Tampere has got everything I need

Master's Degree Programme in Internet and Game Studies

Joseph photoJoseph Macey studies in Master’s Degree Programme in Internet and Game Studies. He is now writing his Master's thesis. Before starting his studies in Tampere, Joe did his Bachelor’s in Social Anthropology and graduated in 2003, worked as an English teacher around the world and had a normal working life. In 2013 he decided to do something else and applied to his current Master’s programme.

Joe already lived in Finland when he applied to UTA. He and his Finnish wife had visited Finland multiple times during the past 15 or so years and they moved to Tampere area about five years ago.

Joe tells that the Finnish studying system is totally different compared to UK, where he got his Bachelor’s. In Finland students have much more responsibility and freedom on how they schedule and choose their studies. There are some core courses everyone in the programme need to take, but everyone’s degree can be tailored according to their own interests.

“When I tell people what I do, they say “oh, you get to play games all day long!” or they assume we learn how to make games. Internet and game studies are more about the holistic approach to understanding of games and their role in wider society. It’s more of a social sciences than technical sciences approach to games”, Joe says.

Internet and game studies include courses about online communities, social science perspectives, some designer courses where you are made aware of designing techniques that are involved in game development, methodological courses for research work and much more.

“One course included a mini conference where anyone could come, where we presented our group reports and people could ask questions. It was great, especially for students who want to have a career in the academia.”

The quality of life in Finland is great

One of his first memories of Finland is etched to his mind.

“It was September. I remember when the plane door first opened, you could almost feel the oxygen coming through your skin, because of the clean air.”

Joe also mentions how much Finland has changed since his first visit. Everything from the selection of foods available at a supermarket to the range of people from different ethnic origins are much wider than before.

Joe has a basic level of Finnish skills and he can carry a conversation about normal daily things.

“You have to have a certain level of Finnish just for the basic box-ticking process rather than actually using it in your working life. I am lucky to be a native English speaker, and there is work for native English speakers all over the world.”

Joe works as a research assistant at UTA, works as a volunteer at OASIS study space, and plans to apply for his PhD shortly. He, his son and his Finnish wife plan to stay in Tampere.

“The quality of life in here is so much better than in lots of countries. Tampere is a lovely town. I am slightly older than average students, and Tampere has got everything I need.”

Text: Inka Kämäräinen

Photo: Jonne Renvall

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