Gaming Around the Clock in Millennium Pavilion

Hundreds of computers, Coke, virtual reality glasses, game development workshops, average age under 18. Launched on Friday 2 May in the afternoon, the GAME JAM LAN in the Millennium Pavilion can be overwhelming for a first-timer. But the participants have been to LAN parties before, so they know the routine: book a place, be there, play, learn, share experiences.

A LucidLAN game party is on in the centre of the pavilion, attracting younger participants, while a bit older gamers have taken over side of the pavilion at the Gadget JAM game development event. The average age of JAM participants is around thirty.

“LAN is for playing, JAM is for creating new things,” says Ari Nykänen, AD of Kuuasema game development company and one of the organisers of GADGET Jam.

2014_MTP_Game_JAM_LAN_007_webThe event in the Millennium Pavilion gives them new cutting-edge devices to play with, including Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets, Kinect motion devices, Mindwave EEG sensors and Pebble smartwatches. The group of some thirty enthusiasts have 48 hours to see that they can do with the devices, program libraries and their own code.

“Coding ends on Sunday at 11 am, and then we’ll see what the teams have come up with,” Ari Nykänen says.

The main organiser of the event, Kosti Rytkönen, has finished the idea stage, and the teams dig in. The CTO of a game development company, Rytkönen has organised several game development jams before.

“We have seen incredible game ideas emerge in jams. Some of the ideas were developed into real products,” Rytkönen says.

The people in the Millennium Pavilion are now jamming with the new hardware. In 40 hours we will know what brainwaves have emerged in the dark hours of the night.

Text: Petja Partanen
Photos: TAF/Matti Rajala


Designed and produced by young people, the Millennium GAME JAM LAN brings together gamers, game developers and game culture enthusiasts to the centre of Helsinki. Entry to the Millennium Pavilion is free 2–4 May 2014 for the public to observe the game scene, participate in workshops, and listen to talks by experts on gaming.