1st Collaborative Game Histories

Collaborative Game Histories

Seminar and workshop

18-19 October 2019

Finnish Museum of Games, Tampere, Finland

Dear Colleagues,

it is our great pleasure to invite you to take part in the Collaborative Game Histories seminar and workshop at the Finnish Museum of Games in Tampere, an event co-organized by the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies and the University of Turku.

We would like to provide a forum for a focused discussion on issues related to game history research and preservation. For the inaugural session, we are especially interested in exploring various aspects of collaborative practices related to game heritage process, involving not only academics but also collectors, hobbyists, participatory historians, retrogamers, as well as educators, GLAM space experts and other cultural institutions’ professionals. For that reason, our event will include a seminar day, dedicated to invited academics and professionals, and a workshop day, intended to attract wider audiences.

We want to let you know that we hope to organize this event on the annual basis and we are looking forward to seeing you in Finland, if not this year then maybe in the years to come. Because we feel that the idea of collaboration is inherent to the heritage process, and it was a direct inspiration for this initiative, we are open to your ideas and suggestion regarding the development of our new forum and what outcomes would you be interested in.

Seminar (Friday, 18.10.2019)

Keynote: Melanie Swalwell, Swinburne University, Australia

This event is invitation based and there is no attendance fee, however, we are not covering any travel or accommodation expenses. As space is limited, and for other organizational reasons, we would like to ask you to submit an abstract (200-300 words, excluding references) by 31 May 2019 (extended deadline), as a confirmation of your attendance. Selected papers will be invited to contribute to an anthology or a special issue of a journal.

We welcome academic contributions exploring – but not limited to – the following topics:

co-collecting (e.g. crowdsourcing),
co-curating (e.g. exhibiting ludic artifacts);
co-funding (e.g. crowdfunding),
co-preserving (e.g. joint archive projects),
co-remembering (e.g. joint popular memory initiatives),
co- research (e.g. joint research teams).

Please send the submissions in a Word *.docx format to maria.garda@utu.fi by 31 May 2019 (extended deadline).

Workshop (Saturday, 19.10.2019)

Free admission for those registered for the Friday event.

Keynote: Annakaisa Kultima, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland

This event will have a call for participation to be released by the end of May. Apart from practically oriented workshops, we would like to include a showcase space with stands, in order to give various game heritage stakeholders a chance to present their work.


Please do not hesitate to contact maria.garda@utu.fi in case you should have any questions or if you require any additional information.

Organizational Committee

Jaakko Suominen, University of Turku
Maria B. Garda, University of Turku
Markku Reunanen, Aalto University, University of Turku
Niklas Nylund, Finnish Museum of Games
Outi Penninkangas, Finnish Museum of Games
Patrick Prax, Uppsala University

Keynote: Melanie Swalwell, Swinburne University, Australia

Melanie Swalwell is Professor of Digital Media Heritage in the new Centre for Transformative Media Technologies, at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. Her research is concerned with complex digital artefacts such as videogames and media artworks: their creation, use, preservation, and legacy. Melanie was an ARC Future Fellow, and has recently won a Linkage Project for the second iteration of the “Play It Again” digital game history and preservation project. She is the author of many chapters and articles on the histories of digital games, and co-editor of The Pleasures of Computer Gaming: Essays on cultural history, theory and aesthetics (McFarland, 2008), and Fans and Videogames: Histories, fandom, archives (Routledge, 2017). She is currently completing a monograph, Homebrew Gaming and the Beginnings of Vernacular Digitality (MIT Press) and editing two other collections, Game History and the Local and Crafting, Hacking, Making.

Full program

Day 1 / Fri 18.10.
9:00 – 10:00 Registration and coffee

10:00 – 11:00 Keynote: Melanie Swalwell (Swinburne University, Australia)

11:00 – 11:15 Coffee

11:15 – 12:45 On Working with Communities

Jaroslav Švelch (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic)
Tall tales and murky memories of computer gaming in 1980s Czechoslovakia

Miroslaw Filiciak (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland)
Pinball enthusiasts and the grassroots game heritage community in Poland

Kieran Nolan (Dundalk Institute of Technology/Trinity College, Ireland)
Arcade Archive Authenticity: Schematics, Spare Parts, and Retrofits

12:45 – 13:45 Lunch break

13:45 – 15:15 On Exhibiting Games

Patrick Prax (Uppsala University, Sweden) and Niklas Nylund (Tampere University, Finland)
So you wanna make a game exhibition? An ideation tool for exhibiting digital games

Maria B. Garda (University of Turku, Finland) Exhibiting game design process: Witcher at the Centre for Comics and Interactive Storytelling in Lodz

Dale Leorke (Tampere University, Finland)
A Retrospective of Location-based Games: Documenting and Exhibiting Play in Public Space

15:15 – 15:45 Snack break

15:45 – 17:45 On Demoscene Preservation

Gleb J. Albert (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Got Papers?: Co-Preserving the Analogue History of a Digital Subculture

Workshop: Demoscene application for the Finnish National Inventory of Living Heritage Chair: Markku Reunanen (University of Turku/Aalto University, Finland)

Day 2 / Sat 19.10.
Free admission for those registered for the Friday event.

10:00 – 10:30 Registration and showcase

10:30 – 11:30 Communities as Curators

The Finnish museum of Games offers exhibition space and resources for gamer communities to curate mini-exhibitions about their community. In this program, curators of such exhibitions will talk about the process of building an exhibition out of their hobby, and how it helped them to reflect their own game histories.

* Petra Lindström, Lunatar Cosplay / Cosplay – From Game to Reality
* Reima Mäkinen / 3583 BYTES FREE! – Home computer culture
* Elina Koskinen / My Game History

11:30 – 12:30 We regret to inform that Annakaisa Kultima’s keynote is cancelled because of a family emergency

Keynote: Annakaisa Kultima (Aalto University, Finland): The Importance of Diversity in Display – Building the Game Histories Together

In 2012 Annakaisa Kultima led a group of students in an ad-hoc game exhibition project for the Media Museum Rupriikki. The exhibition that was meant to be just a display of local games for the audiences of Nordic DiGRA Conference, became an intense, yet playful collaborative project seeding the work of Finnish Museum of Games. Kultima’s focus in the founding team of the Finnish Museum of Games has been primarily on preserving and further building the diversity that arose from the exhibition project in 2012. In this talk, Kultima will share her experiences with several layers of game communities in her pursuit of bringing diversity in the limelight and democratizing narratives in games. She will share her motivations and experiences in leading projects with indigenous topics, private and personal game histories as well as non-commercial, hobbyist and artistic game making in Finland and on global scale. Kultima’s talk will highlight how the power of display can improve our communities of play.

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:30 Panel: Demoscene – The Art of Coding / Chair: Andreas Lange

The aim of Demoscene – The Art of Coding project is to include the demoscene on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The panel will discuss the project, how its goal can be achieved and what the status of intangible cultural heritage would mean for the demoscene. Panelists include Gleb J. Albert, Satu Haapakoski, Tommi Musturi and Jari Myllylahti.

Gleb J. Albert is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of History, University of Zurich. He is member of the DFG-SNF Research Group “Media and Mimesis” and works on the history of youth and software piracy in the 1980s and early 1990s. He participates in several demoscene preservation projects, including “Got Papers?” and scene.org.

Tommi Musturi (b. 1975) is fine and a comic artist plus a C64 scener. Since mid-80s ‘Electric’ has created bagfuls of graphics for demos, groups, magazines and other purposes. Musturi is also one of the main characters behind Finnish ZOO demoparty.

Jari Myllylahti works as Senior IT Sourcing Partner at Tieto Corporation, being globally responsible for software sourcing. He founded the Amiga scene group Clones with his friends in 1988 and was one of the main coders and the organizer of the group, which expanded having members in Scandinavia, middle Europe, USA & Australia.

14:30 – 15:00 Toni Cavén (Reprocade): Keeping the Vintage Games Alive – Beneath the surface of a Defender

Professional arcade repairman Toni Cavén from Reprocade gives a demonstration of the insides of arcade video game classic Defender (Williams, 1981).

15:00 – 15:30 Break

15:30 – 16:30 Mikko Heinonen (Pelikonepeijoonit): Guided tour of the Finnish Museum of Games

One of the founders of the Finnish Museum of Games, Mikko Heinonen from game collector group Pelikonepeijoonit, gives a thorough tour of museum’s permanent exhibition.

16:30 – 18 Game preservation showcase: National Library of Finland, Wikimedia Finland, Kasettilamerit, Pelikonepeijoonit

Hobbyist and professional game preservation stakeholders from Finland talk about their work in safeguarding Finnish game history.