Mikko Meriläinen


Mikko Meriläinen is a researcher in the Growing Mind project and started at Game Research Lab in 2018. His research focuses on the educational use of game jams and learning through game jamming. He is finishing his doctoral dissertation on young gamers, adverse gaming effects and game-related parenting.

Keywords: Game jam learning, game-related parenting, young gamers, problematic gaming

Email: mikko.merilainen [at]


Twitter: @MVMerilainen

Joe Macey


Joseph Macey (M.Sc.) is a Researcher and Doctoral Student at the Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Tampere. His Master’s thesis addressed heuristics as a method for game evaluation, while his current work investigates the relationships between consumption of video games, esports, and gambling. Research interests include problematic and potentially problematic media consumption, cognitive biases in media users, emergent forms of gambling associated with games, user experience, digital economies and virtual items. He has been awarded personal grants for his work from The Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Prior to his academic career he worked in the public and private sectors and is a qualified Project Manager (Prince 2). His work has been published in Computers in Human Behavior, and presented at various international conferences and seminars.
00358 505 099 211

Heikki Tyni


Heikki Tyni has worked in Game Research Lab since 2010. His background is in University of Lapland media science studies with a critical cultural studies focus. Along the years he has researched various game industry phenomena, including the downloadable content model, the history of Finnish game industry, the interconnections of game and toy industries and hybrid products. His ongoing PhD work focuses on the cultural aspects of games crowdfunding, with a wider focus on game industry structure and emerging industry intermediaries.

Keywords: Game industry, industry structure, production studies, crowdfunding, game retail

Jaakko Stenros

Jaakko Stenros (PhD) is a game and play researcher. He has published seven books and over 50 articles and reports and has taught game studies for almost a decade. Stenros started at Game Research Lab in June 2006. His background is in sociology. He has 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

Associate Professor

Olli Sotamaa is the co-lead of the Game Research Lab and the director of Master’s degree programme in Internet and Game Studies. He completed his PhD on players’ productive practices among computer game cultures in 2009. 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.

Keywords: Game development cultures, co-production, creative labour, user-generated content, player cultures

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 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 Research Lab since 2008 and she is one of the first researchers 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 has founded the University of Tampere Game Research Lab, and is the director of Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (Academy of Finland). Professor Mäyrä 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 gaming phone. 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. More recently Janne has been focusing on free-to-play games , hybrid social play, and Pokémon GO player experiences. Currently Janne is the main scientific coordinator in the Center of Excellence in Game Culture Studies (CoE GameCult) and is finishing his doctoral thesis on free-to-play games in social network services. Janne is interested in game usability, playability, player experiences, and in game design & evaluation heuristics.

Keywords: Game usability, playability, player experience, design, evaluation, heuristics, mobile games, social games, free-to-play

Email: janne.paavilainen [at]

Twitter: @Rojola


Annakaisa Kultima – publications
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
Juho Karvinen
Jussi Kuittinen – publications
Juha Köönikkä – publications
Jussi Lahti – publications
Petri Lankoski – publications
Tero Laukkanen – publications
Miikka Lehtonen
Mikko Malinen
Tiina Malinen
Markus Montola
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