The Start of a Journey
The beginning of my career was without a doubt Playground Squad. Having gone to university in Finland in 2006 I switched tracks to games after having a tough year studying Cellular Biology. As I described in my initial post, it was supposed to be a gap year. The misconception that working with games is not a “real” job still rang loud and clear at the time. Finland had embarrassingly little choices when it came to education in games and I only knew about games being a career and the existence of Playground Squad thanks to my boyfriend at the time.
Games had always been a hobby of mine, only overshadowed by anime. But I had also always felt alone in my hobby, especially among women.
Playground Squad was a new start for me. All the pressure of succeeding in University and not knowing what I wanted for my future was left back in Finland. Playground Squad provided to me exactly what the name was, a playground. And a well needed fresh start surrounded with a new squad. An environment where I could more freely express myself, feeding my curiosity for the industry by testing a lot of different disciplines and most of all, helping me kick-start my future by providing excellent opportunities for internship.
Outside of me having a great time during my short years at the school I now understand that it also provided a solid network foundation. Even today, over 10 years later, I follow the achievements of my fellow classmates who are scattered all over the world. This industry keeps surprising me with how small it is. I am constantly surprised by how many familiar faces I see when I go to GDC or suddenly stumble upon a former colleague or classmate unexpectedly at events. I love seeing familiar faces in unexpected parts of the world.
I struggled to find a picture during my time at PSQ but eventually found this embarrassing old picture when we were learning about motion capture.