Wednesday, 17.10.2001


Okay, we have come to the point where my active coverage begins. This morning at 11.00 AM I attended the press-conference of the organisers which is traditionally followed by a presentation of the news to the press.

The conference was opened by Rosemarie Geu, the chief-organiser of the SPIEL at the Friedhelm Merz Verlag. In her statement, she was mainly concerned with the impact of the terrorism-strikes on 11th of September on the decision of the organisers whether to open the convention or not. She stated, that all these terrible images cannot be banned from our minds, but on the other hand she also pointed to the international cross-border relations for which boardgames stand. She interpreted the theme of the SPIEL "Komm Spiel mit!" (=come and play) as an offer not only to play games, but also to come and find new friends from all over the world. For this, the Merz Verlag decided to open the SPIEL this year, and this decision was also appreciated by the games companies from North America: all but one single company have kept their promise to come.

Mr. Hennecke, the chief executive of the Messe Essen then turned to more traditional boardgame themes, pointing to the important meaning games have especially for children in order to train brain capacities and flexibility. As for the happenings with the World Trade Center, he stated that life must go on and the games also are a part of life and that one should not become enslaved by acts of a misled minority.

Mrs. Metzler and Mr. Pohle finally turned to the mere facts of the convention, stating that this year 565 companies from 17 nations are presenting their games (about 25% of the companies are foreign companies.) Last year, the convention once again held its high visitor numbers, reaching a total of 146.000 visitors on the four convention days. As for gaming trends to be identified this year, the dawning of the new Lord of the Rings movie also has brought quite a stream of games focused on the topic, whereas with children games based on Harry Potter might be predicted to become quite popular. Concerning market developments, games and puzzles once again defended their position in the total toys market (17% - source: Eurotoys), and they reach a total turnover of 725.275.203 German Marks.


On wednesday evening the time had come for the first highlight - even before the convention officially opened its gates. In the ballroom of the Messe-building, the awards ceremony for the "Deutscher Spiele Preis" awards took place and many high-ranking personalities from the worldwide boardgames-scene were present.

  • 2. MEDINA by Stefan Dorra
  • 3. DIE HÄNDLER VON GENUA by Rüdiger Dorn
  • 4. EVO von Philippe Keyaerts
  • 5. CAPITOL by Alan R. Moon and Aaron Weissblum
  • 6. CARTAGENA by Leo Colovini
  • 7. SAN MARCO by Alan R. Moon and Aaron Weissblum
  • 8. BABEL by Hagen Dorgathen and Uwe Rosenberg
  • 9. JAVA by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling
  • 10. DAS AMULETT by Alan R. Moon and Aaron Weissblum
  • [image]

    On the left side of this image you see Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, author of Carcassonne. He is a teacher for Religion and Music at a school at Cologne, and Carcassonne is his first boardgame ever to be produced. Thus it is quite remarkable that it directly got him both the "Deutscher Spiele Preis" and "Spiel des Jahres" awards, and since the beginning of the year up to 330.000 copies of the game had been sold.


    Myself, I spent a nice evening at the ceremony, having a good chat with Doris Matthäus and Frank Nestel which were seated next to me.

    Looking for the news? Visit Funagain Games!

    [Gamebox Index]


    Copyright © 2003 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Trier, Germany