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Computer games are part of everyday life in the information society

360 degree viewpoint to game industry and research


360 degree viewpoint to game industry and research Press release 23 March 2005 Computer games are part of everyday life in the information society, from day-care to political lobbying. The game industry has proven immune to the dotcom crash, and has grown constantly in the past 20 years. It is now a bigger branch of entertainment industry than film, and its influence is felt in all areas of digital content production. In Finland, however, the game industry and game research have not been included in the mainstream debate on the information society or creative economy. This omission is now rectified by Markku Eskelinen’s report Games and game research in creative economy (in Finnish), commissioned by the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development Sitra. The report offers basic information on the prospects of both the Finnish and global game industry and describes the present situation of academic game research, as well as its potential contribution to the creative economy. “The Finnish game industry consists mainly of small and medium-sized enterprises, and despite some international success stories, it is still structurally weak and vulnerable,” says Eskelinen. In the worst-case scenario, the development costs of console and PC games will be out of reach for most Finnish actors in the field with the introduction of new generation consoles, while the mobile games have not yet reached a significant role on the global game market. In the competition against global capital-intensive giants of the game industry, who operate at a high risk level and are highly concentrated, success cannot be achieved by merely playing the game according to their rules and established concepts. Therefore, the report examines the innovation potential of ludological game research in varying the existing game products and it outlines a third sector in the game industry to speed up development. “This third sector, which is just emerging internationally, consists of products evolved at the interfaces between the game industry and other entertainment and experience industries, as well as the increasing use of games for more serious purposes, such as education, rehabilitation, political influence, communication and advertising,” says Eskelinen. The report also predicts a game-oriented shift in culture, that games and playability come to represent the expectation horizon and experience structure with a strong hold in the interests of decision-makers, the everyday life and leisure of consumers and the trend-creating epicentre of the entertainment industry and popular culture. Markku Eskelinen, MA, is a writer and internationally renowned game researcher. He is also one of the founders and editors of the Game Studies periodical.Further information Markku Eskelinen, MA, tel. +358 40 510 3800, Pia Mero, Sitra, +358 (9) 6189 9417, Publication: Pelit ja pelitutkimus luovassa taloudessa (Games and game research in creative economy) Markku Eskelinen. Sitra Reports 51, ISBN 951-35-4444-2, ISSN 1457-571X. Edita Prima Oy 2005.