More and more people, also in this country, are now pursuing e-sports

As soon as Gamescom is over in Cologne, the next big event moves into focus for game fans: the international game days in Essen. As the world's largest trade fair for board and card games, the SPIEL is a must-attend event for passionate players and those interested in games. New trends in the toy industry become visible every year. The year 2018 stands for innovative ideas, worker placement and meaningful discussions.

In the period from October 25 to 28, 2018, the city of Essen will once again become the gaming capital of the world - and around 180.000 people will temporarily become its special inhabitants. In the following article we have summarized the trends and topics of the SPIEl'18.

Cultural funding: Keynotes on the SPIEL cultural asset

Every type of game is seen as a cultural good in modern society. It is not only at the Gamescom video game fair that games as cultural assets are increasingly becoming the focus of political interests: board and card games as well as the associated SPIEL trade fair also take up the topic of games as a cultural asset in order to underpin the relevance of shared gaming moments for society. In terms of content, SPIEL'18 will be significantly more varied than previous trade fair events. Aside from the gaming tables, visitors will find exciting program items this year. 

The SPIEL'18 is growing So not only in terms of exhibitors and innovations, but also in terms of content. The game authors' guild, in cooperation with the German Cultural Council, invites you to a panel discussion on the topic on October 25, 2018 Play as a cultural asset - part of our society: Appreciation, promotion, prospects one. The event begins at 14.00 p.m. in the Panorama room.

The focus of the discussion event is on games as valuable factors for successful social coexistence: How can games function as motors for education and intellectual performance? What role do games play within family systems? How can integration succeed through shared gaming experiences?

Analogous to the planned funding for video games Questions about funding opportunities for analog game ideas are answered and discussed. A future trend can be felt across all industries: gaming is understood as an appreciative commitment to social interaction that knows no age limits, gender segregation or social status. Visitors with a penchant for sophisticated topics should not miss this discussion event. 

The themed event on the development of the domestic and global game market should be at least as interesting. The panel with an international dimension will take place on October 26, 2018 at 14 p.m. in the Berlin Hall of Messe Essen. The main players in the panel are international industry representatives and game authors who philosophize about the game market of the future. Entry to this event is free for all visitors.

Trends at SPIEL'18: worker placement and co-op

The so-called worker placement game has emerged as one of the most popular genres of board games in recent times. What sounds complicated, aims to playfully place pieces on the board in such a way that effects are triggered that fill the player's victory point account. The high strategic component of worker placement mechanics has made such board games popular with frequent gamers. However, worker placement is not a mechanism that is used exclusively for developing complex board games. Rather, the idea of ​​the clever deployment of workers is understood as a motivating element with a gradual learning experience. 

The more often players - this also explicitly means casual players and beginners - use their workers during the game and understand the resulting results, the more efficient their future moves will be. Numerous new releases at SPIEL'18 take up the tactical element of worker placement and regularly ensure a high level of sustainability through motivating incentives to replay. 

Worker placement games are among the most popular representatives of the genre and often appeal to frequent gamers with their complex game systems. At SPIEL'18, board game fans can try out various board games with this exciting mechanism at the publisher's tables.
Worker placement games are among the most popular representatives of the genre and often appeal to frequent gamers with their complex game systems. At SPIEL'18, board game fans can try out various board games with this exciting mechanism at the publisher's tables.

In addition to competitive titles, board games that motivate players to work together are particularly popular at the upcoming SPIEL'18. Cooperative board games such as X-CODE by Amigo Spiele ensure entertaining moments of play without overwhelming players with overly complicated sets of rules. Ideally, promoting shared gaming experiences is achieved through the use of comprehensible mechanics and plausible game actions. Additional stimulus is provided by rule tricks that put participants under time pressure or progressively limit resources. Other interesting cooperative board games come from KOSMOS (Roll for Adventure), Game Factory (Space Escape) or HABA (The legends of the will-o'-the-wisps).

Game innovations at SPIEL'18

Board games that introduce new mechanisms, change existing ones or combine them across genres are often seen as innovative. The innoSPIEL award is still a young innovation prize that the organizers of SPIEL'18 award during the press conference. In addition to innovative rules, games can also display new types of mechanics via the game material: Ravensburger, for example, brings with them cool Runnings launched a title in which the characters consist of real ice cubes. This extends the preparation time enormously, but so far it is a real unique selling point among modern board games. The frozen figures are not only a real eye-catcher, but also playfully relevant: after all, the player whose ice figure is the last to return to the liquid state also wins.

The 8BIT BOX from Iello, which lets fans indulge in memories of console games from the 90s, is already quite iconic. Retro gaming is defined in a new way with this innovative toy. 

No less innovative is Asmodée's idea of ​​giving players an individual and unique gaming experience by purchasing a board game. The less innovative, but extremely understandable name Unique games describes what it's about: Play boxes contain, apart from the necessary core components, different play materials. Players do not know what is in the box they have bought, but they get a unique game. Discover - To undiscovered lands is the name of the pilot game. The question that remains is how the trial rounds at SPIEL'18 will look if the players end up getting something different from what they played at the fair. Quite exciting and certainly a starting point for interesting conversations.

Education through Games: Critical Topics for the Classroom

Using games for school lessons is generally a great idea. After all, learning experiences in which children devote themselves to a topic with fun and motivation in order to achieve their personal "flow" are particularly sustainable. Even critical or sensitive topics are not taboo for educational games.

As recently presented socially adequately Swastikas in video games were allowed, it was considered an accolade for games as a cultural asset. The processing of historical topics also makes sense for analog games. The Federal Agency for Civic Education is funding a project that tries to convey German-Polish history to young people in a vivid and understandable way. The game Texture Special Edition picks up on topics such as the Teutonic Order, the First World War or the war crimes in Auschwitz in order to provide educational institutions with new educational tools. One can only hope that there will be enough teachers in the future to present the children and young people with innovative learning content.

The exhibition of the European Game Collectors' Guild (ESG) is also educational, and at SPIEL'18 in Essen it will be displaying works on the subject of "played books". Book themes and heroes from literature are often found in parlor games; recently that has the title woodlands from Ravensburger impressively illustrated. Books and games do not exist in separate worlds, but rather lead an almost symbiotic existence. As every year, passionate gamers should definitely take a look at the works on display by the European Game Collectors' Guild.

The educational topic also touches the anniversary of a popular classic game: Scrabble. The exciting word guessing game is 70 years old and has therefore been reissued by Mattel as an anniversary edition. 

Another classic, UNO, has been changed in terms of its display so that even players with color vision impairment can play without any problems. Such changes are important, so too Visually impaired people is made possible to enjoy board and card games.

The international game days are becoming more international

1.150 exhibitors from 50 countries will present their innovations in Essen from October 25th to 28th. In addition to European and American manufacturers, numerous publishers from Asian countries are represented at SPIEL'18. This year, the commitment of the Indonesian industry representatives also stands out. In Hall 3 of Messe Essen, Indonesia is presenting itself as a serious gaming nation that has searched for 15 Indonesian game designers as part of a selection process in order to exhibit their works at SPIEL'18. 

Many characters portrayed by cosplayers also come from other worlds. On the days of the fair, the first 100 cosplayers receive free entry to SPIEL'18 - provided they are fully dressed, of course. Those who want free admission can use the Mitte entrance (Hall 6).

If you are unsure about a visit to the colorful program of the international game days with comic action, you will find the Reports on SPIEL'17 certainly a lot of motivating incentives for a trip to the gaming capital Essen.