Heikki Tyni

Heikki has worked in Game Research Lab since 2010. His background is in University of Lapland media science studies and he is one the researchers in Gamelab to have graduated from Hypermedia Master’s Degree programme. His Master’s Thesis studied downloadable content model in console games and since then his focus has been on the workings of game and toy industries.

Keywords: Game industry, marketing practices, toy industry, toy design, player studies

Jaakko Stenros

Jaakko Stenros started at Game Research Lab in June 2006. His background is in sociology. He worked in numerous both national and international research projects. He spends his free time with role-playing games and comic books.

Keywords: pervasive games, role-playing, role-playing games, larp, social games, sociability, party games, player experience


Olli Sotamaa

Olli Sotamaa is a founding member of the Game Research Lab. He completed his PhD on players’ productive practices among computer game cultures in 2009. His postdoctoral work has focused on cultures of game development, exploring the global and local characteristics of video game industry. His publications cover user-generated content, player cultures, player-centred research methods, and cultural and historical analysis of game industry. Sotamaa has published in and edited special issues for several scholarly journals including Convergence, Fibreculture, First Monday, Games and Culture, Game Studies, International Journal of Arts and Technology, and Simulation and Gaming. His current research interests include co-production, creative labour and independent gaming scenes.


Timo Nummenmaa

Timo Nummenmaa has been at the Game Research Lab since 2007 and received his PhD in computer science from the University of Tampere in 2013. His PhD thesis focused on utilizing executable formal specifications in game design and development. Additionally, his research also revolves around hybrid experiences, pervasive games, playfulness, game evolution and gamification.

Keywords: formal methods, game design, game development, playfulness, gamification, hybrid experiences, pervasive games, game evolution

Jonna Koivisto

Jonna Koivisto is a researcher and a PhD student at the Game Research Lab. Her research focuses on the phenomenon of gamification. Currently, Jonna works on research projects related to gamification, business and consumer behavior.

Keywords: Gamification


Jani Kinnunen

Jani Kinnunen started at Game Research Lab in January 2007. Since then he has been working in numerous reserach projects on gambling and games in social networks. His background is in social sciences and especially in sociology and media culture.

Keywords: gambling, social networks, social games, online communities

Juho Karvinen

Juho Karvinen is a researcher and PhD student, who entered Game Research Lab in 2009 to work as a research assistant in a population-wide Player Barometer survey. Research topics since include innovation in game industry, gender roles related to information technology and problematic gaming. He is a generalist with broad interests and a master’s degree in sociology, and finds himself at home in fields like science and technology studies, social theory and game studies. He has a bit peculiar interest in Japanese role-playing games, particularly the SNES era.

Keywords: player studies, problematic gaming, addiction, social theory, gender roles, innovation

Juho Hamari

Dr. Juho Hamari’s research covers several forms of information technologies such as games, motivational information systems (e.g. gamification, game-based learning, persuasive technologies), new media (social networking services, online video streaming, eSports), peer-to-peer economies (sharing economy, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing), and virtual economies. Dr. Hamari has authored several seminal empirical and theoretical scholarly articles on these topics from perspective of consumer behavior, human-computer interaction, game studies and information systems science. His research has been published in variety of respected journals such as Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, International Journal of Information Management, Computers in Human Behavior, Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, Simulation & Gaming as well as in books published by e.g. MIT Press.

Kati Alha

Kati Alha has been at the Game Researh Lab since 2008 and she is one of the first reserachers there who graduated from Hypermedia Master’s Degree programme. On her free time she uses her time in gaming, reading, watching movies, and collecting games and game consoles.

Keywords: free-to-play, social network games, game history, innovation

Frans Mäyrä


Frans Mäyrä, PhD, is the Professor of Information Studies and Interactive Media, with specialization in digital culture and game studies in the University of Tampere, Finland. He is heading the University of Tampere Game Research Lab, and has taught and studied digital culture and games from the early 1990s. He is widely consulted as an expert in socio-cultural issues relating to games, play and playfulness. His research interests range from game cultures, meaning making through playful interaction and online social play, to borderlines, identity, as well as transmedial fantasy and science fiction.

Janne Paavilainen

Janne Paavilainen started games research in University of Jyväskylä in 2003 by evaluating the usability of Nokia N-Gage. Janne joined the ranks of Gamelab as a project manager in 2006 and since then he has done research on mobile, casual, and social games. Most recently focusing on free-to-play games, Janne has acted as the project manager in Free2Play-project and is doing his PhD on free-to-play games in social network services. Occasionally, Janne gets involved in research projects about educational games and new technology. Janne can be currently found somewhere in the battlefields of Armored Warfare.

Annakaisa Kultima


Annakaisa Kultima started at Game Research Lab in September 2006 and has since then managed a number of research projects and courses. Her research has been concentrating on game design research and especially on the creative practices of game developers and the role of ideas. Other topical interests has been for instance casual turn in games and hybrid playful experiences. She is an active member of game jamming community and runs a non-profit organization Finnish Game Jam ry. On her freetime she plays tug of war with her dog, goes to movies and travels as much as she can afford. She is also responsible for the Game Research Lab graphic design.


J. Tuomas Harviainen – publications
Maria Alaoja
Inger Ekman – publications
Laura Ermi – publications
Martin Harmala
Satu Heliö – publications
Mika Isomaa
Anu Jäppinen – publications
Aki Järvinen – publications
Kirsikka Kaipainen – publications
Kirsi Pauliina Kallio – publications
Tero Karppi – publications
Jussi Kuittinen – publications
Juha Köönikkä – publications
Jussi Lahti – publications
Petri Lankoski – publications
Tero Laukkanen – publications
Mikko Malinen
Tiina Malinen
Johannes Niemelä – publications
Jani Nummela – publications
Eetu Paloheimo – publications
Erkka Rautio – publications
Hannamari Saarenpää – publications
Tuuli Saarinen
Tanja Sihvonen – publications
Mikko Svartsjö – publications
Antti Syvänen – publications
Saara Toivonen – publications
Chienting Weng