The Petsamo Board Game (1931) and Everyday Game Culture in Finland in the Interwar Period


  • Karoliina Koskinen
  • Jaakko Suominen


board games, game history, racing games, cultural colonialism


The paper studies the Petsamo board game, published independently in Finland in 1931. This racing-genre game consisted of a game board map situated in the Petsamo area in northern Lapland. Originally, Petsamo was mainly populated by Sámi people and only officially became a part of Finland after the 1920 Treaty of Tartu between Finland and Soviet Russia. After the Treaty, Petsamo became an arena for several activities that can nowadays also be examined as borderland and cultural colonialism, such as establishing new settlements, mineral prospecting, tourism, the production of Petsamo-related artworks and so forth. In this paper, we approach the Petsamo game within a larger cultural historical context and analyse the representations of Petsamo in the game board and the instruction booklet as well as the activities of the designers of the game and players who originally owned the copy of the game that is currently held in the collection of the Turku Museum Centre. Thus, methodologically, the paper presents a holistic microhistorical example of non-digital game history.





@Conference{digra1930, title ="The Petsamo Board Game (1931) and Everyday Game Culture in Finland in the Interwar Period", year = "2023", author = "Koskinen, Karoliina and Suominen, Jaakko", publisher = "DiGRA", address = "Tampere", howpublished = "\url{}", booktitle = "Conference Proceedings of DiGRA 2023 Conference: Limits and Margins of Games Settings"}