I’ve never touched snow. I’ve traveled to a number of cold and even Nordic countries but never got the chance, as my visits were always short on time due to business. When I share this quip with locals, a few of them smile then drop a smirk saying, “you have no idea what real cold feels like.”
Quite true. When terrible winter storms hit Nordic countries, everything stops as they all hunker down in their houses and use tactics mastered over centuries to survive and thrive under the harshest of conditions. The fertile soil was always insufficient together with choices of crops as well as their storage. Being caught in the open with the simple lack of protective clothing can cause harm and even death. Much more so, when bodies of water or even rain come into play — and, of course, there is snow.
It is absolutely a tiresome and vicious circle that they’ve navigated through generations, yet most of them stand royal and prosperous.
Meanwhile, we in the tropics can pluck fruit and spit out seeds only to have it grow without much thought. If we run out of that, we can turn to a nearby puddle and find such colorful creatures to catch. When caught out in the open under an insufferable midday sun, we run to shade or snap out an umbrella.
While typhoons do cause perennial damage and also death, it is an expectation we can actually build better defenses and resiliency upon since these only last for a short number of days. But that against a blizzard and months of endless white powder seems too daunting to me.
Through all these perpetual climate hardships, the Nordics have become such a sturdy people, with the highest regard for education and the deepest appreciation for technologies.
Casting a spotlight on Finland, which not only boasts being Santa’s hometown but also lays claim as the great accelerator of mobile phones, especially the games that we all now play, which reside in them. Before the recent rise of China in mobile gaming, they’ve always been known as the mobile game capital of the world. To this day, gaming companies occupy the top two tax-paying companies in the country.
Besides gaming tech, they’ve also been able to raise massive industries in parallel technologies with a paltry population of five million residing in a landmass as large as ours.
As game history goes, everyone knows that they did not create video games. But they saw its growth in the ‘90s given its potential for their entertainment as they are usually trapped in their homes for months under the said harsh climate.
“ Now, our winter has come. The new “climate” brought about by the pandemic has required us to hunker down in our homes and adapt to a required regimen of protective clothing and ways of life. Everything has changed and will remain so. ”
So they bought the consoles, tore them apart and learned how these devices worked from the inside out. Armed with this knowledge, they improved on it and drafted it into Nokia products when the opportunity came knocking.
They answered that knock, laid in more ingenuity and eventually hatched into the humongous global mobile game industry, which is now valued at a measly $77 billion.
The winter has come
Now, our winter has come. The new “climate” brought about by the pandemic has required us to hunker down in our homes and adapt to a required regimen of protective clothing and ways of life. Everything has changed and will remain so.
“ Global game revenue rose anywhere from 30 to 70 percent, depending on genres. This spills over more requirements (meaning business) to the game service sector, which has driven demand for new content to answer the signs of the times. ”
As work was locked down, we in the game development industry found it easy to retreat home and continue our work. We did not need to be clever, for we are already grounded in digital and can endure the harshest conditions of Philippine internet and political turmoil, even until the end of the year under this work-from-home setup.
We can survive this. In fact, global game revenue rose anywhere from 30 to 70 percent depending on genres. This spills over more requirements (meaning business) to the game service sector, which has driven demand for new content to answer the signs of the times.
“ But change has come and it may be time to reconsider that “virtual” ambition as this winter is global and — by the look of things — can go on for a long spell. And as bad as things will get, many will always say that an equal amount of opportunities will always rise. ”
As early as 2014, many of those in the local game industry dabbled into devices and up-and-coming technologies in the augmented and virtual reality fields. I personally saw over a war chest invested over years in concepts and new ventures, but could not find an “Angry Bird” in its aftermath.
Reality bit and we soon dropped that expansion and stuck to proven processes into proven markets, claiming it was 10 years too early for the rest of the world to catch up on our proclivities.
But change has come and it may be time to reconsider that “virtual” ambition as this winter is global and — by the look of things — can go on for a long spell. And as bad as things will get, many will always say that an equal amount of opportunities will always rise. In our case, it could be in virtual or augmented reality.
So as we now move forward, it begs the question, what do we do with it? Cleverness, ingenuity, and bravado usually come matched with the exuberance of youth, especially in my industry. My family status, age bracket, economic (middle) class, and practical side call me to simply endure and feel blessed to even have a job at this point.
Then again, going against the grain landed me in this industry, which, at its very core, lays creativity. It deserves another push. You should, too.
P.S. I still want to touch snow.
Edited by Janvic Mateo