Hackathons in Helsinki

Yesterday I asked what’s up with Finland VR?

I’ve since learned a few things about Helsinki’s VR community, which I’ll share in due course, but first I just have to mention an art installation that showed up about a year ago on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral–1000 cardboard cutouts of Nicki Minaj, prominently featuring her most celebrated anatomical feature.


I’m starting to fall in love with Finland.

On to virtual reality. I heard this morning from Greg Howes, Co-Founder and Board Member of AEC Hackathon. AEC stands for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction, and the organization has hosted sixteen AEC-specific hackathons and fifteen VR hackathons, including two in Finland, with another scheduled for November. This is clearly a huge and worthy undertaking that’s forging international collaborations and spreading VR knowledge world-wide.

I’d also like to say that the AEC Hackathon logo would look totally killer on a leather jacket.

For a taste of what a Helsinki AEC Hackathon is like, bang your head to the following video, compiled from stills taken in June.

Any VR scene that is committed to such righteous guitar riffage has to be doing something right. I asked Greg what Helsinki’s VR community is brilliant at, and he responded, “addictive gaming, being collaborative, and having government support. Plus procedural content and mobile.”

The one term that jumped out to me in this list was procedural content. This means content that’s generated with algorithms. A flashy example of procedurally generated content is No Man’s Sky, a massive space exploration game set to be released on PS4 in five days.

Is anyone in Seattle working on procedurally generated content in VR?

I plan on posting more about Finland’s VR industry the more I learn. I’m coming to admire this Nordic country as one that appreciates big butts, loud guitars, and algorithms. Speaking from the birthplace of “Baby Got Back,” grunge, and Microsoft, this is a culture we in Seattle can enthusiastically embrace.