Finnish speed skier Häkä Häkkinen told in a recent interview, that the Finnish cross-country-ski-obsessed Olympic Committee prevented his participation in the Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck in 1964, because “downhill is not a real sport” – even though he was then one of the fastest skiers in the world.
We’ve had the same question asked even in 2013, when the TV hosts of the Finnish Independence Day gala asked the old cross-country hero Eero Mäntyranta, “if he considers snowboarding as a real sport” (after quite a few World Championships won for Finns). Of course he did, thank god.
The same attitude seems to apply for culture – there’s the “real culture”, and then the suspicious new stuff, which probably is not real culture.
Tove Jansson, the creator of the Moomins, was born a 100 years ago, 1914, and was remembered in the Finnish MTV3 news on January 10. The newsflash told us, that Moomins are the biggest Finnish copyright-based export ever.
Well, Moomin Characters made a 6 million € turnover last year. The biggest Finnish game companies made 153 M€ (Rovio) and 78 M€ (Supercell) – and that was before Supercell went really through the roof. Currently, Supercell makes in each week the same amount in profit than the whole turnover of the Moomin Characters in a year. Rovio – the owner of the Angry Birds brand – makes half of their turnover through licensing, just like the Moomins.
But I guess games don’t count, because they are not real culture.