Friday, November 21, 2008

Technologizing youth and Finnish game market in a nutshell

I visited National Board of Education a week ago and got to know KenGuru site which tries to offer a one-stop-shop for teachers on topics related to digital media (e.g. media use, education and learning). Even if the site is not 100% 2.0 (or actually quite far from it) I like the idea and found some very relevant content for teachers who practically do not have enough time or personal interest to get in depth with all the web services, interaction methods or keywords which are everyday to their students. Of course visual presentation would be even better. The event was targeted to teachers. I talked about the media use in general and about different roles youngsters take in virtual communities and interactive services. The presentation was partly based on a report I together with The Finnish Society on Media Education did a couple of weeks ago for the Ministry of Transport and Communications Finland. The goal of the report is to give the basics to educators, parents, politics etc. in a nutshell. The focus of that report is digital media and the age group is under 18 year olds. I can provide a summary in English if you like.

I also visited one event where I learned that there is something like 30 - 40 000 WoW players in Finland (~10 million worldwide). WoW is The mainstream of MMOGs and almost every other is playing WoW but still 40 000 is quite a bit in a country of 5 million inhabitants. Other interesting numbers from Figma (Finnish Games and Multimedia Association) were e.g. that 67% of Finnish gamers play online and 31% of parents play with their children. Even though that is quite low number I was actually surprised how high it is. According to Figma figures 36% of 16-29 year olds play digital games. When we (research group) conducted a survey through Taloustutkimus (market research web panel) in 2006 (N was almost 1500) 20% of girls and ~70% of boys in the age group of 13-18 year olds, played games daily or almost daily. Naturally when the age is closer to 30 children, work, hobbies and other activities consume bigger and bigger part of the spare time. What I found interesting is that still people highlight how the average player in Finland is 37-or-so years old male but when looking at gaming from hobby perspective the youngsters rule. Who cares about Minesweeper or Solitaire! Lately educators have gotten interested in games or game-like solutions in education. When there is interest there most likely will (soon) be solutions. That is super! It will be interesting to see how different schools start to utilize games or game-like processes in learning. Ludocraft from Oulu has been developing Novicraft solution. Naturally the other way to go is to utilize existing leisure games or other playful and easy to use online tools.

1 comment:

SonjaK said...

This gives more general EU look on same or related issues we studied in Finland