Exploring Sami Culture Through Gaming

On February 21-25 Utsjoki, Finland’s northernmost municipality will run a game jam challenge dedicated to Sami people and their culture.

For this challenge, you will not win money, you will not get any advice from a big name advisor, or win a trip to Silicon Valley’s VC firms. But what you get, is an amazing 3-days experience and dive into one of the most mysterious tribes in the world – the Sami.

The Sami people are the only indigenous people in Scandinavia. Their culture, albeit one of the oldest in the Nordics, is rarely seen in mainstream movies and cartoons, not to mention gaming.  Sami Game Jam aims to fix that by connecting game developers and Sami people interested in game development. Organised by Sami community and Finnish Game Jam with the support of Neogames the event will focus on co-creating gameful explorations of various Sami themes.

“The goal of this project is to raise awareness of Sami culture and spread it with playful artifacts, the games – as well as spark Sami artists and youth to create more games in the future on their own,” says Annakaisa Kultima, researcher at the University of Tampere and one of the organisers of the event.

Currently, the game jam is open for applications. Anyone can apply by filling an application by no later than February 3. Previous game making experience is not required, as the organisers are bringing in experienced game developers and indie artists from all around the world.

Together with other participants, they will create the games in three days. But the game jam itself is not it. All games created during The Sami Game Jam will be then translated into a touring art exhibition, which will start in Utsjoki and eventually land at the Finnish Museum of Games. The exhibition will have playable games, but also video material documented in the process, photos and texts to explain the themes.

For more information: samigamejam.com