Finnish made Kone elevator

Very Finnish Problems Episode 5: When somebody else is in the lift

Finnish made Kone elevator

How does elevator awkwardness in Britain differ from the same in Finland? Joel Willans, author of Very Finnish Problems, asks game studies Ph.D. Aki Järvinen essential questions about migrating to the UK. Co-host Thomas Nybergh is curious about the demoscene and where fake money used inside video games ends up.

Contact: [email protected]

Produced by Thomas Nybergh / Ink Tank Media





Aki on Twitter

Elevators and how they impacted culture

Finnish chapter of IGDA, the International Game Developers Association

The Assembly demoparty

Example of a demo

Journalist Anni Lassila on how cool summers are becoming a privilege

Joel Willans with game studies Ph.D. Aki Järvinen

Joel Willans with game studies Ph.D. Aki Järvinen



Download or subscribe

You can get the show as a direct download.

Get all new episodes automatically by subscribing in your favorite podcast app.

Apple Podcasts / Soundcloud / Stitcher / TuneIn / AcastGoogle Play / RSS


About the show

What’s so weird and wonderful about Finland? British born Joel Willans, creator of Very Finnish Problems, discusses, with a variety of fascinating guests, what he’s learnt after 15 years living in his much-loved, adopted country.

Follow Very Finnish Problems to get all our stuff.

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Title photo by Andrés Moreno

Game start screen for the Finnish My Summer Car driving simulator.

My Summer Car: the insane, annoying and awesome Finnish car simulator that’s taking the world by storm

Game start screen for the Finnish My Summer Car driving simulator.

Right now, one of the oddest computer games ever is hitting the charts straight from the early access program of Steam, the venerable online market place for PC games.

We’re of course referring to My Summer Car, which has sold over 1.5 million euros worth of copies to this date. And the weirdfest part isn’t that the game is sold as a work in progress for fifteen Euros. It’s pretty odd even in the company of other Finnish video games.

Read more

A wild Pikachu appears. Photo by Sadie Hernandez.

Back to school shopping guide: Cheap smartphones that work with Pokemon Go

A wild Pikachu appears. Photo by Sadie Hernandez.

Pokemon Go has taken the entire world by storm, making catching of colorful cartoon monsters the first augmented reality mass phenomenon. So, playful people of all ages are asking themselves how they can get their hands on a smartphone compatible with Pokemon Go for as little money as possible.

Incidentally, the Pokemon craze coincides with this year’s back to school season. This means that a bunch of fairly young kids may ask for smartphones just to keep up with everyone’s favorite pastime. Whether Pokémon go itself justifies buying children smartphones is a separate issue, and it’s hard to blame teachers and schools for trying out policies like handing in phones during school hours.

But what we do know for sure is that smartphones are becoming essential tools, both for acquiring knowledge and social contacts. So, let’s have a look at some cheap, good smartphones and how well they run Pokémon.

Read more

Game on! The 9 most important Finnish video games in history


These days, Finland rules when it comes to mobile games. And yet, many people are surprised to learn that Finland’s gaming culture it a lot older than they think. In fact, the history of Finnish gaming, and the roots of today’s success can be traced all the way back to the early 80s.

With the introduction of home computers, many tech-savvy Finns found a new hobby in creating games for the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore 64. Programming for these computers was easy, and unlike the games of today which require huge teams, a single person was able to create gaming magic. Counterfeits of popular games were common, but there was plenty of originality and experimentation to be found in games of this era.


The spirit of individual experimentation evolved into a thriving demoscene, which laid the groundwork for commercial success. Many of Finland’s rising stars, such as Terramarque and Bloodhouse, got their start in the tight-knit demoscene. Once Nokia’s mobile devices hit the scene in the late 90s, Finland’s position within the game industry rose exponentially, and the rest is history.

But, which were the games that helped put Finland on the map? Let’s take a trip down gaming memory lane and have a look.

Read more