First day at Spiel
The Spiel environment is incredible friendly and inviting. It’s not long after the doors open that gamers are already seated at a table having rules of a new game explained to them and then playing with new friends. Don’t understand game rules in German? No problem- lots of exhibitors and attendees speak English!
One of my first stops is at the Spiel both where I meet Thomas, one of the Spiel organizers. He is busy attending to one of the many game tournaments of the weekend, but makes time to talk to me about Spiel and his excitement for attracting an international audience. He tells me what to check out based on what I tell him I like and he even tells me about some of the best spots in the exhibit hall to easily find spaces to sit and start playing a game.
There is something at Essen for everyone, even if not deeply entrenched in gaming culture. There are hundreds (and probably thousands) of table top games (many premiering for the first time at Spiel), card games, video games, novels, comics and graphic novels. You will certainly find your favourite collectibles whether it be Pokemon, Mario, Star Wars, Final Fantasy. Although it isn’t as common to dress up as your favourite character at Spiel as it is at a ComicCon or FanExpo, you will find the crucial materials here to make or complete your costume.
First day recommendations: arrive early! The subway line to Messe Essen runs at regularly frequent intervals for Spiel, but you may have to wait for one or two trains to fill and pass until the crowd is small enough that you can board. Plus, there is a lot more room to navigate your way around the exhibit halls with fewer people. There will also be fewer people at concession lines when you get hungry or thirsty! By the afternoon, gaming tables are almost totally filled but you can still be seated quickly with a little patience. If you’ve already spent your morning making friends while playing games, there is still plenty to see and do!
John Miklavcic is our Canadian Carcassonne Champion. After winning the Canadian qualifier at Snakes & Lattes on September 30th, John has been prepping for the Worlds in Essen, Germany. Over the next week we'll be following his adventures and cheering him on.