Sweden Unveils Game Culture Canon Highlighting 15 Culturally Significant Games

Apps & Games / Sweden Unveils Game Culture Canon Highlighting 15 Culturally Significant Games
10 Jul 2024

Sweden's Game Culture Canon: A Celebration of Digital Artistry

Sweden's games trade body, Dataspelsbranschen, has unveiled its Game Culture Canon, a curated list that aims to underscore the cultural significance of video games as forms of art and expression. This initiative highlights 15 games that hold "deep significance in Swedish culture," selected by a jury of industry leaders, historians, and academics from hundreds of titles nominated by the public.

The creation of the Games Culture Canon is part of Sweden's Minister for Culture Parisa Liljestrand's broader plans to develop an official culture canon for the country, announced last December. The selected games include globally renowned titles such as Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, Goat Simulator, The Battle of Polytopia, and It Takes Two.

In a conversation with GamesIndustry.biz, the heads of Midjiwan and Hazelight, alongside representatives from Dataspelsbranschen, discussed the rapid growth of the Swedish games industry. "Games should be recognized as culture for several reasons," said Dataspelsbranschen's spokesperson Per Strömbäck. "Games are culture to the players, who relate to them in similar ways as audiences in other art forms. The same goes for game developers who have the same drivers as other creators: the will to express, create something new, and communicate with their audience. Games also reflect the world we live in and have a rich history which is now being recognized by museums and other institutions. For these reasons, we think it is fitting that games have a canon, too."

The full list of Sweden's Game Culture Canon is as follows:

  • Amnesia – The Dark Descent (Frictional Games)
  • BackPacker (Tati Mixedia)
  • Battlefield 1942 (DICE)
  • The Battle of Polytopia (Midjiwan)
  • Budget Cuts (Neat Corporation)
  • Candy Crush Saga (King)
  • Europa Universalis (Paradox Interactive)
  • It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios)
  • Goat Simulator (Coffee Stain Studios)
  • Ground Control (Massive Entertainment)
  • Minecraft (Mojang)
  • Sayonara Wildhearts (Simogo)
  • Star Stable Online (Star Stable Entertainment)
  • Stugan (Kimmo Eriksson, Viggo Kann, Olle E Johansson)
  • Toca Tea Party (Toca Boca)

This initiative not only celebrates the artistic achievements within Sweden's gaming industry but also acknowledges the profound impact these games have had on both local and global scales. By recognizing video games as a legitimate cultural medium, Sweden continues to lead the way in embracing digital artistry and innovation.

Update: 10 Jul 2024