In Corona times, Gamescom 2021 will take place digitally: After the big opening on Tuesday evening in the live stream, politics has now also opened the Cologne Games Fair. The starting shot was fired punctually at 10 a.m. - from now on, games will be celebrated for half a week.
The official starting shot was given on Wednesday at 10 a.m.: gamescom 2021 was opened by the political guests of honor. Due to the corona pandemic, aGmescom will take place exclusively digitally, as in the previous year. The official political opening was also streamed live. The half-hour show was moderated by TV presenter Katrin Neumann, who held talks in the studio between the greetings of the political guests of honor with Felix Falk, the managing director of game - the association of the German games industry, the co-organizer of Gamescom. The political opening of Gamescom 2021 can be watched as video-on-demand on Gamescom now, Gamescom's content hub: now.gamescom.de.
Gamescom on site: hopes for the next year
Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Digital State Minister Dorothee Bär, Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, as well as Cologne's Lord Mayor and Chairwoman of the Koelnmesse Supervisory Board, Henriette Reker and COO and Managing Director of Koelnmesse, were present at the political opening in digital form Oliver Frese. In their greetings, the political guests of honor - true to this year's theme "Games: The New Normality" - referred to the great potential of games for Germany and that this must be increased even more in the future.
Corona has left its mark, also in the games sector. How can you tell that something is missing this year? About it: Despite the extensive digital program of Gamescom, the hope was expressed that in the coming year we would finally be able to celebrate again on site in Cologne with hundreds of thousands of visitors.
Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure: “As the world's largest games event, Gamescom is an absolute figurehead. We want to build on this and also catch up internationally as a development location in the future. Last year I gave the go-ahead for the second stage of our games funding here at the same point. Since then, the federal government has been funding game development studios worth millions. This is a real breakthrough. As of today, 40 million have been approved - we look forward to further applications. In addition to financial matters, we have also strategically repositioned ourselves and bundled the competencies in our company in a separate games unit. Because I am convinced: We can benefit from the innovative strength of the games industry in many areas - be it in education, industry and science or simply in our free time. "
Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitization in the Federal Government: “The main theme of Gamescom 2021 gets to the point: Games are the new normal. You helped us keep in touch with friends and family during the Corona phase. Luckily we had games during that time! Games are not only the new normal as an entertainment medium, but also in business, medicine and education. For example, more and more companies are 'gamifying' their products - from fitness apps to cars and video conferencing tools. The use of games in education is particularly exciting: because what motivates games has a direct impact on learning success, not only for children, but also in training and further education. Games therefore offer enormous innovative strength, as demonstrated not least by the digital Gamescom itself, and we have to use this potential even more. That is why we want to further promote the games industry in Germany and thus catch up with the world's best as a location. With the new games strategy, we have created an excellent basis for this for the coming years. "
"Gamescom is a shining example of the strong social component of computer and video games that has helped many people around the world through the corona pandemic."
Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia
Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia: "Gamescom is a shining example of the strong social component of computer and video games that has helped many people around the world through the corona pandemic. This form of community is a fundamental building block of our society. The games industry also has enormous economic and social potential - not only in classic game development, but also beyond. The best example of this is the field of digital education: learning through play is human nature and that is why we should make better use of the possibilities and not be afraid of new paths. Here, too, the games industry will play an important role in the future. Because of this great potential, we must continue to work on the framework conditions for the games industry. That is why we in North Rhine-Westphalia set the goal of becoming the number 1 games location in Germany a few years ago. We also need this clear objective at the federal level in order to come out on top in international competition. "
Felix Falk, managing director of game - Association of the German Games Industry, the co-organizer of Gamescom: “Gamescom is finally starting and with it full days with announcements, news and shows that fans are already waiting for. Together with our partners, we are creating an event at which millions of players worldwide can again celebrate the best games. But at this Gamescom we don't just want to talk about games, but also about the right games and digital policy for Germany with the upcoming federal elections in mind. I am therefore particularly pleased that we can again welcome numerous top politicians not only to the Political Opening, but also to the Debatt (l) e Royale on Friday. With formats like this, we want to give the younger generation sufficient opportunities to form an opinion and send out the clear message: Go vote! "
Henriette Reker, Lord Mayor of the City of Cologne and Chairwoman of the Koelnmesse Supervisory Board: “I am really excited about what the entire Koelnmesse, the Gamescom team, the game association and all partners have achieved for the second time in a row. It is precisely this innovative spirit and courage that we need to move forward as a society in these challenging times. At the same time, I can't wait to see the numerous gamers in town again. Not only because they always have a very special flair and the whole city gets infected by their enthusiasm. But also because Cologne benefits from Gamescom and its fans on many levels: Gastronomy, hotel and retail are just a few of the areas that get an enormous boost, especially during trade fairs. "
Oliver Frese, COO and Managing Director of Koelnmesse: “For the second time in a row, Gamescom 2021 will take place digitally. But of course we haven't been idle since last year and have made huge progress with Gamescom 2021 and its digital offerings! Regardless of whether it is our shows, our content hub Gamescom now or community activities like Gamescom Epix - everywhere we have made use of the experience of the last year and a half and have further improved our program. Because our objective is clear: We not only want to be in pole position in the trade fair business in general, but also in the future with a view to digital events! "
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