Connecting Humanity

Category: Nokia Fans

Michael: Why video game preservation matters

A few words about myself

First of all, I would like to introduce myself: my name is Michael Fitzmayer, I’m a dad, husband, gearhead and software developer. About in this order.

When I’m not working on my projects or wrenching on old mopeds, I work as an embedded software developer in a company for mobile and industrial automation technology. Other than that, I have a great interest in hacker culture and feel part of it.

But probably the most relevant aspect of myself that plays a role in this article: I love video games. I always have, for over 30 years, and always will. This love has always included the Nokia N-Gage, ever since it came into my life, and even if it ultimately did not give Nokia the success the company deserved, it has always connected and continues to connect a group of enthusiasts who share this passion.

Connecting people

Last year, we started a small but steadily growing online community dedicated solely to the N-Gage era. Old hands meet there, but also interested people who have received an old device as a gift and would like to learn more about it. If these units are broken, we can often offer our help and knowledge or repair them, usually completely without the intention of making a profit. Because it’s very dear to us that people can experience the N-Gage the way we do.

The rocky road ahead

But one of the most important goals of our work: to preserve this part of video game history for all future generations to come. This is where the N-Gage becomes particularly interesting, because in addition to the 55 games that were commercially available, there were at least half as many titles that never made it to a public release. You quickly feel like a digital archaeologist digging for old treasures in order to recreate the historical context of these possible finds.

This is exciting but unfortunately also more difficult with every month that passes. There are many reasons for this:

  • Former developers are worried about damaging their reputation because they are still working in the video game industry.
  • Among collectors, the narrative of the alleged loss of value through digital availability often prevails.
  • It is often legally complex; since video games are such a new medium, the copyright for them hasn’t run out in most cases. Fortunately, some organisations, such as the Internet Archive, have a so called DMCA exemption.Exemptions are granted when it is shown that access-control technology has had a substantial adverse effect on the ability of people to make non-infringing uses of copyrighted works. The exemption rules are revised every three years.
  • Often these relics are simply forgotten because they never represented anything obviously special.

And the longer this search lasts, the smaller the chances of finding something new, and with every chance that is lost, there is one more title that remains lost forever.
In addition, time is pressing. The lifespan, especially of the flash cells on the writeable memory cards, will soon have exceeded their guaranteed lifespan.

Fortunately, there are organisations such as the Internet Archive or the Video Game History Foundation that have made it their business to counteract this development. The Internet Archive now has a gigantic and constantly growing collection of games that are now accessible to a broad and interested mass. Thousands of them can be played directly in the browser.

We need you more than ever

At this point, we would like to appeal to you, former Nokia employees or partners who experienced this era from a unique perspective, and ask you to support us in our efforts.

Do you perhaps still have an old document in a drawer that could be of interest? Or even an old memory card that has been forgotten over the years? Or even a copy of the N-Gage SDK that could secure the future development of this peculiar platform? Please let us know.

We and hopefully future generations will thank you, and on behalf of the entire N-Gage Online community, thank you for your time and attention. — Michael,

“If there’s any advice I have for people out there it’s that if your project, whatever it is, ends up being cancelled please consider making a file folder with the name of your project, throwing everything you have in there and putting it away. We as audience, fans and historians have discovered that no matter how minor you may have felt your work was, no matter how sad you are that it never reached some sort of goal or completion, the applause, the appreciation, the debt of hunger for the knowledge of what you worked on will come. It will take years, it will take a very long time, but your file folder of memories, ideas and sketches will be as like gold when you bring it out into the world in years hence. And I aim this advice to people at any stage in their career, beginning middle and nadir.” — Jason Scott, Free Range Archivist and Software Curator at Internet Archive

Rasmus: 20 years makes a difference

Twenty years ago Tampere was an especially interesting place to live for a small boy, who was into technology. It was a city of Nokia housing many kinds of activities of the company. I was born and raised there. I remember the Nokia buildings, I remember the exciting new phones, that weren’t so common as nowadays and I remember the ringtones – how cool were they!!

Especially well I remember when a relative showed me how images from his digital camera could be transferred to his Nokia 9210 Communicator and viewed from its screen. What magic was that back then! Also, I can’t forget seeing the staggeringly beautiful Nokia 8850 in real life for the first time. It was like a piece of jewellery, tiny, shiny, elegantly designed and colored, yet still featuring all the important functions. (At that time phones were usually so much bigger and a bit clumsy, as my mums 5110.) Obviously, I wanted to have both the Communicator and the 8850. My parents of course never bought me the hideously expensive phones, but one Christmas I was surprised. One present was a Nokia 8810 – dummy version – but nevertheless a beautiful piece. My dear dad had contacted Nokia and kindly they had provided a non-working sample for the young Nokia enthusiast! I was proud. I took the silvery phone everywhere, it was with me at friends and at parties. When it was time to start going to school I got my first actually operating phone, the 3310 with red Ferrari Xpress-on covers.

Through a number of Nokias (of which the 5310 XpressMusic is still my absolute favourite) we arrive to year 2008 when I was able to get some money of my own through a summer job. Suddenly I started to think how cool it would be to own those phones I wanted as a kid. I got the 8850 and the 9210 and boy was that sweet to have them finally! Also, around that time Nokia’s fairytale started to reach its end, unfortunately, and that sealed my future as a Nokia phone collector. It felt important to build a collection which could remind us about the company’s extraordinary story which changed the world forever. Because of this aspect, for a long time I had had in mind that I would like to arrange a phone exhibition. Finally, this year in February I got the chance and held a Nokia phone exhibition at my University’s library in Otaniemi. It turned out to be a success. It was awesome to meet many ex-Nokian’s there who were kind to share their stories with me! Also, originally the exhibition was planned to last 2 weeks, but the staff requested for the phones to stay on exhibit for a month. It also tells how much we all still love Nokia and the good old days!

A lot has changed in twenty years but even though Nokia doesn’t anymore manufacture phones, its impact can still be seen in our everyday lives; thanks to Nokia’s brilliant technologies we have the chance to stay connected safely during these exceptional times of Covid-19.


The author Rasmus Hakala has a collection of over 100 Nokia phones. He is also a petrol head with a great passion for cars – also for electric despite the expression : ) Currently he is studying  Industrial engineering and management at Master level in Aalto University and planning his future career. If he had been born twenty years earlier, his career plans would’ve been very clear!

Ringtone – Something Unique About Nokia

Keeley Wilson

It was a sunny December afternoon in 2016. After an intense year of writing, we were close to finishing the first full draft of our book about the rise and fall of Nokia’s mobile phone business and we were on a call with our editor, Adam, to talk about practical things like schedules, cover design, marketing and the production process.

As our discussions were drawing to a close, Adam asked us if we had a title for the book. Funnily enough,

Karoliina: The one constant in my life

Like many Finns who came of age in the early 00s, my connection to Nokia has been a long and multi-faceted one. One of my parents worked for Nokia in the mid-1990s, and I was far from being the only kid in that position at school. I lived in Espoo, after all, the promised land for telecoms engineers back in the day.

Adrian: A love affair for a Nokia fan from Perth to Espoo

My love affair with Nokia began when I was 15 years old, when my first mobile phone was a Motorola V2288, and my school friends at the time had the Nokia 5110 and later Nokia 3310. Truth be told, I was jealous at the features and games that they had. Fast forward a few years later, when I finally managed to acquire the Nokia 3350. This was a great little phone, and one of the best things about it was that it had Snake. Awesome, right?

After commencing my first year in university, I went on a phone-spending binge

Jim O’Brien: My Journey with Nokia

Nokia has been part of my life for many years now and still is today even through the transition I have supported Nokia throughout and now that we are back once more with Mobile Phone I think the relationship will last for many more years to come.

My Journey began with the Nokia 5110 from what I recall and from there on it was just a matter of learning, progression then loyalty.
I then began to collect Nokia devices for some unknown reason but I just recall their simplicity and how well they looked with the changeable fascias which was cool back then. I then noticed the phones where getting better year by year and said “HEY” I have quite a few of these devices sure why not keep going.

Sukanya: Nokia is an emotion for me

My first phone was Nokia N73 music edition, black. My father’s and everyone else’s phone in my family was a Nokia as well. The reason I insist on capitalizing the brand name in the middle of my sentences however, goes beyond that.

My phone meant way more to me (and still does) way more than its technical features. This might sound like an emo teenager’s rant but then that’s what Nokia is to me, an emotion. Being an insomniac, I used stay up all night long and it was only the glowing screen of my phone that stayed awake with me, playing songs or reading up something. It had so many sophisticated features I can write lines on. There were times when I would be down and out and being an introvert would turn to phone. My N73 was always there with me, through my toughest times.

Sahil Gupta: Nokia’s contribution in our life which we can’t forget

Well, I am not at all a feedback giving person, I generally ignore things when it comes to give opinions. But today was different while browsing Techcrunch, I saw Beyond Nokia’s post and got to know about this Nokia People community, I couldn’t resist myself to share the stories of good times with my Nokia phones. It was back in 2007 when I was 16 years old and owning a mobile phone was a big deal. After lot of discussions and hungry nights (because of not having dinner when dad/mom refuses to buy me a phone), one fine day dad agrees to buy me a new phone. So, I was very clear about my choice which was Nokia 6600, one of Nokia’s best selling phones and it costs around 14000 INR which was way to high considering Indian price range of phones and 16 year old student who has his CBSE board exams in next 5 months I anyhow convinced my dad to buy me Nokia 6600 and life was not same after that. The happiness doubled

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