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GO Finland

Hyvä käytäntö on julkaistu alunperin ERYICAn julkaisussa SHEryica - Good Practice in Youth Information (2017).

GO Finland – Digital game familiarises young people with Finnishness

GO Finland is a digital game on JIBBO’s website. The game is directed at young immigrants and asylum seekers. Its goal is to familiarise them with Finnishness. The project is funded by a grant from the Ministry of Education and started in
March 2016.

Over the past year, many asylum seekers have come to the region of Seinäjoki, and there are also lots of foreign students living here. Like every culture, Finnish culture is different and there are lots of new things to learn. We wanted to think of inspiring ways to teach conventions of Finnish culture to these youngsters and help them to adjust to their new environment. Digital youth information was the theme in 2016 and we had never tried a digital game before, so it was an easy decision.

Our project started by searching for a suitable game developer, and ideally we wanted to employ a young person for the role. In this we succeeded, and the development of the game took three months during the summer, so was an ideal summer job. At the same time, we gathered ideas for the game content, with the help of a specialised youth worker and her clients. We asked these young people, who are already accustomed to life in Finland, about different aspects of life in Finland. The contents of GO Finland (questions and answers) were created based on these answers.

The game language of GO Finland is English, therefore as many youngsters as possible can play it. There are five different scenes in the game: people, manners, services, school and nature. In every scene, there are 4 to 6 different objects to find and different questions to answer. After answering, the player gets feedback or the right answer. The player can play all scenes through at one time or pick the most interesting ones.

Three weeks after the release of the game, about 100 players have played the game. We have also received some user feedback via the game site that has been encouraging:

“I liked that the tasks are all a little bit different. It gives variety and makes you wonder what will be on the next object.”
“The illustrations are really nice, especially the one of the Nature.”
“A really nice game, which is worth to play when you want to know more about Finland and understand Finns. It definitely is a better method to learn those facts with the game than just to read them.”

This project continues with active marketing. We hope that it will reach its target group and grows into a very good practice of youth information.