Vivienne Koh from Singapore moved to Boden for the great opportunities in the growth of the gaming industry. When the right job appeared, the timing was perfect.

Vivienne Koh, 33, is Bodens Business Park ‘s latest addition and works part-time as a training leader for the newly started YH education web developer / e-commerce. The training is part of Boden Gamecamp and takes place in “Verkstan”, a creative melting pot for Boden’s growth industries. In addition, she runs her own gaming company Cafiend. She has a couple of ideas underway that will first be released as board games and in the future also as video games and VR games.

– That was really the main reason why I wanted to move here from the beginning, says Vivienne.

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Wrong and correct education

Vivienne grew up in Singapore and started making websites at home in the basement as a 15-year-old. Eventually she started freelancing, but at the same time she trained for something completely different and became a radiation therapist on paper.

– I did an internship at a hospital and it was really depressing so after graduation I did not want to have anything more to do with it, she says.

Instead, she worked with keyword optimization, as a student coordinator and web design teacher, until her parents told her to get an education that she would really use. She chose interactive and visual design at a university in Brisbane, Australia. After a short time as an experienced experience designer, she invested in running her own company. From the beginning, it was a lot about completing design projects that got stuck.

– Working 24 hours a day and then crashing is not very good. Somewhere in the middle, we started focusing more on games because it’s more fun than solving other people’s problems.

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Moved to Sweden

The shift in focus was partly due to Vivienne’s wife Nickole Li who is a game developer and at that time was part of the company. Nickole got a job at Dice (one of the world’s leading gaming companies behind the Battlefield series, among other things) and the couple moved to Stockholm. At first, Vivienne felt lost in Sweden, she went to SFI and worked with cooking.

Then Valkyrie Jam happened. It was the summer of 2018 and Vivienne lived in Peetgården in Sävast together with 11 other women from the gaming industry. They sat at the computers and created games together all day.

– From the beginning, I kind of shouted that I do not know anything about games and a lot of other nonsense. I felt like a total noob. But during the ten days I understood that I have worked in the gaming industry for ten years, I know this. It gave me confidence, says Vivienne.

She decided to study game development at Future Games (which is run by Changemaker Educations who also hold the trainings at Boden Gamecamp). But the application period had expired and she slipped in as a guest teacher in a course on board games instead.

– I sometimes have a tendency to do things a little backwards, haha.

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Perfect timing

At a Valkyrie meeting in Stockholm last autumn, she ended up in a conversation with Mattias Bergqvist, business developer in games at Boden Business Park, and he told about the development of the gaming industry in Boden. It sounded very interesting, Vivienne thought, so when she and Nickole went to Kiruna on holiday in January, they took the opportunity to pay a visit here.

– Everything seemed really cool and there were such great opportunities. Since there is not much yet, it is a good chance to get things started right from the start, and it is not that expensive either.

Back in Stockholm, she resigned from the chef job immediately. She would move to Boden. As if by accident, the position of education leader appeared and Vivienne fit like a glove.

– The timing was almost too perfect, she says.

In May, the couple bought a terraced house in Södra Svartbyn and Vivienne moved here. Nickole will continue at Dice in Stockholm for the time being, but hopefully she can move up to Boden in the not too distant future.

– It is nice, quiet and less terrible than Stockholm. Both me and my wife like the cold. #

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