This weekend I went up to Stockholm for a convention, but I was also invited to attend a book release on Friday night. Martin Lindell and Thomas Sunhede has done loads of research and conducted 150 interviews to write a book about the history of Swedish game development, it’s called Svensk Videospelsutveckling.
Sweden has always been a country with people taking a big interest in learning new technologies. A lot of games are made in Sweden, games like Minecraft, Battlefield and Candy Crush Saga just to name a few big ones. This book goes through the entire history of Swedish game development though, from the 50s through to the 90s, before we had Minecraft and were playing around with ABC, C64 and other computers ^_^
A lot of famous people in the Swedish gaming scene attended the book release, some of which I knew from before, and some that I got to know ^_^ Many of them are featured in the book, like Elsa-Karin Boestad-Nilsson who programmed a war-simulator at FOA (Swedish defence forces research agency). I met Tobias Bjarneby for the first time, he’s been a video game journalist since the early 90s and runs a few magazines like the Swedish Level. I also bumped into Thomas Arnroth again, such a sweet guy, and he has just won Tidskriftspriset 2016 for being an awesome journalist! ^_^ Congratulations Thomas :)
I also talked a lot to Michael Berglund who I’ve met through Retro Gathering, he used to make games for the ZX Spectrum under the name Xenon Software! Next to him in the picture is the founder of DICE. In the last picture is Per Jemtå who made games for the ABC 80, and Robert Kreese who I’ve met through various conventions, he’s been making music for Atari ST games and his latest musical creation is for the new game Alwa’s Awakening that is available on Steam, I’ve tried it at several conventions and it’s such a cool little 8bit adventure game with crazy NEStalgia! :D There were loads of other people there as well, it was a blast talking to everybody ^_^
~Last 5 photos are taken by Martin Lindell
The book release was hosted at the newly founded game museum called Stockholms Spelmuseum. Tobias Bjarneby is also behind the creation of this museum :)
The museum was very modern and tidy, a lot of cool consoles and games were on display. Things all the way back from Commodore 64 and Amiga 500 to newer systems like Sega Saturn and Neo Geo AES. There was even a Magnavox Odyssey! I need one of those.. They also had a display of a complete NES SCN collection owned by Lirod, SCN is the mark on all the Nintendo 8-bit games released in Scandinavia by Bergsala.
They also had some cool references on the walls and information about various game developers and gaming history. I thought it was pretty cool to see the now and then screenshots that were framed on the wall. Adventure games from old text-based Zork to the new adventures of Lara Croft in Tomb Rider, or the comparison of an old soccer game to today’s verison of Fifa, and GTA compared to a really old basic racing game.
There was also loads of video game art covering the walls of the museum. Art pieces that really stood out was the embroidered screenshots from famous games by Per Fhager, and the beautiful moving background screenshots from various games on digital displays. I also really liked the silhouettes of game characters that were on the windows, can you recognize them all? ;D
Of course they also had games set up that you could play :D Some arcades, like original Pac-man, consoles and also some newer things like Virtual Reality!
After the book launch party I tagged along with a bunch of friends to the ROQ bar in Stockholm, where the HEY Arcade is located. It was way bigger than I had expected! So many arcade machines, two rooms filled! One of which I completely missed the first evening, but I went back there again on Saturday night ^_^ I finally got to try out Tetris Grand Masters (the third one)! And I also played a lot of Taiko no Tatsujin (the huge Japanese drum game) and Pop n’ Music. I also tried out a weird Japanese game with various minigames based on buttonmashing the correct colors, it was a lot of fun! What was the most fun though was getting to hang out with all my retro gaming friends from all over Sweden that I basically only get to see during these occasions ^_^
At this place they also had a bunch of Pinball machines and you could also play billiards (or is it pool? I never knew the difference).. great place! I will definitely go back the next time I visit Stockholm ^_^ Best part is that they have so many music and rhythm arcade machines, the ones you usually only see in Japan, SO MUCH FUN! :D
I will hopefully get another blog post done tomorrow with all the pics from the Retro Games convention I attended on Saturday ^_^ Stay tuned!