Outi Laiti (She/Her), Ph.D. is a Sámi game researcher and designer. In 2020, gamesindustry.biz nominated her as one of the 100 Game Changers for her work on promoting e.g. Sámi gaming. She is an Associate researcher at the University of Helsinki Indigenous studies. Her field of research is education and computer science with a focus on Sámi language and culture in digital games and programming. She is also active in designing and co-organizing Sami Game Jams and has been involved in several game development and educational projects in the past. Her doctoral thesis ”Old Ways of Knowing, New Ways of Playing” published in January 2021, discusses the potential of collaborative game design to empower Indigenous Sámi.


2021 University of Lapland: PhD (Education)
2016 University of Lapland: Master’s degree in Media Education 
2008 South-Carelia Polytechnic: Bachelor of Engineering Degree programme in Information Technology Specialization of Media Technology

Other Education and Expertise

2019 The Finnish Esports Federation (SEUL): Mental coaching in Esports and the basics of Esports coaching
2019 Oulu University of Applied Sciences: Vocational and higher education teacher training (60 ects).

Awards and Honours

2021 NOMINEE Junior Researcher award (Doctoral Thesis of the Year), University of Lapland

2020 GLOBAL GAME CHANGER gamesindustry.biz GI100 list member

2018 STATUS POSITION in Culture-Based Service Design Doctoral ProgrammeUniversity of Lapland

2018 NOMINEE The Game Educator of the year (FIN): Sami Game Jam

2017 NOMINEE: Rajapinta Pro Gradu awards: ”Ethnoprogramming : an indigenous approach to computer programming : a case study in Ohcejohka area comprehensive schools” 

Past Projects

2021-2023 Skins workshops, Sápmi edition. Organizing a workshop series in collaboration with Skins workshops and Utsjoki municipality. The project was funded by the Embassy of the United States in Finland.

2017-2022 Municipality of Utsjoki: Davvenásti Movie Theater. Running the Northernmost cinema in Finland and EU.

2019 Senior CS team coach. Coaching Finnish senior eSports team. Players’ age range 50-76 years.

2019 Sámi parliament: Games for Sámi Children project. Consultant of games and Sámi pedagogy.

02/2018 Sami Game Jam. Co-organizing the northernmost, partly Indigenous game jam in Finland with Finnish Game Jam organization.

2/2018 Lost Memories VR (game). Co-designer and cultural consultant.

9/2017 Pedar Jalvi Game Demo. Cultural consultant and Sámi pedagogy expert.

2016-2017 Sámi Parliament: Digital learning materials workgroup. A specialist member.

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