In less than a month it will be that time again: Gamescom 2016 opens its doors. From August 17 to August 21, 2016, millions of gamers from all over the world will flock to the cathedral city of Cologne to visit the world's largest trade fair for interactive consumer electronics. The hype surrounding the computer games fair is greater than ever before. The tickets are, apart from a small remaining contingent, already sold out and in many Internet forums you can slowly feel the rising joy of finally being able to test the future gaming highlights of 2016. Gamescom 2016 is not only worth a visit for fans of digital games. The exhibitors also have worthwhile offers for board players and role players. The following article gives you a brief preview of the contents of the fair and shows why board players can also visit it.    

Gamescom 2016 in Cologne: The Bigger, The better

In 1989, the gifted speaker Willy Brandt spoke a sentence that is also extremely appropriate for Gamescom in many ways: "What belongs together grows together."

Once under the name games convention Started in Leipzig, Gamescom has been held every year since 2009 in Cologne, the most populous city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The cathedral city on the Rhine offers ideal conditions for the annual superlative games festival. The day tickets for the Gamescom 2016 were sold out earlier than ever before: around three weeks before the opening, the Koelnmesse press office reported the record. Fans who have so far been traveling without an admission ticket can purchase reduced afternoon tickets on site, which allow admission from 14.00 p.m. As in the previous year, families can also fall back on a limited number of tickets for the public days Thursday, Friday and Sunday. However, families who love games shouldn't wait too long.

Since the first Gamescom in Cologne in 2009, the computer fair has been on course for success. The GC recorded around 250.000 visitors at the beginning, last year it was almost 350.000; this corresponds to an increase of 70 percent. And this year, too, a new visitor record should be reported, because: Games are more popular than ever - regardless of whether they are digital or analog. Over 800 exhibitors attract fans with strong brands and great entertainment. In addition to the well-known ones in the game industry, numerous small developer studios are also haggling over the favor of the gaming community.

In addition to the pure trade fair program, Gamescom 2016 offers its visitors a colorful entertainment program that extends across the entire cathedral city. In addition to games and entertainment, this year the organizers are offering their visitors a street food mile and numerous musical events on a total of four stages in the heart of the city on the Rhine. A visit to Cologne during Gamescom 2016 is therefore not only worthwhile for gamers.   

Gamescom and board games

Not only purely geographical facts leave on the Gamescom 2016 grow together what belongs together. The game worlds of board games and computer games are also increasingly merging. Board game fans can experience some of the content at the computer game fair that served as a template for their beloved analog games. The reverse is also true, by the way. Since the boom in app games at the latest, board players have found outstanding game titles a short time after their publication, also as digital versions for smartphones or tablets in popular app stores. And often in a quality that is in no way inferior to that of the board game - at least if you can gain something from the digitization of analog games. Some of the most successful examples are implementations of the classic Carcassonne or porting the board game pearl Splendor.

Gamescom 2016: also a highlight for board players
Gamescom 2016: also a highlight for board players

A good indicator for the growing together of play worlds is also the presence of the Düsseldorf publishing house Winning Moves, which is on the Gamescom 2016 will be represented as an exhibitor for the first time; directly with two stands. One of the two exhibition stands will be used as a shopping area, while board and card players will feel at home at the other stand: analog games can be played and tried out there. Like hardly any other game publisher, Winning Moves specifically markets board games and card games that are based on strong digital brands. In addition to countless versions of the classic board game Monopoly (including Zelda, Pokemon, World of Warcraft, Fallout or Assassin's Creed) the publisher also has the popular Top Trumps cards from various game worlds ready or publishes Risk in variants adapted to digital worlds, such as Risk - Halo or Risk - Starcraft.

Virtual worlds on board game tables

Another example of the popularity of virtual game concepts and their effects on the world of analog board games are the trendy dungeon crawlers. Of course, the concept of these board game genres is not a new invention. Experienced players in particular know titles like StarQuest or Hero Quest already from her childhood. Once upon a time the popularity of Hero Quest so big that the software developer Gremlin Graphics Software created PC game implementations with strong license. So the question about the chicken or the egg is not that easy to answer. It is now the case, however, that PC games serve more as a template for trendy board games than the other way around. In particular, game titles like XCOM - the board game, Golem Arcana or Leaders - a combined game have shown in the recent past that a fusion of analog game elements and digital aids can lead to entertaining board game concepts. Game publishers have also discovered that the boundaries between target groups are becoming increasingly blurred. It doesn't matter if it's Pegasus with the retro game Pixel Tactics, the tactical game Krosmaster which are the mentioned titles of Winning Moves: The worlds continue to grow together. More of everything means more for everyone - and that is ideal for the popularity of board games as a cultural asset.  

Market Kickstarter projects have shown, however, that niche games can also be used as models. To be mentioned are about This War of Mine or Dark Souls - Both computer games that have made it onto the board game tables at home and that is expected to be of excellent quality.  

Even those who do not really know what to do with virtual worlds will find the Gamescom 2016 royally entertained, so a visit is definitely worth it. You can play and test in Cologne from August 18 to 21, 2016. For role players, the cosplay event will be one of the trade fair highlights at Gamescom 2016. When players meet, they always find something in common, no matter which medium they otherwise prefer in their free time.