Shared Gems 2012 Aftermath

Shared Gems 2012 was the first International Game Seminar held in Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Science’s School of Culture and Creative Industries in Helsinki, Finland.

Why there are students of Higher Education from the fields of Media, Culture, Creative Industries, Media Engineering, Computer Sciences and such (coming from Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Jyväskylä and Kajaani) sitting at the same time in the Theare Hall of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences?

They have at least one mutual interest: the Game Industry

What will happen to these students after their studies? Will they be part of the game industry? Is there still room for new innovations after the great Finnish success of Rovio and Angry Birds? Should they be employed by some existing game house or could they start up just another small and/or independent game company?

Shared Gems 2012 had a clear vision: forecasting the future has some complex elements but we might succeed together!

Little did we know that only two weeks after our seminar Nokia will announce it’s plans to let go a mass of highly educated engineers. The crisis hits hard to the IT sector of Finland. One of the most popular tools to save the Finnish economy seems to be encouraging people to start up their own businesses. If some of them rise to the level of Rovio, Finland has nothing to worry about.

Choosing a career as an entrepreneur is not everyone’s cup of tea

This is something we need to constantly remind our selves. As a society, we need big and strong companies as well as small and agile ones.

The most important thing when making business is enthusiasm; willingess to do it yourself or – as we heard from Giuliano Cremaschi at Shared Gems 2012 – with your most reliable buddies. (As long as one of them is willing to take responsibilities and work as CEO).

Not everyone is interested in starting a business, making money or even saving the  economy.

Some have the enthusiasm to think, re-think and bring new ideas to the table. They might have only one goal: to find a work place! They might want to use their artistic talent and  individual potential. They might end up working as independent game designers, artists, coders and creators.

Which ever path we choose, there are different ways to cope in life. Shared Gems 2012 main purpose was to encourage the students to take a look around and find some validation to their future dreams.

Building professional networks was the key issue of the Shared Gems 2012 – and here’s how we did it

First we had 48 hours of Game Jamming and Developing session with two unique teams. They got to represent their outcome on the seminar. Teams had only 48 hours to come up with an idea and then make it work. At the beginning of seminar day, both teams had a game ready for playing. Marvellous work!

Then we had a great roster of speakers sharing their individual experiences and knowledge of the business. After the speakers a panel of professionals answered questions from the audience. Finally the game desing researcher pointed out where the industry is at the moment and where it should be going in the near future.

In the evening the networking continued with Speed Networking session. For an hour employers and students had time to meet each other.

So, was it really just for fun?

Project Vyyhti has gathered feedback from the participants. It shows that 80% of the attendees felt this event was useful. The line-up of the speakers was nearly perfect according to 75% of the feedback answers. Also, 88% felt they have ”learned something or plenty new” about the industry.

50% say:
It was an excellent opportunity to network with colleagues and professionals.

Project Vyyhti concerns these as great results.

Thanks all, we wouldn’t have done it without your presence.

WHAT NEXT?!

We also heard during and after the event from individuals that SG should be organised every year. Project Vyyhti and the Degree Programme in Media of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences are working hard together to make it happen.

Project Vyyhti will publish photographs and video clips from the event as well as the interviews of the speakers of the event later this summer. Please follow our website for more information. http://vyyhti.metropolia.fi

Please read more about our experiences concerning On-line participation as well as Speed Networking session from Vyyhti Blog.

You might also check out, what people tweeted during the event from Storify – a story compiled by Jussi Linkola.

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