Our ICT team was invited to visit and learn about Vectorama, a LAN gaming event that took place in Oulu at 9.–12.6.2022. I went with Katariina to Oulu Hall, where the event was held – and all in all it was really impressive. There were some 600 players, and a significant number of booths organized by relevant stakeholders in gaming industry, or other organizations working with the theme and the youth.
The large LAN party looked very stylish, containing a variety of activities for attendees to join. The lack of events and gatherings during the past two years could be noticed in vibrant discussion groups where people seemed to be very happy to meet each other face to face after such a long time of only online connections.
The head of the organizing party, Tapio Haapala, gave us a comprehensive introduction to the event, informing us about the history and development of Vectorama, all the way from the first event organized in the year 2000 to the current LAN party. The direction of development seems to be evolving the event to act as a platform for relevant actors and other smaller events that suit well into the party. OSAO (vocational education institution in Oulu) is perhaps the most important stakeholder and collaborating instance for Vectorama. In this year’s event, OSAO students had a big role in the actual building and organizing tasks, but also in providing very important contents for the event. For example, it was nice to see the launch and world premiere of LAN-game called Cyberstorm, developed by OSAO students.
Mr. Haapala described the development of LAN gaming events as waves, growing heavily at times and then also taking a few steps backwards in others. Earlier, for instance, the popularization of fast home internet connections decreased the demand for LAN events. Same happened again during the hardest covid periods. Still, overall the development has been positive, and the need for social get-togethers and bigger events is apparent.
The future for Vectorama and similar events looks good. One activity boosting the popularity of LAN gaming in general, and this kind of events, is the streaming of games. In Vectorama one could witness several video game live streamers simultaneously reporting and commentating the event in a very professional way. This creates dynamic interaction to the larger communities and raises interest as new games and publications appear. We hope this excellent event lives on and develops here in Oulu. It is worthwhile for anyone to take a closer look at the gaming scene and learn about the active communities the members are building.
See you in Oulu at Vectorama 2023!
P.S. For once, I didn’t feel too old, as the ages of the attendees varied from teenagers to more senior players. LAN gaming truly moves masses from all age groups.
Jussi Leponiemi, the Key Account director of ICT sector in BusinessOulu