The Boden Gamecamp ecosystem creates new opportunities
With educations, internships, jobs and development opportunities, Boden Gamecamp is building an ecosystem that provides new opportunities for Boden.
- The gaming industry is one of Boden's main growth strategies for creating more educations and jobs. It is an industry that is growing incredibly fast, says Mattias Bergqvist, business developer at Boden Business Park.
It was in 2017 that Mattias Bergqvist was asked to start building a gaming industry in Boden.
- We had no given conditions at all and it was an extremely exciting challenge to start with a blank paper and build an industry from scratch. That's why it feels fantastic now to see how far we have come in just four years, he says.
In the autumn of 2021, a high school education with a focus on games, and three new game educations on a Higher Vocational Education level, will start in Boden.
- We will have between 180 and 200 students studying games here in Boden. About 80 percent of the students come from southern Sweden and 10 percent from other parts of the world, while 10 percent come from Boden's immediate area, says Emil Sandberg, business developer at Boden Business Park.
Bert-Olov Ström, head of upper secondary school at Björknäsgymnasiet in Boden, says that upper secondary education in Boden must be planned from three perspectives: the students' wishes, the industry's wishes and the thoughts about where the development of the future labor market will take place.
- The GameDev education is a very good example of the third perspective, he says.
- The digitalisation of our society is something we have only seen the beginning of so far. The training we offer students within the framework of GameDev gives them knowledge and skills that will be in demand in a number of areas in the future. The gaming industry is just one of these areas. Visualizing and digitizing their business is something that we are convinced that the vast majority of industries will devote a lot of time and energy to over the next decade.
- The education we now offer has come about in dialogue with the game development industry and is completely in line with one of the development areas that are prioritized within the municipality of Boden. It is with great joy and excitement that we look forward to welcoming the very first students to Björknäsgymnasiet and Boden Business Park this autumn.
Boden is today the northernmost town for the gaming industry in Sweden. Through the Boden Gamecamp ecosystem, completely new opportunities are created for people to get involved in the gaming industry, with all that that entails in terms of gaming and web development, and at the same time create a life in northern Sweden.
- Boden has very good conditions for infrastructure and thanks to a determined strategy, we really see how things are going in the right direction. This is a goal-oriented municipality with many committed gaming companies and we also see how surrounding industries and companies get involved. We are constantly working to create an understanding of the gaming industry's many opportunities and now see an increased awareness of how to complement old, existing industries via gaming expertise, says Bert-Olov Ström.
The cutting-edge expertise in game development has contributed to taking the world to Boden. Emil Sandberg develops:
- Our work is largely, almost 90 percent, international. In a normal year, without a pandemic, we usually get two or three foreign visits every month. Even though this is a young industry, it has been obvious from an early age with diversity and gender equality, and to be able to collaborate wherever you are. This industry collaborates across continents, countries and seas, and it also makes it easy and natural to collaborate across borders, even nationally.
The goal is to become even bigger and be an established player in game development in Sweden.
- With a large portion of common sense, we have built this from the ground up and created meeting places for people and entrepreneurs who see the opportunity in being close to students and the talent that is here. In this way, we have got companies to establish themselves here in Boden, Mattias Bergqvist adds.
Boden Gamecamp also creates completely new conditions for young people to stay in Boden, and for new residents to move in.
- It is very important for us to, as a small town, be close and urgent for those who stay, and who move here. To create conditions where a good working life can be woven together with a good life, concludes Emil Sandberg.