The National Library of Finland has expanded their scope of operations to video games during the past few years. The Library is a close associate to the EFGAMP member Finnish Museum of Games and their current exhibition depicts the development of Finnish games over three centuries.
The displays feature historical board games from the 19th century, rare computer enthusiast magazines from the 1980s as well as a video providing an overview of Finnish video game streaming. Visitors can also try out some of the board and computer games.
The exhibition also shows how the games and their social status has changed over the centuries and how they reflect their own time. There’s also pieces on loan from individuals as well as photographs from museum collections.
The National Library of Finland has been able to preserve remarkable amount of Finnish digital gaming history as the Finnish law obliged the traditional publishers to provide a copy of every single publication to the Library. As the early Finnish software publishers were spin-offs of older publishing houses they automatically sent copies of their computer games to the library archives. The existence of those early computer games in the Library archives was remembered only quite recently and the local software preservationists Kasettilamerit, part of the International Software Preservation Society, were able to digitally rescue and preserve several rare games from untouched, never unboxed original tapes. Many of those are on display at the exhibition.
From Dice to Bytes – 200 Years of Finnish Gaming is on display until 31.12.2019. No entry fee.
The National Library of Finland is located at the very centre of Finland’s capital Helsinki, address Yliopistonkatu 1.