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Olli Sotamaa: Sustainable Data Practices as Part of the Game Industry

Published on 8.6.2023
Tampere University
Henkilökuva Olli Sotamaasta
Olli Sotamaa is a Professor of Game Culture Studies at the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences. He is interested in how data analytics and various data-related practices are utilized in modern game development.

“Game studios offer an interesting and rapidly changing example of modern data culture. Game companies collect, archive, and analyze various types of data as part of their everyday practices. In addition to the data pertaining to the players collected through games, data is also sourced from social media, distribution platforms, and ad networks.” 

According to Sotamaa, various types of data have become so integrated with modern society and business that the systems based on said data are often taken as granted. At the same time, however, data is also linked with strong views and in some cases even prejudices. In his research, Sotamaa aims to identify sustainable data practices. 

“In addition to game development, studying the data-related practices used in the game industry helps us understand modern forms of data work and their impact on our ideas of game culture, creativity, and identity.” 

According to Sotamaa, it is clear that data will permanently change the everyday work of gaming sector employees. In extreme cases, utilization of data analytics may even call an individual's creative abilities and professional identity into question.  

“The challenge posed by the data-driven approach and automation is that we lose the significance and autonomy of the work. It is essential to ensure that data does not increase work-related inequality, and that the decisions we make allow us to ensure sustainable conditions for creative work in the future as well.” 

Olli Sotamaa's contact information