the story about “generation 64”

retro_jimmywilhelmsson_1900

Sweden is today a succesful gaming nation. This nation houses studios like Mojang, King, DICE, and Massive Entertainment – with games like Minecraft, Candy Crush Saga, the Battlefield-series, and World in Conflict.

A story untold

Every time I got in contact with a gaming startup – with founders born in the 70s or early 80s – I eventually found myself in a discussion around a home computer called Commodore 64. Nostalgia and memories quickly evolved into a tale about how their careers once began.

C64_old

The Commodore 64

And this was not only limited to people working in the gaming industry; creative people within all sectors and genres seemed to have one big background in common that centered around a brownish little breadbox with 64 kilobytes under the hood.

Turned out that there was an untold tale about the origin of the successful IT-, music-, and gaming industry in Sweden.

It all started with a Commodore 64

More games, apps, and innovations than ever originate from Sweden – but few know how it all started in the 80’s with an underground social community of young Swedes who built their lives around the world’s best selling personal computer, namely the Commodore 64.

These people are now grown-ups, but as teenagers they turned their knowledge of the machines into ways of networking, creating, distributing, and entertaining. They cracked games, they formed teams and alliances for file and knowledge sharing – and they hosted serious competitions where the winners were admired for their ability to make the machine do whatever they wanted it to do.

And some …some just stayed up all night and played games.

Where others saw technology, they saw a community

This generation is behind much of the development of the industry we find self-evident in Sweden today; the Internet, PC:s, entrepreneurship, and games. Where others saw technology, they saw a community,

I call them Generation 64. I wrote a book about their stories, which is also called Generation 64.

A genuine C64 demo

Naturally, I released a trailer for its release, in the shape of a genuine Commodore 64-demo with the help of some real C64-legends; Andreas ”Shadow” Gustafsson, Vanja ”Mermaid” Utne and Tomas Danko.

I also had a lot of help with the book itself from Kenneth Grönwall, who’s behind all layout and design. And my publisher, Bokfabriken.

Media seemed to love the tale of a “Generation 64”; during the autumn of 2014 we were all over the business pages in Swedish papers, who were astonished that the proud gaming industry had so few people to thank for so much.

And – the best of it all – Generation 64 was translated into English during fall of 2015. My British publisher, Bitmap Books, launched a successful Kickstarter campaign recently to fund the translation. These stories are too good to keep hidden in Swedish, the language of only ten million souls, so the English version is available right now.

Go have a look at http://generation64.com

 

generation64_collage

I listen. Then I build products and write stories.

I believe that we best understand what will come in the future, by looking at what we've done in the past. My task in life is to listen to people's stories and build new stories and products around them.

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