Finnish people and their passion for video games

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Finland as a hub for gaming

While my stay in Seinajoki, I learned many things about Finnish culture, as well as certain behavioral traits that are inherent to Finnish people. It is a wide topic to discuss about. And there is universally known image about their reserved personality, self – deprecating humor, hospitality, and their endless passion for saunas alongside with food preferences in the face of rye bread, and potatoes. Lots of potatoes. Oh, and milk, milk especially.

But this is not the topic of this blog. In this blog I would like to talk about a small detail which is not mentioned so often on internet articles nor could be visibly noticed by a foreigner, but tells a lot about Finnish people and could be an ice breaker in an interaction with a Finn. Yes, it is about video games.

For the last 3 months, I have interacted with dozens of Finnish people of both genders, different variety of age and different backgrounds. There are obvious characteristics that connected them, well maybe, because they are Finns after all. However, one thing that I noticed is that 90% of encounters ended up as a conversation about video games and our preferences in gaming. As a person with a strong passion to video games, it was a great opportunity to interact with Finnish people and so to say “break the ice” It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise for me. However, if you think about that from a logical point of view everything makes a perfect sense. There are both internal (psychological) and external factors which influence on decision of preferring video games over other types of leisure. We will talk about that a bit later on our blog.

Field report (SJK eSports)

Within my stay in Seinajoki, I was lucky enough to win a one-month pass to Seinajoki OmaSp Gaming House in a lottery. The place could be described as following: “It is a room with 20 computers, several gaming console with sofas and other social spaces, so that players can spend time together. We strive to be a place where you can build a community and culture. But at the same time, we are pursuing a culture of racing. That people would come to practice it specifically. It was great experience to meet close minded people with same interest at one place and have overall a great experience of playing and spending time together.

An interesting point that worth mentioning is that Finnish people are extremely competitive when it comes to sports, and eSports is considered as an official type of sports. From my observation, they were so into the game that it meant a life or death for them. And they were genuinely frustrated if they could not succeed while playing. Which means that if you are about to play something competitive with Finn, be ready to show a serious approach. Obviously, there are casual players as well that like to spend their time in front of their PC without stressing out too much. You could also realize that Finnish guys love playing NHL (ice hockey game) as it is one of the most popular type of sports in Finland and relatively successful on international level. Finnish people have lots of expectations regarding their national ice hockey team and they are hungry for triumph.

Overall, one of the main reasons why some of the players prefer playing in a gaming club is because of the vibe and atmosphere in the room, alongside with an experience of playing next to your friends. In general, it takes gaming to a whole new level and enhances the effect.

Why videogames?

Dark, cold and lots of snow. Not really a perfect time for hanging out with your friends in a bar or nature. And Finns have this weather for most of the time of the year. Finland is a big country as well, and meeting up your friend from different city would require an effort. Then, you have a huge industry of gaming in Finland which has shown a substantial growth for last decade. If you have once played games such as Angry Birds, Max Payne and Stardust, yes it was made by Finnish companies. Last but not the least, Finnish temperament. We know that Finnish people are reserved with expressing their emotions most of the time. For a foreigner, there are not many ways to see a true inner nature of Finn. Either consume some alcoholic beverages together or make him play video games with you. It is up to you, which option to choose. The combination of abovementioned factors leads to the following statement:

Statistics say that 98% of Finnish youth, and 80% of adults up to 30 play or has played videogames at certain period of time in their life.

How to make use of that information?

And now, you are probably asking how could this information be useful personally for you. If you have never interacted with Finnish people, or tried to build more close relationship with them you would realize that it is not an easy task to do. Fortunately, we are all still the same human beings and if you would think what could bring two completely different people together and help to build a chemistry between them? Same interests.

Statistically speaking, the ratio of Finnish people that are interested in gaming is extremely high, and this ratio increases in geometrical progression, thanks to the growth of the industry both globally and domestically. Which basically means that if you have at least a basic knowledge about video games, there is already a wide topic to talk about with your new Finnish “to be friends”. Obviously, it is not possible to create a connection based on a single interest. Yet, the more you know the better for you.😊

SeAMK ambassador blog
-Altynbek. A.