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.
The Kalevala in Games
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 City as Game Board – From Geocaching to Harry Potter
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.
3,583 BYTES FREE! – Home computer culture
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.
Disk Covers – C-64 and demoscene disk covers
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Annakaisa Kultima · firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaakko Stenros · email@example.com