RISE GameNode - a virtual environment for the gaming industry
GameNode is a virtual test and demo environment for the gaming industry located at RISE. The purpose is to be able to act as a catalyst and arena for actors linked to the computer game industry
About the computer game industry
The Swedish computer game industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country and in 2021 had a global turnover of more than 58 billion. The gaming industry makes up a total of 4.1% of all of Sweden's service exports. At the same time, there are major shortcomings in the ecosystem and infrastructure around the industry, which does not have the same strong position at all. Research is neglected and underfunded and the public support system is limited. Structural challenges around exports, training places, labour migration and development support mean that the industry's growing pains are becoming increasingly evident. RISE therefore wants, by virtue of its mission to strengthen Swedish competitiveness, to release a larger part of the potential that exists in the gaming industry and take advantage of the positive spill effects that also exist for other industries through games and gaming methodology.
Take a moment to take part of the insights from the project Kraftsamling dataspelsbranschen
Kraftsamling dataspelsbranschen - en rapport om svensk spelindustri
Around the country, often linked to incubators, higher education institutions and active municipalities, there are gaming hubs that in various ways work locally and regionally to strengthen game development and the game industry. With RISE GameNode, a national meeting place is established for all these different actors where incubators as well as gaming hubs, higher education institutions, industry actors, education providers, authorities and public actors can participate for knowledge exchange, pilots, joint projects and external analysis. Through its position, RISE can gather different actors and use its expertise and organization to strengthen the network and the industry's development. Membership in the network takes place after dialogue with RISE and is for actors who work for the development of the gaming industry in various forms.
RISE is a member of the Swedish Game Research Council, a newly formed organization which purpose is to gather Swedish game research relating to many disciplines from computer science to media, design, entrepreneurship and innovation. Together with 11 higher education institutions, the Swedish Gaming Research Council works to make game research visible and strengthen the opportunities for funding in the area. The research can drive new opportunities, strengthen innovation and contribute to the industry's growth and understanding of the phenomenon of games.
Read more about the Swedish Gaming Research Council here.
Development projects and pilots
In collaboration with partners from the network, RISE can carry out pilots and development projects, both with the aim of creating a transfer to the needs of other industries such as digital health and the production industry, and to develop the infrastructure and ecosystem around the gaming industry and its surrounding actors. By collaborating, RISE will be able to contribute to strengthening the development of a strong and stable industry. One such project is Kraftsamling Dataspelsbranschen, a pilot funded by Vinnova with the aim of strengthening local-regional-national collaboration, which has also formed the basis for the decision to establish RISE GameNode
Games and the climate
The computer game industry has a very low production impact on the climate compared to industries of the same size. Since the industry is completely digital, there is a lack of physical raw materials and the energy consumption consists of servers and computers in the manufacture and use of the products. Games can also be used to illustrate and understand complex issues around circular systems and sustainability and can thus be of great benefit in the work with a more sustainable society.
Games and the labour market
One of the most interesting areas for gaming is its ability to create new jobs, not least outside the big cities. It is an international phenomenon that it is not uncommon for it to be rather in smaller and medium-sized cities that the development of the gaming industry becomes really strong, although the larger companies are often located in larger cities. But 82% of Sweden's gaming companies are micro or small businesses and in practice, a new game studio can be started in any rural area with minimal establishment cost. This makes the industry interesting to study even from a rural perspective.
Games and learning
Games have always been used as a model for learning. Through its immersive nature, where you as a player, steps in to a game world or a game mechanic, special structures and rules arise where you can try and test to solve problems alone or together. This interactive way is more vibrant and flexible than many traditional forms of learning and it is therefore not unexpected that games are interesting to study in the context of lifelong learning to see how games can be used more and further.
Games and culture
From mobile games on the bus to complex strategy games for hours in front of the computer, games not only constitute an industry and commercial potential but are also an important component of Swedish culture, not least among younger target groups. Games are used to understand, express and influence our time and society. It has a broad impact in many age groups and for many different purposes. Educational games for children, e-sports and LAN for young people, as well as games as artistic cultural expressions are all parts of the games' cultural impact. Games affect, touch, change and refine the way we live, act and socialize together. Games are also very much a co-creative form of culture in which the collaborative element has a big role to play. With this, of course, also come challenges, where games reflect and reinforce problems we see in the rest of society: inclusion, gender equality, bullying and exclusion. Games are an integral and obvious part of many Swedes' everyday lives, for fun, entertainment or as a lifestyle.
A digital basic industry
In addition to the industry's own justification by virtue of its strength, growth and potential for jobs, the game industry also generates positive spillovers on other industries. Games have also aroused interest in the production industry and the technologies that are developed often gain an early foothold in the gaming world, for example through visualization, AI, blockchain technology and AR / VR. This means that other industries through collaborations or skills and knowledge transfer can take part in achievements in the gaming area. The opportunity for recruitment and development of the production industrial business is also very strong, and around the incubators and gaming clusters that are emerging there are also other technology companies with increased innovation power and development. The potential for cross-fertilization is estimated to be very large
In the 1800s, the forest was one of Sweden's largest exports. During the 1900s, the Swedish steel industry grew to new heights. What will be the great export success of the 2000s? The gaming industry is a candidate where Sweden is already one of the world's leading nations with a good reputation, several big brands and many successes. The industry is well established and Sweden has long been successful in several areas linked to digital services. If the industry can also strengthen other parts of the value chain than production itself, such as distribution, publishing and tool development, Sweden can quickly become a strong player.
To get in touch with RISE GameNode, contact one of our representatives below.
Virtual testbeds (VT)
Digital infrastructure, Digitalisation, Professional education