Why has Sweden taken this initiative?
We want to encourage creativity in the world through freedom of impression – being open to new ideas and promoting diversity. Being a country with a small population, we are depended on being receptive to impressions from the outside world, and this has proven to be successful conditions for Sweden’s creative industries. Through the initiative Democreativity, we want to share the Swedish take on creativity, and in doing so, inspire creators all over the world.
Sweden is ranked among the most creative countries in the world. In our communication activities about Sweden we, of course, tell the story of Swedish creativity and innovation via many platforms. But we are constantly looking for new ways of being relevant to audiences in other countries. This initiative is one way of doing this.
What do you mean by “Democreativity”?
Democreativity is an open invitation to explore the potential of creativity and aims to highlight diversity and underrepresented ideas. Today, the creative process is more democratic than ever. User-generated content, crowd funding, 3D printing are all examples of that. People today anticipate being part of the creative process and production, and they have the platforms to do so. And this development goes hand in hand with the Swedish tradition of participation, collaboration and non-hierarchy.
What do you mean by “democracy is the mother of all creativity”?
Our belief is that creativity is less about pulling ideas out of thin air and more about connecting things. But in order to connect things you must first collect them – you need to be open to new ideas. If freedom of expression is a basic civil right, freedom of impression is a personal ability and a mindset – the ability to be receptive. In our experience creativity that leads to successful innovations thrives in an environment defined by exchange of ideas and information. That is the belief behind the claim “democracy is the mother of creativity”.
What do you mean by ”freedom of impression” and in what way does Sweden stand out when it comes to this?
By “freedom of impression” we mean being open to new ideas. Sweden is frequently used as a test market for new products because of our ability to adapt to new things. We are a small country dependent on ideas and inspiration from the world around us.
How does the process works?
On the website Democreativity.com/se.org anyone can submit an idea on what specific feature or complete game idea they would like to see. These ideas will later be compiled and reviewed by industry experts that will add their thoughts on the subject. Ideas from users together with the comments from industry experts will make up the creative brief, which will be open to anyone who wants to create a game. The brief will also specifically be given to game development students at the University of Skövde as a part of their curriculum. We hope to see several games produced and they will be posted on the website Democreativity.com.
Why have you chosen to focus on the gaming industry?
The gaming industry is Sweden's largest cultural export. It has a long history of being open to external impressions, for example in how they work with player involvement in order to test and improve the products. That is what the initiative Democreativity is all about and why gaming is an appropriate first focus area.
Is there a policy regarding what types of ideas that are okay to post?
We encourage and welcome a diversity of ideas, but we also believe that creativity flourishes in a fair and tolerant environment. We reserve the right to reject any submitted material at any time that (1) is in breach of Swedish law, (2) is considered spam, or (3) is threatening and/or invasive of a person's privacy.
You admit to not allowing all ideas – could you really call the process democratic?
We want to encourage a fair and tolerant environment for ideas, people, and discussion. Even in a democracy there are rules and regulations to ensure that everyone feels safe and secure, therefore we have some basic guidelines to stick to.
Who owns the rights to the ideas that go into the game?
The developers of the final games own the rights. You can find all our terms and conditions here
Why are the majority of the advisory board men?
The advisory board is made up of three men and two women. When selecting advisors we have looked at both men and women within the gaming industry and have chosen those we believe have the right knowledge and experience for this project.
How come there are only representatives from the industry on the advisory board?
We hope to get ideas from the gaming community through Democreativity.com. Advisors from the industry will complement the gaming community’s ideas by reviewing and adding their own thoughts on the subject. In that way the creative brief will include ideas from both the community and industry.