Another year, another post

What's your New Year's resolution?

Hello hello, and might I add a happy new year to you! The end of 2011 is nigh, and I’m sitting in my grandparent’s house with my family, bringing in the new year. As of yet, I’m without a resolution for this coming year, but there’s still some time to think on it. I don’t have much of an entry tonight as I’m trying not to be too unsociable, but I will leave you with some of my previous writings. Actually, it’s a glance back to the genesis of my blog – an article I wrote for a local paper regarding Gamescom. Don’t even get me started on this one…the article has still not been published, despite the fact that the editor approved the article and assured me it would be printed in the coming weeks (way back in August/September!). It’s my first real article, and is just a short overview of Gamescom 2011 with the intention of informing people, and possibly creating an interest in the event that didn’t previously exist round these parts. I certainly hadn’t heard of it before this summer despite it being the largest games expo in the world, so I’m sure there were plenty of others like me.

Back to the point, here’s the article as promised. Let me know what you think – at least it will be released in some form now (no thanks to the Lurgan Mail).

Gamescom 2011 – Adam Douglas

Engrossed, as I was dominating Warhammer 40K Space Marine, with the heavy bolter

If you are interested in the world of video gaming, you have probably heard of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3 as it is commonly known, held annually in Los Angeles.  E3 is considered the ultimate expo in the video game industry, and is widely covered by media and used as a platform for developers to launch new titles and hardware. Despite being the most documented convention it is not the largest, for that you would have to pay a visit to Gamescom, the European equivalent to E3, held in Cologne, Germany.  This year it ran from 17th to 21st August, and had a massive 275,000 visitors. I travelled to Cologne along with my brother to Gamescom 2011 to see what all the fuss was about.

Armed with a bargain basement tent and a couple of sleeping bags, we headed into the city. The Gamescom camp is where we stayed for the weekend, situated in a park near the convention centre, Koelnmesse. The youth hostels in Cologne are very good, but to be completely immersed in the atmosphere of the event and meet other gamers the camp is the best place to be. The camp facilities were good, and even included internet access though nothing could save us from the weather. Conditions in Cologne turned out to be quite unpredictable, and changed from hot and sunny to thunderstorms and heavy rain in an instant.  However, after coming this far, we were not going to let a bit of bad weather dampen our spirits!

With an hour to go before opening, thousands of people were already waiting in line to get in. We made our way into the crowd, and slowly moved up with the mass of people. Queuing is a big part of the Gamescom experience, with some games having between 3 and 5 hour waits. It is hard to describe the sight in the main halls where the exhibitions are set up. Game logos plastered everywhere, characters from the games wandering about, stage shows and live game demonstrations. Many new games were being showcased, either with playable demos or gameplay videos and some developers even had entire themed presentations. Notable titles this year included: Diablo 3, Bioshock: Infinite, the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Prototype 2 and many more. There were also several live gaming tournaments, including a $1 million prize DOTA 2 tournament. Due to an unprecedented number of visitors on Saturday, the centre was over capacity and had to stop entry for several hours.

Gamescom is really worth visiting with and it is very reasonably priced compared to most game conventions.

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