Northern nerd party makes a comeback: “There is something for everyone”

Charlie Taylor

After two years, Sweden’s largest gaming event is making a comeback and Nordsken in Skellefteå is counting on an audience record. “There will be between 12,500 and 15,000 visitors,” says Dick Hellman, chairman of Nordsken’s Friends. Published: 24 May 2022, 22:31The Northern Lights in Skellefteå has during the last decade established itself as one of the major annual highlights in Spelsverige. But the pandemic has put sticks in the wheels and now it is three years since it was last possible to gather many game lovers in the same place. But during the long weekend, it’s time again – and the organizers are counting on audience records. “In 2019, we were just over 10,000. With the pent-up need that is, I think it is realistic that there will be between 12,500 and 15,000 visitors “, says Dick Hellman. The Northern Lights are divided into two places. The largest part, aimed at the general public, is located in the SHL team Skellefteå AIK’s home arena Skellefteå Kraft Arena. In Skellefteå’s new landmark Sara Kulturhus, the Arctic Game Conference is held, which is more focused on companies. Several big names in the industry are participating, including Agnes Larsson, creative director at Mojang and Fredrik Malmberg, who works for Heroic Signature. There are close to 200 international visitors connected to the gaming industry. “We have always made sure that the deal works for those who come to visit. It should feel natural to meet new business partners in the evenings. We want it to be natural for companies to visit Nordsken, ”says Dick Hellman. Among this year’s attractions are the Swedish Championships in cosplay and a pitch competition where about 20 small gaming companies get the chance to sell their best ideas to the company Global Top Round. ”The qualifying round is open to the public. Normally it takes place in a closed conference room, but we drive from the main stage in Skellefteå Kraft Arena. Anyone can see the games that are perhaps the coolest in three years, ”says Dick Hellman. The gaming event is expected to have an audience record of up to 15,000 visitors.The gaming event is expected to have an audience record of up to 15,000 visitors. Photo: Tristan BavikBut what does The Northern Lights are large in width. Computer games and board games will be played, but there will also be seminars on comic books and literature. “It is a cultural event for popular culture. We have everything from digital games to pinball and role-playing games. We have literature, film and comics “, says Dick Hellman. What will be the highlight depends, according to him, on who you are. The average visitor will be just over 30 years old, but the range is large. “In the beginning we were a youth event, but today families are the typical visitors. Parents with children or grandparents accompanying their grandchildren. We arrange a literature conference, there is an art exhibition and space for contract construction. There is something for everyone and therefore the width of the audience will be large, “says Dick Hellman.” In the pinball hall, however, the average age is quite high, “he adds with a laugh. However, the organizers have chosen not to have lan games (video games with others in the same place in a local network) in the program this year. “We do not think it is inclusive, it takes such a high threshold to get in. We now run digital games and e-sports. We have mobile games and tournaments in various video games and Nintendo, so that everyone can participate “, says Dick Hellman.

Northern Lights

• Nordsken is a game festival that is arranged in Skellefteå annually.
• The first edition took place in 2012 at Scandic hotel in Skellefteå. Now the fair has grown bigger and when this year’s event, the first after a two-year break due to a pandemic and 10-year anniversary, now kicks off in the hockey arena Skellefteå Kraft Arena. • Between 12,500 and 15,000 visitors are expected during the three fair days 26 to 28 May. • In addition to a large hall with exhibitors, seminars and nerd art exhibitions, game tournaments and the Swedish Championship final in cosplay, a concert will be held in Sara Kulturhus where soprano Sabrina Zweiacker performs well-known songs from various computer games, films and TV series. Jens Kärrman

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