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Visiting Gamescom 2018 – World’s biggest gaming convention

posted on 8/30/2018

You might have heard of Gamescom. It’s the world biggest gamer convention and takes place in cologne, Germany. This year Gamescom had its 10thanniversary and we attended it.

I knew from media that Gamescom is always super crowded. I’m not that much of a gamer girl but I still wanted to experience the feeling and see all those beautiful cosplays.

We decided on Thursday to visit Gamescom on Saturday, so the hotels were really expensive. The Dorint hotel right in front of the location cost 450€ ($525) for one night. Since I’m stingy I didn’t want to pay so much. I chose a good hotel a little bit away for 100€ ($117) with breakfast.

I didn’t sleep that good or long, because we had a room right next to the reception and the door was so loud I always woke up.

Right after breakfast we started out for Gamescom. A friend of mine works there and he gave me the advice to not travel by car but take the tram. He had to wait 1 hour to get to the parking lot. Taking the tram was really easy and cheap, since the entry ticket had the tram ticket already included.

There were already a lot of people waiting to get in. We didn’t take bags with us so we could skip security control.

When I entered the first hall I was speechless. I didn’t expect the stands to be that big. The whole convention was way bigger than I thought. There was even a second floor.

Since the games have different age ratings, you get an age wristband. Don’t forget to take your ID with you. Only with this wristband you can play anything you want (as long as you’re old enough).

We headed right into the first game we saw which didn’t have long lines. It was Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, some sort of Battle Royal game. As we entered they gave us a giveaway bag with a t-shirt and stickers. We then strolled through the different halls (as I said, it was HUGE). They prepared some photo locations like Game of Thrones or The Division 2 and the lines (except for Games of Thrones) were pretty short.

At Ubisoft’s “stand” was a huge stage and a guy threw merchandise into the crowds. But not just cheap merchandise no one wants, but the newest X-Box games, gamer keyboards or codes for games. They then started to play Just Dance on the stage and everybody could join. There was a professional, the panda and some other dancers from the game and it was great fun just to watch it. I would’ve loved it to dance with them but I’m way too shy and I can’t dance. When I dance it looks like a bee’s hunting me.

For the popular games like Battlefield or Fortnite you had to wait 4 hours and more. For some games the lines were too long so they closed it. People were queuing for waiting in line. It was just insane. I wouldn’t wait even 2 hours to play a game.

But there was also non-gaming stands like McDonalds and Pringles. McDonalds gave shoelaces and gummi bears away and Pringles had samples of their chips and a challenge where you stack the Pringles can. You had 1:30 minutes and when you were done you could choose if you’d like a small Pringles can or Pringles sunglasses.

We then entered another hall where you can play the newest Kingdom Hearts. As – my personal – highlight they had a Toy Story photo location inside the line. The nice employee would let me take a photo without waiting in line.

Some guys were walking around and gave water to everyone who wanted it (for free). I didn’t pay anything for food or drinks. There was a hall with old consoles and the very first Super Mario, Tekken and Mario Kart. We couldn’t resist but play the first Super Mario. Surprisingly there were no lines, even though they had only one console of everything.

Right next to the retro area was a Siemens stand where they advertised their ovens. They advertised it with free pizza! Thank you marketing manager of Siemens, you’re great and should be promoted.

At Gamescom were a lot of YouTuber. There was a signing area, they had their appearance on a stage or you just met them randomly walking around. Cosplayers had their own hall called cosplay village and the costumes were just incredible. I unfortunately don’t know who won the cosplayer competition but I liked any cosplay.

The by far worst hall was the merchandise hall. You could barely walk and it was way too full. You were able to buy T-Shirts; Funko Pops; mugs and so much more of any anime or fantasy movie like Harry Potter. Gamescom merchandise stores were all around the convention. I loved their system. You chose the Design, what kind of shirt and the color and they would print it right away. I paid 40€ ($46) for 2 T-Shirts and a wristband which is really cheap for a convention.

As finish we visited the family & friends hall. They had a lot of stuff where you didn’t have to wait like Headis (ping-pong with your head); humankicker; old computers with Tetris and a lot more. We then headed back to our car at our hotel and drove home.

If you’re willing to wait hours to play a game do it the way other gamers do: bring a camping chair with you and plan more than one day if you want to make sure to play everything you want. Since I don’t want to wait hours we left around 5 p.m. It was a fun day and I loved the experience. I don’t need to go next year again but I would visit it someday again.