Digital games will be used to explore Sami culture as the Sami Game Jam arrives in Utsjoki, Finland’s northernmost municipality, on 21st-25th February 2018. Experienced game developers and Sami people interested in game development will be invited to co-create gameful explorations of various Sami themes.

The event is an intensive multiple day game jam, during which the games will be created by diverse teams from an idea into a playable game. As with other game jams, the games will be built around predefined themes. The games developed in the Sami Game Jam will draw influences from twelve Sami themes:

1. Strangers in their own land
2. Border-breaking people
3. Stories over generations
4. People of eight seasons
5. Persisting stereotypes
6. Sami people outside Sápmi
7. Ultima Thule
8. Rich world of languages
9. Ethnostress
10. Activists and artivists
11. Sami people of the future
12. Where did the memories go?

Sami people are the only recognized indigenous group in Finland and Scandinavia, and media originating from Sami culture, especially games, is rare. The Sami Game Jam with its communal approach opens new avenues into Sami culture and traditional storytelling. The Sami Game Jam hopes to spark the gameful expression of Sami artists and increase knowledge about the Sami globally.

The games developed in the event will be combined into an exhibition in cooperation with Aalto University and the Finnish Museum of Games. The exhibition will be made available in three languages: in Northern Sami, in Finnish and in English. The games and themes as well as the stories behind them will travel through museums and exhibition spaces in Finland and Europe, and possibly even further during 2019 and 2020. The preliminary name of the exhibition is Sami in Play.

Those interested in participating may apply by filling an application on by no later than 3.2.2018. Previous game making experience is not required, as the games are created in cooperation with experienced game developers. The participants will receive compensation for their travel costs.

The Sami Game Jam is organized by Finnish Game Jam at the Áilegas Centre in cooperation with the municipality of Utsjoki. The event is supported by the Majaoja Foundation and Neogames.

More information:

Committee representatives:

Outi Laiti, municipality of Utsjoki
+358 40 667 2229

Annakaisa Kultima, Finnish Game Jam ry/Aalto University
+358 50 443 7258

Event logo:
Photos of Utsjoki (photo credit: Outi Laiti):
Utsjoki in Winter:
Press release in Sami language: