About the Alumni of the Year award

Adam Mayes reading the motivations and handing out the Alumni of the Year-awards at the Gotland Game Conference 2017. Spoiler: Pernilla Sparrhult and Joakim Andreason were recognized both, for their incredible last couple of years as producer and designer (respectively) at Paradox Interactive.

We are embarrassingly proud of our graduates and former students of the education. We have been teaching game design- and development on Gotland since 2001, so our network of alumni counts in the thousands, with careers across the globe.

GAME Alumni around the world (map generated 180317)
[map generated 180317].

They constantly surprise us with their insight, their productivity, their skill, their willingness to listen, advice and help out. Whether it’s as jury at the Gotland Game Conference, or inspiring the generation of students coming after them at our annual Alumni Days – they always seem to go the extra mile.

With all the value we get from our Alumni, we like to give something back too. And so, as often as we can, we try to recognize former students for their contribution to the education, to the games industry or to their specific field – be it game design, entrepreneurship, activism or academia.

YearNameNotes
YearNameNotes
2007Mats AnderssonAvalanche Studios
2008Anders EkermoStarbreeze
2009Peter StråhleGRIN
2010Johannes WadinMight and Delight
2011Karin RydingOzma Games
2012???No data in our archives!
2013Annika O. BergströmSödertörn University
2014Ted SjöströmPixel Ferrets
2015Rikard JakschKing
2016Kim AavaGuerrilla Games
2017Joakim AndreasonParadox Interactive
2017Pernilla SparrhultParadox

Are you a former student of the game educations on Gotland? Please join the Uppsala University Alumn Network! And consider joining the 700-people strong GAME community on Facebook. It is run entirely by Alumni and has become the gathering point for all people who is or have been part of the GAME-educations on Gotland.

The Jury (so far)

The jury represents the most hard-working participants at the Gotland Game Conference (save for our students, natch). Jurors travel from around the globe to hear our students’ presentations a day before the conference even starts, and to spend the better part of a week playing all of the student productions on the show floor.

Johannes Wadin (Might & Delight), leading the 2nd Year Jury at the 2011 Gotland Game Conference

Each member brings their own set of experience and expertise, and share that insight directly with the students at the GGC. We have academia and graphics solidly represented now, so the next bunch of seats are reserved primarily for programmers, HR and the nebulous “production“-people. There’s is of course always room, too, for people with investment or recruitment needs!

Feel like that’s you? Fill in the application and maybe we’ll see you in Visby in June!

So without further ado, here is the 2018 Jury list, so far:

  1. Doris Rusch, Game designer and Researcher, DePaul University
  2. Elizabeth Sampat, Game Designer, Author and Activist
  3. Malena Klaus, Game Programmer and Inventor
  4. Henrik Jonsson, Executive Producer, Goodbye Kansas Game Invest
  5. Josefin Westborg, Founder and Game designer, Lekreativ/Lajvbyrån
  6. Anton Albiin, Association of Swedish Game Developers
  7. James Newnorth, CEO, Spelkollektivet Sweden
  8. Joshua Juvrud, Developmental Psychologist, Uppsala University
  9. Mårten Jonsson, Freelance developer, JMJ Interactive
  10. Martine Pedersen, LudicIndspark
  11. James Newnorth, CEO, Spelkollektivet Sweden
  12. Nicodemus Mattison, Art Director, Virtuos
  13. Martin Greip, CEO, Eat Create Sleep
  14. Niklas Eneqvist, Art Team Manager, Fatshark
  15. Rabi Afram, Dev Manager, King
  16. Teddy Sjöström, Programmer, Pixel Ferrets
  17. Emelie Rodin, Developer, BetterBuilt Studio
  18. Fred Ström, Animator, Pixel Ferrets
  19. Jens Berglind, Lead Programmer, Might and Delight
  20. Kalle Henningsson, QA & Submission Manager, Playdead
  21. Kim Aava, 3D Artist, Fast Travel Games
  22. Vilya Svensson, 2D Artist, Pixel Ferrets

Names in bold are alumni from this education – welcome back! 😀

Thanks in advance to everyone for taking the time – and putting up the effort – to help improve our students, our education, and our medium!

Regional collaboration for serious games

Universen (“The Universe”) is a magazine for Uppsala University employees. Issued six times a year, ~7100 copies are sent to the homes of all employees and other interested parties. In the first issue of 2018 our colleague Lina Sors Emilsson is interviewed about her course Product Development for Games, 15 credits (5SD952).

Lina Sors Emilsson at the Gotland Game Conference 2017
Lina Sors Emilsson at the Gotland Game Conference 2017.

The interview is unfortunately entirely in Swedish, but she’s talking about how we use this course to have game design students work with external “real-world” concerns, such as; crisis management, Gotland’s water shortage, job market access for the differently abled, and so on. For the first iteration we worked closely with Region Gotland and local industry to come up with realistic concerns and evaluate the student output.

If you’re gifted with the Germanic languages you can try reading the full interview below, or on Issuu.com. You can even browse the full Universen archive at uu.se.

The course is a part of our international Bachelor Programme in Game Design and Project Management. You can apply to the program via universityadmissions.se! The international application deadline is 15th of january, while Swedish applicants have until April 15th.

Universen nr1 2018, page 17

Help us create a “Woke award”

London-based artist Karen Palmer, on jury duty at the Gotland Game Conference 2015
The Gotland Game Conference is looking over its award categories this year. There will be many changes, but one of higher priority than most is the addition of a… “diversity award”, for lack of a better term.

We work hard in the education and with the conference to engage thoughtfully with issues like representation, gender, intersectionality and the perspectives and lived experiences of the non-[white hetero cis male]. We need an award to highlight and celebrate student projects that exhibit an especially conscientious or nuanced understanding of these issues.

But we need help:

  1. What should we call this award?
  2. What are reasonable evaluation criterias for such an award?
  3. Who (plural) should we look to invite for play testing and evaluation of the games? (the local RFSL and Pride chapters, for sure. But who’s an expert on, say, race in Sweden?)

Specifically: the department faculty, being very much mostly white and edumacated types, do not feel at all like a reasonable authority. I mean that both in terms of appropriation and in terms of perceived validity of the award. While the fight is ours to take, it is not on us to declare any sort of victory. And in terms of validity of the award – it risks being seen as self congratulatory.

So. I am currently looking for any sort of input, really. If you don’t want to discuss publicly, feel free to grab me over e-mail!

If you would like to be part of the Gotland Game Conference jury, read these instructions and submit an application. Leave a comment in the last field if you are particularly interested or suited for the diversity-perspective.

Thank you!

//Ulf Benjaminsson