The environmental and gaming sectors got together in Helsinki and Jyväskylä for Eko Game Jam, an event that was expected to gather about 50–100 on-site participants. People interested in environmental data and game design could attend the event online all over the world. The event was organised by Avoin, a sustainable IT development association, in partnership with Sitra, the Finnish Environment Institute and the Ministry of the Environment.
“The discussions with participants from, for example, Venezuela and Madagascar have been fascinating. There are a lot of talented game developers in the world interested in Finnish environmental competence,” says Otso Valta, chair of Avoin.
“It is important to us that IT sector experts are having fun while given an opportunity to promote sustainable development. It is inspiring to bring experts from various sectors together to brainstorm new kind of environmental communication.”
The event used data provided by Sitra’s Lifestyle test and the Finnish Environment Institute’s Climate diet calculator, both having been published as open data. Both calculators will hopefully prove to be useful in games and other everyday applications in the future.
During the Eko Game Jam, gaming programmers utilised environmental data and brainstormed solutions-oriented games together with experts in the circular economy and renewable energy.
“Finnish people are interested in environmental matters. For example, Sitra’s Lifestyle test has already been taken more than 700,000 times. It is great that the gaming industry is getting involved in promoting the change and using the existing data in new and interesting ways,” says Sari Laine, a Specialist in the Resource-wise citizen project at Sitra.