Norse mythology in video games : part of immanent Nordic regional branding

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Title: Norse mythology in video games : part of immanent Nordic regional branding
Author: Lasausse, Lysiane
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta, Maailman kulttuurien laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of World Cultures
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för världens kulturer
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: alue- ja kulttuurintutkimus
Area and Cultural Studies
Region- och kulturstudier
Abstract: An estimated 2,5 billion players in 2017, 143 billion revenues by 2020, video games have conquered the market and the homes of almost half the population. Often considered a niche media, recent figures prove that the market keeps on growing. When looking at it from a marketing point of view, video games appear to be the golden goose. Nation branding is all about marketing: selling the best of one’s nation to other nations to attract investors, tourists, brains and technology. Why then, not consider video games as a mean to brand a nation? With such a large scale of influence and potential, one could argue video games seem like the perfect opportunity to make a nation known. Norse mythology did not -and does not- have that many supporters, but its influence is far-reaching: in movies, books, series and video games, it has been a source of inspiration for decades. Video games with Norse elements have been quite popular, especially since 2015. Couldn’t Norse mythology be a mean to brand the Nordic countries? Does present-day nation branding in the Nordic countries use Norse elements: numerous gods, myths, importance of nature, folk traditions, history…? Using empirical research and specific video games research approach, the study determines the unique place of video games in the nation imaging and nation branding context. Relying on an interview as well as articles and player’s reviews, the study offers a scope of research both social and professional on video games, their impact in the community, and the message they convey. As Norse mythology is a part of Nordic culture, and is also integrated in numerous games, the study focuses on this aspect within the video games to look for a connection between the modern technique of nation branding and the older concept of mythology and folklore, and its importance in the image of Nordic countries, within and without the region.
Subject: Video games
Norse mythology
nation branding
national image

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