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  1. #1
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    The Scandinavian Question

    I stopped to think about some PC game developers that are doing things I find interesting. And then I did a double-take. DICE, Mojang, Paradox, CCP... They're all in Scandinavia. Specifically, Sweden, although CCP is a literal and figurative outlier all the way out there in Iceland. All of these companies are characterized by what can be called risk-taking behavior, a willingness to pursue a vision to its logical extremes. Obviously the examples I've named are just the most wildly successful guys out there in the frozen north. For example in Sweden, according to the industry-specific list (http://www.swedishgamesindustry.com/...evelopers.aspx) there's something like 100-ish companies and about 1,100 actual people doing the developing.

    So what I really want to know is, why do so many great games and ideas keep coming out of this area of the world? Is it like Uwe Boll and the German government? Is there some kind of educational center cranking out a new generation of programming geniuses with a ton of free time on their hands? A social club? The possibilities are endless.

  2. #2
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    Maybe i's the cold weather and Socialism.

    But seriously I have no idea.

  3. #3
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    Don't forget Eastern Europe and Russia.

  4. #4
    Network Hub Taidan's Avatar
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    Settle them all in Madagascar and be done with it.

    What? Ohhhh, that question.

    I have no idea, but there is definitely something about the Scandinavian character that I have a deep admiration for. I played WoW for about five years from launch, and did a fair bit of dirty Guild hopping along the way. Learned a lot about how different parts of Europe work.

    Italians, for example... Well, they're the absolute scum of the earth. Pathologically dishonest, if they think they can cheat somebody and get away with it they will try, every single time. They're usually also the first to try and assign blame when something goes wrong, very loudly, whether it's their fault or not. Sounds like an unfair generalization, but if somebody's first question upon joining your party/raid is "Ita?", then there's at least a 90% chance that sort of behaviour will follow.

    The British seem to be a bit of a wild-card. Generally honest, but the younglings are uncontrollable. They need good leadership to get the best out them of them, otherwise they seem to fall foul of general apathy. Tolerance for frustration varies wildly, normally depending on differing levels of inebriation/nicotine.

    Uh, back on topic...

    The Swedish and the Norwiggers, on the other hand, are absolutely delightful people to play that sort of game with. They're incredibly laid back, but they get s**t done. They approach even the worst f**k-ups with a sense of humour, then keep going. Fearless, too.

    Best WoW Raiding I ever did was with Scandinavian players, I absolutely wouldn't want to run the really difficult stuff with anybody else.

    I'm imagining something of that character helps with game development, too.
    Last edited by Taidan; 03-10-2011 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Spelling

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shane View Post
    Don't forget Eastern Europe and Russia.
    Well, that would certainly lead credence to the "cold weather and socialism" aspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taidan View Post
    What? Ohhhh, that question.

    [snip]
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Wow, Taidan. Strong stuff. I vote you spin off a "national character of online gamers" thread and see how long it takes before Jom locks it down.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    I can't tell if Taidan is being tongue in cheek or not (and I'm staying the hell away from those comments on Italians) .... but I do kind of agree with him on the Norwegians, Not to make sweeping generalisations but in my experience they are less prone to outbursts of rage and are calm under pressure (when playing online games), I always figured it was something to do with the compulsory military service.

    As for the 'why are these countries making awesome pc games' I know in russia and parts of eastern europe where it's down to the fact there are basically a lot more PCs than consoles, is there a similar cultural thing in Scandinavian countries, that mean PC gaming is more ingrained?
    I write about them video games at these locations

    And on Twitter

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus thegooseking's Avatar
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    Nerdiness has never really had the stigma in Nordic cultures that it has in other cultures (to the point that the Swedish government itself actually runs LARPs), so there's that.
    Last edited by thegooseking; 03-10-2011 at 01:27 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Taidan View Post
    Sounds like an unfair generalization
    Yes.

    ......

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Wait... I thought we were angry with DICE and CCP? DICE because of (insert something about BF3) and CCP because of the entire money clothes consoles thing.

  11. #11
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    I had a Norwegian housemate, and a university course filled with them. They (Scandinavians) are awesome people, they are laid back but passionate about their favourite things, which leads to the marvellous, characterful worlds and attention to detail in their games.

  12. #12
    Network Hub Taidan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icupnimpn2 View Post
    Wow, Taidan. Strong stuff. I vote you spin off a "national character of online gamers" thread and see how long it takes before Jom locks it down.
    Hmmm. Apart from my sweeping condemnation of an entire country based wholly upon how they interact with others in a online fantasy RPG, (SRSBZNS, yo.) and my own completely biased views on the Welsh, I think I'm almost done with the subject. ;)

    The "Italians thing", though... Yes, I can only imagine it looks terrible to the uninitiated. Let's say "Absolute scum of the Earth" was a bit out of order on my part, and substitute the term "massive cultural divide on issues regarding honesty, fair play and respect for others".

    Forget Horde vs. Alliance. If you wanted to see bloodshed and warfare, it would be what went on between the Italians and "Every Other European Country" in Dalaran Chat during the the weekends and evenings on Runetotem. The levels of verbal carnage between the two groups was epic, in a word, and that's in an environment were people had a lot to lose in terms of potentially getting a permanent ban for racism.

    I wish I'd saved transcripts of the general chat on my server, or could invite them all here to comment or something.
    Last edited by Taidan; 03-10-2011 at 02:30 PM. Reason: grammar

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taidan View Post
    The "Italians thing", though... Yes, I can only imagine it looks terrible to the uninitiated. Let's say "Absolute scum of the Earth" was a bit out of order on my part, and substitute the term "massive cultural divide on issues regarding honesty, fair play and respect for others".
    "Those Italians aren't pure monsters,per se; they're merely liars and thieves!"

    If you want to see bloodshed and warfare, you don't play WoW. If you want to see internet drama, guess what: Every server had an epic level of dramalulz. Hell, mine had an unreasoning hatred of Argentinians and a community 200+ large of ERPers.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  14. #14
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Maybe the very best people produced by each culture or nation aren't playing WoW at any given moment?

  15. #15
    Network Hub Taidan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Hell, mine had an unreasoning hatred of Argentinians
    Well, after watching them play football during the World Cup, I'd say they're pretty much in the same boat as the Italians... ;)

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icupnimpn2 View Post
    Maybe the very best people produced by each culture or nation aren't playing WoW at any given moment?
    I think a more succinct version of that would be, "people suck." I mean, sure, those people suck, but also these people. We're unified in our suckitude!
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Thegooseking basically has it right. There's a certain ingrained nerdiness in our cultures. Lots of government and social investment in technology industries and education have had an effect as well and it's a relatively wealthy region where people value free time and a "do-it-yourself" attitude which will have helped the indie scene, I'm sure.

    Having awful weather most of the year sure encourages staying indoors and playing/making games too.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus pakoito's Avatar
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    I can't believe nobody has bashed Spain in this thread yet.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakoito View Post
    I can't believe nobody has bashed Spain in this thread yet.
    We kind of assumed it was a given.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taidan View Post
    The Swedish and the Norwiggers, on the other hand, are absolutely delightful people to play that sort of game with. They're incredibly laid back, but they get s**t done. They approach even the worst f**k-ups with a sense of humour, then keep going. Fearless, too.
    Absolutely agree with this. It's really great fun playing with them, you don't see the irritability and arrogance that is otherwise rampant in online gaming, in these guys.

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