Spiel.Digital 2020 in Essen

The largest gaming convention in the world is not GenCon or PAX. It is Spiel (literally “Game” in German) an annual gathering in Essen Germany. Typically it is housed in six huge halls in the Essen convention center. Publishers from all over the world attend, many of them using the convention to make their holiday season releases. While there is obviously a very strong German presence (boardgaming has been a popular family activity for many years,) gamers from all over Europe and the rest of the world flock to Essen to get a chance to be the first to see (and buy) these new games. Obviously, a huge in-person convention is just not going to happen this year, so the organizers have created a virtual convention Spiel.Digital that is absolutely free and runs 24 hrs a day from Thursday, October 22nd through Sunday, October 25th.

How do you “visit” the convention you may ask? Well, after registering, you can head over to spiel.digital/en/themeworlds where you’ll encounter a space-map of all types of games. Choose a game type you like, and you’ll dive down into sub-menus for more specific publishers and/or games.

At the lowest level is information about specific games, which are often accompanied by invitations to demo, watch, or play a game. Games are played on many different platforms, but most often gamers are sent over to common online boardgaming sites like TableTopia or BoardgameArena. Most game pages also provide some way to order the game (or other item) if you are interested.

If live events are more your thing, going to the Media Hub on the right side of the screen opens up a big list of various events going on at that moment. Everything from interviews, demos, announcements, is all on tap.

While the navigation does take a bit to get used to, the price (free) for the event is certainly right. Whether you want to dig in and try to get in on a demo game or just surf the site to gather information, there is plenty to see. Sure, it’s in Germany but it is (theoretically) going on 24 hrs a day, so you can check in from anywhere in the world.

One Response to “Spiel.Digital 2020 in Essen”

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