When International Games Day rolls around on 21 November, games of all kinds will once again make their way into Nordic libraries to celebrate. This fall the event also has a new coordinator, Tommi Tossavainen from the National Audiovisual Institute in Finland.
“To me, Nordic Game Day has two objectives. The first goal is to promote games as a valid and powerful medium for artistic, cultural and even political expression. Games have the same power as books, comics, movies, music and poetry to move us and to make us think,” Tossavainen tells Nordic Game. “The second goal is to get people of all ages to play games and to have fun together.”
Tossavainen feels that most of the criticism against video games comes from people who have not felt the joy of playing games. This makes Nordic Game Day the perfect opportunity for people to learn about games culture, promote fact-based discussion in the media and to erase prejudices.
“Libraries already have games in their collections, and are natural places to go for education and culture. As an adult, it makes sense to educate adults on what games are all about today in libraries,” says Tossavainen. “It’s important to remember that Nordic Game Day is not just for children!”
Tossavainen also points out that The Game Educators Handbook from the Finnish Game Educators Network is a great example of what he hopes to achieve with Nordic Game Day; helping people to understand gamers better. The book has been extremely popular in Finland, is currently being translated into English and will be made freely available in EPUB and PDF formats this August.