Technology

A celebration of the weird world of Gamescom

As Europe's largest gaming convention reaches its final day, take a look at some of the stranger things that go on at the show.

Video games convention Gamescom is a weird, wonderful and fascinating experience for all attendees, as hundreds of thousands of fans descend on a conference centre in Germany to get a glimpse of the latest titles.

Unlike other gaming trade shows, Gamescom lets in the public in large numbers, offering many their very first look at what they’ll be playing in the next year and beyond.

As a result, the week-long event is a very big deal for developers who want to get their game in front of players, and gamers who want to see what’s next in their favourite virtual worlds.

It means an event filled with developer booths desperate to grab attention, and fans determined to show their love for various gaming series. Here’s a look at what happens on the floor of Gamescom.

The people

(Martyn Landi/PA)
(Martyn Landi/PA)

The sheer number of people who attend Gamescom is a sight in itself. Unlike other shows, the public attend in large numbers – around 350,000 people were expected this year – and that means halls and walkways packed with people.

Car giant Ford raised eyebrows by unveiling a new car at Gamescom this year – the first time a vehicle had been launched at the show. The firm said the sheer size of the gaming market made it a “relevant audience” to appear before, and judging by the foot traffic, they may have a point.

The cosplay

(Martyn Landi/PA)
(Martyn Landi/PA)

With so many fans, cosplay is inevitable – and at Gamescom the costumes vary wildly thanks to the sheer range of characters to choose from across gaming worlds.

Levels of dedication can vary – many booths hand out paraphernalia including masks and hats that enables even those who haven’t dressed up to at least get involved a little bit.

The booths

With so many excited fans in attendance, developers have the chance to get their game plenty of unofficial testers before launch, and hopefully build hype along the way.

As a result, some of the booths at Gamescom are elaborate affairs designed to entice in anyone who happens to be walking by.

The World Of Tanks booth featured a tank mounted on rubble, while the Fortnite stand featured its very own assault course for visitors to try their hand at, as well as a zip line meant to mimic the in-game glider.

The queues

(Martyn Landi/PA)
(Martyn Landi/PA)

Members of the public who go to Gamescom to try and play some new games face one inevitability – queues.

Such is the expectation of long waiting times to get hands-on with anything, many now bring their own portable chairs to take the weight off while in the queue.

Some booths even hand out cardboard sheets that can be folded into stools for attendees to sit on, making that wait for 20 minutes on the new Battlefield that little bit more bearable – and totally worth it if your team wins.

Gamescom will be back in Cologne, Germany, at the end of August next year.

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