For the first time since its inception, DreamHack Stockholm will be making a concerted effort to return to its roots in the form of a hackathon. With 100 000 SEK on stake for top performers and a willingness to create a more inclusive event, this years event has the potential to be a watershed moment. Project coordinator, Pontus Rundqvist might be new to the role, but faces up to the challenge he faces.
What inspired the decision to create DreamHackathon?
DreamHack was born from the early scene and coding culture when two friends gathered 40 people during a whole weekend competing in coding, graphics & music in the small city of Malugn in 1994. Since then DreamHack have become the worlds largest LAN and one of the worlds leaders in esport and producers of gaming and esport for tv and much more.
The creative competitions have never disappeared from DreamHack, but have been overshadowed by other content. With DreamHackathon we are relaunching it in style at DreamHack Stockholm 2014.
What does this say about DreamHack and its evolving strategy to embrace the independent development movement?
We’d think that the indie community has always been a natural part of the DreamHack culture. DreamHack was born in this and we are continuing to evolve that and develop for the future. We have done a series of things to really include the indie community, like the Indie Pavillion where indies can get exposure.
Any plans to address the perception DreamHack is a boys only haven?
We don’t see our events to be boy-exclusive and we will never ever focus our attention in such a way, everyone is welcome to DreamHack at all times. We are actively working to include people with all kinds of background and of course we want to attract as broad an audience as possible.
One such way is the extensive collaboration with different organizations and also actively reviewing our work with external parties to identify potential improvement opportunities. We’d like to point out that many of our greatest achievements mostly goes untold. Such achievements include the national diversity that comes with our event. We have people participating in competitions, coming as visitors and sponsors from all over the world. DreamHack is a multi-cultural event with a high degree of inclusion which many tend to oversee.
What do you expect will be the highlight of the event?
The creativity of the participants – of course! We are aiming big and remember that this is the first time we are doing it on this scale. We hope that every person that have joined up for this will have an experience for life. A 24 hour rush while having an all in-inclusive experience, 100.000 SEK prize pool and including business development workshops for the winners is our way of saying “We believe in you, and we think you’ll create great things”. We want to be the enabler that a lot of people have been lacking.
Can we expect this to be a permanent fixture of future DreamHack events?
We are definitely going to evaluate the experience and look toward the future. We have felt a great interest from the industry; indie developers, schools, start-ups and other businesses are all closely following the development. We think this is a great opportunity to contribute to the community and help develop the industry for the future.
DreamHackathon will run from September 26th to 27th at Stockholm Globe Arenas.