Gamescom opens to the mass audience

Gamescom opens to the mass audience

Published on 18.08.2016

Visitors go on 18.08.2016 in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia) about the computer game fair Gamescom. The fair for computer games will take place from 17. -21.08.2016 in Cologne. Photo: Oliver Berg /dpa+ + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +Cosplayers are together on 18.08.2016 at the game fair Gamescom in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia). The fair for computer games will take place from 17 to 21 August 2016 in Cologne. Photo: Marius Becker /dpa + + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +Marlene makes a virtual parachute jump with VR glasses (Virtual Reality glasses) on 18.08.2016 in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia) at the computer game fair Gamescom. The fair for computer games will take place from 17. -21.08.2016 in Cologne. Photo: Oliver Berg /dpa+ + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +Visitors wait for the entrance on 18.08.2016 in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia) in front of the computer game fair Gamescom. The fair for computer games will take place from 17. -21.08.2016 in Cologne. Photo: Oliver Berg /dpa+ + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +Sabrina from Aachen (r) is on 18.08.2016 in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia) with their swords in front of the computer game fair Gamescom rejected by the employee of a security service. The fair for computer games will take place from 17. -21.08.2016 in Cologne. Photo: Oliver Berg /dpa+ + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +On 17.08.2016 in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia) at the Gamescom gaming fair, trade visitors will take a four-dimensional roller coaster ride with the VR glasses (Virtual Reality) from Gear VR from Samsung. The fair for computer games will take place from 17 to 21 August 2016 in Cologne. Photo: Oliver Berg /dpa+ + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +A trade visitor tests the computer game "Tekken 7"at the Gamescom trade fair in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia) on 17 August 2016. The fair for computer games will take place from 17 to 21 August 2016 in Cologne. Photo: Oliver Berg /dpa+ + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +Trade visitors wait at the entrance of Gamescom on 17.08.2016 in Cologne (North Rhine-Westphalia). The fair for computer games will take place from 17 to 21 August 2016 in Cologne. Photo: Oliver Berg /dpa+ + + (c) dpa - Bildfunk + + +Since Thursday, the computer game fair Gamescom is open to the public. The day before, only the professional audience had access.The crowds in the Cologne exhibition halls are huge.Numerous cosplayers are also among the visitors.A big trend topic is virtual reality: Visitor Marlene dares the virtual parachute jump.Meanwhile, visitors are still waiting for admission.Employees of a security service search the pockets of visitors in advance.Sabrina from Aachen is rejected by the security with her swords.Those who have made it inside can experience a four-dimensional roller coaster ride, among other things.Also, the computer game This year's fair runs from 17 to 21 August.

Sabrina used to be a fighting cat. But her life as a sword-wielding “Kitty Cat Katarina” was just ended abruptly – by a short-tailed security man. Styrofoam swords at Gamescom? I can’t. Please drop in front. Sabrina’s cat costume, based on the game “League of Legends”, is trimmed at the level of a house tiger. Her voice resonates with wistfulness. “Now I’m just a normal cat.“

Welcome to Gamescom, the large computer and video game fair in Cologne, which is also a festival to a large extent. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors to Cologne every year. Since Thursday, Gamescom is now open to all, after the first day was still reserved for the professional audience. The halls fill up abruptly, long queues form before the most popular games.

A trade fair as a test laboratory

In between you can always see Pokémon, cartoon characters, mythical creatures. The roleplayers like Sabrina have to do without their weapon replicas this year. The fair has tightened security guidelines after the recent terrorist attacks, including so that no one is frightened. Cat costume so yes, but please without a sword.

One of the interesting questions at this year’s fair is whether gamers want to go along with the direction in which the gaming industry is currently placing a lot of hopes and money. The trend topic at Gamescom is Virtual Reality (VR). With the help of special VR glasses, the technology can create completely artificial worlds in which the player can let their eyes wander freely. Gamescom is a kind of large test laboratory for this.

This can be observed at the Samsung booth. People sit in rows and have the group’s VR model in front of their eyes. “If you are not afraid, you may also dare to look down,” a voice sounds. “Dare” sounds a bit funny, because the glasses wearers only separate centimeters from the ground. But you are currently sitting in a simulated roller coaster – which should seem real to you.

Actually, it’s a movie with a 360-degree view. “I would say: it was 60 percent reality,” says visitor Fred after trying the thing. “It doesn’t really work without gravity.“

A leap into heaven – only without heaven

At another stand, Marlene is hung straight bellied in parachute ropes – quite real. What is not real is the jump from the sky into a stadium, which she then does in “Para Parachute” – it is suggested to her via VR glasses.

“It feels even more like a computer game and less like reality,” says the 20-year-old, now strapped down. “The wind was also missing.“

There are many gradations between reality and virtual reality. Some games at Gamescom create quite lifelike worlds. With others, a good deal is still missing.

But the gaming experience is a completely different one either way. The question is whether the curiosity that drives many visitors to Gamescom to buy the glasses can be translated into the mass purchase of the devices.

Stranded on a jungle planet

“It was super fluid. I felt completely in the game,” says Jo, 19 years old, who just tested “Robinson – The Journey” with the newly developed VR glasses for Sony’s Playstation.

In the game you are stranded on a jungle planet and climb through the bushes. The path straight ahead is unproblematic. Then a look to the side into an abyss – and suddenly dinosaurs grab for the virtual body. You cringe. It’s real.

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