The point of STAGE is to offer students interested in any aspect of game development a local community. We don't have that much gamedev studying options in Oulu (next to none at the uni, some at other schools) but apparently we do have lots of students interested in it. Bringing them together is a logical step, one that should have been taken some time ago. Now it's under way. We will provide information about work and study possibilities, self-study resources and a channel of communication for starting projects and getting people to work on them.
For my own research, the club is an important channel to gamedev. It is also a limited possibility to work on some game projects that might support my research, assuming I can make them interesting enough to get people participate in them. But that is definitely in the future. For now, I think the most important aspect is being able to contact other people interested in gamedev. Throw around ideas and, of course, make some games. Stuff I'm really looking forward to are game jams. First our local practice jam, then Global Game Jam next January. I think I'll focus on programming there, unless I come up with some really impressive design and decide to pitch it.
I think that's it for this interlude. Expect updates on STAGE after said jams, and possibly other stuff as well. In the meanwhile, if you are interested, go take a look at our forums (they are in Finnish though).