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March 24, 2019
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  Finnish Museum of Games is officially sensational
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

Society for the History of Technology has chosen the Finnish Museum of Games to receive the 2018 Dibner Award for Excellence in Museum Exhibits. This is the first time the award is given to a museum in Finland. 

 – This award is very important to the museum and it is a way to thank the exceptionally diverse co-operation network which made the museum possible and is visible in our everyday work, comments the head of Tampere Culture and Art department Toimi Jaatinen.

– The Finnish Museum of Games has brought tens of thousands more visitors to the Vapriikki museum centre, the amount of young people is notable. The Games Museum peeks international interest as well. It has become a showroom of the Finnish gaming culture and business, an asset to which this esteemed award will bring value.

The Finnish Museum of Games showcases the history of gaming in Finland, from the board games of the 1800s to the modern video games. The main exhibition has 100 mostly playable games with over 70 running videogames created by the Finnish game developers, indie developers and hobbyists. There’s also number of theme rooms from different decades with their own games and an arcade with number of free-to-play coin-ops.

The museum’s main exhibition was created with the aim of providing as many games as possible in playable form, as well as showing the history of the gaming culture in Finland and where the games and the developers come from.

The changing exhibitions have covered for example the creations of virtual reality adventure P.O.L.L.E.N., Ropecon convention, personal play histories, weird handhelds and pixel art. Current changing exhibition is about the do-it-yourself demoscene disc covers of the 8-bit home computing era. Also the museum hosts a large extra exhibition about the history of traditional role playing games in Finnish games culture.

The museum also hosts regular gaming events, lectures, fan gatherings, games industry conferences and other meetings, both for the public and professionals.

The museum was opened in January 2017 in Tampere. It was established as a co-operation between the City of Tampere, the Media Museum Rupriikki, the Arctic Computer and Console Museum enthusiasts Pelikonepeijoonit, gaming journalism veterans and the University of Tampere. In addition to these, the museum welcomed the strong support from the gamers and the representatives of the gaming industry. Part of the museum’s budged was crowdfunded.

  The 2018 Dibner Award Committee stated:

 – The Finnish Museum of Games created a sophisticated exhibition that explores the evolution of video game technologies and gaming culture. Striking a balance between local and international histories, your curators chose to emphasize the specific contributions of Finnish companies and consumers rather than recapitulate established narratives that focus on the United States and Japan. This decision has broader historiographic ramifications as scholars seek to more effectively integrate the regional with the global. Implementing their ideas led your museum staff to reach out to a diverse array of stakeholders, including game developers, retro computing hobbyists, and academics at nearby universities.

Previous winners of the Dibner award are for example the Science and Technology Galleries of the National Museum of Scotland, the Smithsonian Design Museum, the National Museum of American History and the Science Museum in London.

The Museum is open every week Tuesday-Sunday 10-18 at Vapriikki museum centre, Tampere, Finland.


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