one pixel at a time, that are running as software on the original, old hardware. The Game Boy may or may not be part of each artist’s history, but through its plastic lens it becomes our window into their memories.

Finnish game journalism through the decades
10.2. – 1.5.2022

The exhibition deals with changes in game journalism from the 1980s to this day. Based on the memories and stories of game journalists, the exhibition focuses on the golden age of Finnish game magazines, especially MikroBitti and Pelit. Game journalist legends Tuija Lindén, Niko Nirvi, Kaj “Kaitsu” Laaksonen and Jukka O. Kauppinen share their stories, and the exhibition features all kinds of rarities and curios from their collections.

Noita – The Long Journey of a Game Idea
4.9. – 12.12.2021

Noita is a Finnish dungeon adventure full of secrets, where the player wanders in a ruthless pixel world, harnessing the forces of nature to further their goals. The Noita – The Long Journey of a Game Idea exhibition details the games development from preliminary first ideas and through various phases all the way towards a finished form.

The game’s idea may change several times during the development process, and it may be difficult to grasp all the factors that contributed to it in retrospect. The functionality of the game is tested using different prototypes, and the game idea’s central features may change a lot between them. On the other hand, the game’s production team will not have the ability or time to implement every idea they can think of.

Over the years, the idea behind Noita was influenced by numerous prototypes, countless discussions between developers, comments from friends and strangers and, finally, the players, modders and streamers. Noita was also influenced by dozens of other games that inspired the creators in one way or another.

The development process behind Noita has been surveyed to an exceptional extent. The pre-history of the game goes back dozens of years, starting from the games that have inspired the developers and leading up to the first experiments in game-making. The exhibition gives you an idea of the long journey of Noita’s development, but the best way to understand the game is to play it and get involved in the player community. Noita is full of secrets, and discovering them is at the core of the gameplay experience. What is Noita really about? Have all the secrets been revealed?

The cake is a lie – video game food culture
24.1.2021 – 29.8.2021

Food is much more than merely flavors on the tongue. People need food to survive, and over time, a wide range of customs, habits, and norms have developed around eating. Religion may determine what foods may be eaten, cutlery varies from chopsticks to forks, and etiquette rules define social interaction during the meal.

In video games, food was initially simply a healing or bonus item. Over time, however, delicacies and their cooking processes have overtaken more and more territory. Food can be an integral part of a survival game’s mechanics, help set the mood in a historical setting, or hint at sensual pleasures within the confines of PEGI ratings. Role-playing games may include minigames focused on cooking, or the sole purpose of a simulation game can be running a restaurant.

The cake is a lie - from screen to plate, downloadable .pdf-publication

From screen to plate is a DLC (downloadable content) for the exhibition, and through it we cover the dimensions of gaming related food that didn’t make it to the exhibition texts. We also wanted to bring Finnish gaming food more to the foreground and to be made available for trying out yourself, and the author of UnReal World, Sami Maaranen, went ahead and created a whole menu for the readers to enjoy.

“The Cake is a Lie – From Screen to Plate dlc” download here, FI“The Cake is a Lie – From Screen to Plate dlc” download here, EN

Old Board Game Treasures
8.9.2020 – 4.1.2021

Board games have been published in Finland for nearly 160 years. While Afrikan tähti, Kimble and Alias are familiar to most Finns, very little attention has been paid to the early steps of board gaming in our country. The Old Board Game Treasures exhibition turns the spotlight on six nearly forgotten games from the dawn of board game history.

From Other Realities – Tuomas Puikkonen as a LARP photographer, 2010–2020
1.4. – 23.8.2020

A retrospective in the Finnish Museum of Games’ studio shows, for the first time, an extensive collection of photographs by Tuomas Puikkonen. The exhibition is curated by the photographic artist and LARP designer Katri Lassila (MFA).

Photographer Tuomas Puikkonen started to photograph LARPs in 2010. Puikkonen was working at a university, but had been involved in the role-playing and photography hobbies for years. He joined a LARP series workgroup with the intention to make the experience even more fun for the players and, to this aim, chose to work with documenting the game.

Over the years, the experiment grew into an entire career. Puikkonen has photographed 70 LARPs over ten years. He has shot fantasy and sci-fi, realism, vampires and serious political LARPs as well as light-hearted fun and art projects.

Puikkonen has an inclusive work ethic. He wants to photograph all LARP participants equally.

Some LARPs have large budgets while others rely entirely on volunteers. For Puikkonen, photographing them is equally important. As a photographer, he considers diversity important and wants to ensure that we are not only documenting the expensive and highly visible LARPs that are already mentioned in public; he also wants to shoot the LARPs that were made simply for the love of the game.

Over the decades, Tuomas Puikkonen has developed a unique, recognisable style. Puikkonen is primarily interested in the interaction between the characters. Many of his most acclaimed photos represent situations where even the viewer can sense the tension between characters. Puikkonen uses digital equipment and retouches his photos creatively, using tones and contrasts to convey a message about the LARP’s atmosphere, for example. Therefore, a dystopian future might have cold blue tones, whereas a gentle love scene in a romantic game is warm and well-lit.

The Kalevala in Games
13.12.2019 – 29.3.2020

The Kalevala in Games exhibition showcases intersections between the world of games and the cultural heritage of Kalevala across more than one hundred years.

The Kalevala is living culture that belongs to everyone. Games mix together the source material from Kalevala, mainstream popular culture from their time of publication and different forms of art. Each of the nine games on display has an individual relationship with Kalevala. The exhibition also invites you to consider the relationship of their publication time and target audience with our national epic.

Finnish game designers have been inspired by the Kalevala since 1904. However, no games about the Kalevala were released for 58 years following Kalevala — peli Suomen lapsille (1930), until ANKH, Adventurers of the North — Kalevala Heroes (1988) brought the Kalevala back into the world of games with an entirely new look. In the 1990s and 2000s, role-playing and LARPs became the form of gaming that extensively utilised our national epic. In digital games, Kalevala has only become a hot commodity during the past ten years. You could say that we are now living in the golden age of games about Kalevala, and the entire potential of our national epic has surely not been fully exploited yet.

Kalevala is more than simply source material for games. Finnish game designers have enriched its cultural heritage in refreshing ways, even mixing in surprising elements. In addition to entertaining players, games have used Kalevala as a learning tool, and even to critically examine Kalevala’s contents and thoughts.

The exhibition is available in English.

The City as Game Board – From Geocaching to Harry Potter
13.9. – 1.12.2019

In location-based games, the city – its streets, architecture and everyday objects – become the “game board”. They bring the physical environment into the game through mobile and GPS technologies that track their players’ locations. The release of Pokémon GO in 2016 launched location-based games into the mainstream. But these games have a much longer history, dating back to early artistic and commercial experiments from the early 2000s onwards. This exhibition showcases this broader history, from the invention of geocaching to the first experimental games like Can You See Me Now? and Pac-Manhattan, and finally their eventual mainstream success through smartphone apps like Parallel Kingdom, Pokémon GO and, most recently, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

The exhibition is available in English.

3,583 BYTES FREE! – Home computer culture
19.3. – 9.6 2019

The reign of the Commodore 64 started in the spring of 1983. Even before then, home computers had attracted a subculture of BASIC programming enthusiasts. Tips were shared through word of mouth, tapes filled with data were passed from one friend to another and user manuals were studied for guidance in programming. User associations were born around the different home computer brands.

In Tampere, Reima Mäkinen and Petri Tuomola started publishing a magazine called Micropost in January 1983. The editors had Sinclair and Commodore machines on their desks. The association Suomen Mikromaakarit ry was later founded to act as the magazine’s publisher.

Finland’s most popular technology magazines, such as Tekniikan Maailma and Tietokone, mainly wrote about computers for business use. Micropost, on the other hand, was focused on entertainment. Its readers were mostly interested in games and playing with the hardware.

The exhibition uses game demos, drawings, printouts and other documents to look back at a time when writing your own games was easier than buying them in a store.

The exhibition is available in English.

Disk Covers – C-64 and demoscene disk covers
12.10.2018 – 6.1.2019

The Commodore 64 gave birth to a varied and rich subculture of personalised disk covers. Demoscene and cracker groups from around the world used skilfully hand-drawn and photocopied covers to decorate their products from the 1980s onwards.

Floppy disks, or floppies, needed paper protection when, before the age of the Internet, they were sent by mail from one hobbyist to another. Mega swappers could have hundreds of addresses on their mailing lists. In the end, disk covers became an essential part of the C64 culture. The demoscene is very much alive and well on the Commodore 64 and keeps producing new disk covers with its new releases. The Disk Covers exhibition displays these works from a vibrant subculture for the first time ever in Finland.

Disk Covers presents covers from the 1980s up to the present day. Works from Finland and from around the world are on display. The exhibition was curated by Ari “Duce” Seppä and Tommi “Electric” Musturi together with Zooparty ry, an association specialising in C64 culture.

The exhibition is available in English.

Quirky Handhelds
30.5.2018 – 7.10.2018

The Quirky Handhelds exhibition showcases game collector Manu Pärssinen’s comprehensive handheld game console collection. Almost 100 handhelds and their quirkiest features from the 70s onwards are exhibited.

The exhibition is available only in Finnish.

Cosplay – from game to reality
24.3.2018 – 27.5.2018

Cosplay (from the words costume play) involves dressing up as different characters. Cosplay is often thought to be connected to manga and anime, but cosplayers can choose their characters from all kinds of sources. Cosplaying is, however, much more than just dressing up. The Cosplay – from game to reality exhibition is made up of three costumes, as well as photographs and stories by cosplayers.

The exhibition is produced in co-operation with Lunatar Cosplay and Cosvision ry. Cosvision ry is an association which aims to advance cosplay as a hobby in Finland. The association produces the yearly Finnish Cosplay Championships, does cosplay projects such as individual cosplay competitions and works for cosplay promotion.

Photographer: Timo Virtanen
Cosplayer: Noora Cosplay
Character: Tyrande Whisperwind / Heroes of the Storm

The exhibition is available in English.

My Game History 2018
16.1.2018 – 11.3.2018


WHAT DOES GAMING FEEL LIKE?

Everyone has a game history of their own. All of us spend time with toys, play and games, all the way from youth to adulthood and old age. We play alone but also together with parents, children, relatives, friends and strangers. The My Game History exhibition presents thirteen Finnish personal histories of gaming and play.

The exhibition is available only in Finnish.

Pelit magazine’s 25th anniversary exhibition
24.10.2017 – 14.1.2018

Pelit is one of the oldest continuously appearing game magazines in the world. It is also an integral part of Finnish game culture. The exhibition is realized by Pelit magazine.

 

The exhibition is available only in Finnish.

 

Image: Pelit magazine

22th of August – 22th of October 2017
Masters of Pixel Art

Masters of Pixel Art is an exhibition curated by Klas Benjaminsson (AKA Prowler), featuring the finest pixel art for both the Commodore 64 and the Amiga.

The exhibition is available in English.

Ropecon – from the gamers, to the gamers
23.5.2017 – 13.8.2017

Ropecon is the largest volunteer-organized role-playing game convention in Europe, bringing together both hobbyists and professionals. The Ropecon exhibition is realized in co-operation by Ropecon ry, The Finnish Museum of Games and Espoo City Museum.

The exhibition is available in English.

P.O.L.L.E.N – Steps of Production
21.3.2017 – 21.5.2017

 

P.O.L.L.E.N is a science fiction adventure game made by MINDFIELD GAMES. It was published in 2016. In the game, the player tries to understand what has happened on an abandoned space station. The game is viewed from the player character’s perspective (first-person). The production of the game lasted over two years and the game went through many drastic changes during the development.

This exhibition displays the evolution of P.O.L.L.E.N throughout its development. It includes screenshots and design documents of the different versions of the game. Over 300 pages of backstory and designs were written for the game, in addition to hundreds of graphic objects and gameplay functionalities. Some of these designs never progressed from the pencil and paper, while some were made ready but for some reason or another were dropped from the final game. As a result of this process of collecting and discarding features, we have a unique game with a versatile and functional environment; one can spend hours exploring. Experiencing the world using virtual reality devices offers a highly immersive atmosphere.

The exhibition is available in English.

My Game History #1
10.1.2017 – 12.3.2017

MY GAME HISTORY

My Game History displays memories and personal items from thirteen University of Tampere students who’ve grown up all over Finland and even abroad. Each have their own path and have a unique history to tell.

Games are not an island isolated from everyday life but intertwined with it. Growth as a human being is deeply connected with play and games. Games are also a popular pastime; nearly 90% of Finns play something on a regular basis. These experiences are linked with identity, growth, relationships, other hobbies, and work.

These personal histories reveal and reflect boundaries set by parents, availability of technology, and social pressure. While playing in a small group is intimate, the shared items and culture add to the relatedness of otherwise personal experience. Impactful experiences can be recalled decades later, but so can the belittling and ridicule.

The exhibition was created as a University of Tampere course curated by game researchers Annakaisa
Kultima and Jaakko Stenros. It’s open for public between 10.1. – 12.3.2017 with students themselves present to tell you more.

Contact:
Annakaisa Kultima  ·  annakaisa.kultima@uta.fi
Jaakko Stenros  ·  jaakko.stenros@uta.fi

Read more at: http://www.uta.fi/sis/iti/opinto-opas/kurssisivut/itia11.html#mph

The exhibition is available only in Finnish.

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