gamescom 2023

Gamescom 2023 – The day started as early as I could manage to get up; I believe it was 7 a.m., so I could take enough time to get ready and find the closest station at the place I decided to stay for the night.

Since I decided to arrive on Friday for what me took 8ish hours by train, I would have enough time to check in to my booked room and get up early enough for the convention the next day.

Arrival – Gamescom 2023

However, the plan with the closest train station failed. I managed to get to one, but it wasn’t the closest nor the one I had in mind. I even asked around for help, since Google Maps wasn’t big of a help.
But it didn’t really matter in the end. I got to a station and arrived at the Köln Messe Deutz station early enough. Well, with thousands of other people. I literally had the mass behind me.

So, when I arrived, I wasn’t the first one, and with me there were a lot of people, a whole lot more as I know from the usual events I’d go to.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m used to a high amount of people when going for the AniNite, YuniCon or the like, which are Anime conventions in Austria, but it really felt like 5x more or so. In the end, I found out there were 320k people this year alone. Last year, 2022, there were 265k people visiting the Gamescom.
However, I will add an article and compare GameCity with Gamescom, even tho the latter feels 10x as big to give you an example.

It’s the world’s biggest video game event of the year, so I’m not really surprised. And, by all means, I didn’t know it had that big of a reputation. however, I can’t say I’m surprised. The location alone is huge. It took me a lot of time from the main halls to the exit when I was about to leave, which I had not in mind to think of.

I managed to meet up with long-distance, never met friends, who live around Cologne, and it was really fun but also a lot for me since it was my very first.
It was exciting to see them opening the gates at exactly 9 a.m., so we waited a bit after getting in there 10-15 minutes early. I was a bit surprised by them having security checking our backpacks, but then again, it’s a huge event, so it also shouldn’t surprise me entirely.

The Beginning

After entering the location, we were looking for our wristbands to be able to play games. Because without them, you aren’t legit for them to let you in. Which was really fun for me to get. In a sarcastic way. Because it wasn’t really fun for me. Since I made the mistake of taking only a picture of my passport with me, 2 out of 3 people I asked, where like “No, we need a physical ID”. The only problem was, I had left it in my home country, Austria. So, picking it up wasn’t an option.

Which meant we had to try various ways or I was just fcked to be precise. So we tried for a 0 FSK game, which kind of made sense without a band, but they didn’t let me in. For whatever reason and it wouldn’t be of me not looking like being old enough haha

I kind of gave up after that one and instead of wasting precious time, I went for just enjoying my time without playing games. The wristband was only for having a point anyway. I wasn’t really as intersted in wasting time for waiting but rather enjoy the fact of being there. I’d have never dreamed of being at the Gamescom ever, since it was a whole other country. It always seemed so far away to actually do it.

So I simply decided to run around the location for literal no real reason than doing it. After running around through their merchandise corner, already not thinking of getting a wristband anymore, I found another information stand and asked. Where they finally said yes and my wish came true!
Because they told me of it actually doesn’t matter, as long as they see a legit ID!

I didn’t know of them being that strict about it, so keep in mind to always have a physical ID with you when going to the Gamescom. It’s not really fun when one can really enjoy playing games without one. It can’t possibly be only me of having no other physical ID with me. I learned of it but oh well.
Like, when I go to a convention in Austria, they aren’t that strict at all or not that I could remember at least.

As I mentioned before, I haven’t played lots of games while being there. There were just too many people waiting for them already, and I didn’t really want to spend so much time to wait on anything before actually having fun which was the point to actually get there.

From time to time, I managed to get some food but only the small snacks stuff, since I went for a limited amount I had with me. In a matter of not buying too many things, since I know myself very well when it comes to conventions and merch and myself. Couldn’t have been much better! I went for 2 T-Shirts and an Assassin’s Creed Origins themed bag, which I love!

Meeting a YouTuber

During my running-around’s, I found out about a YouTuber I have been around for 10 years, of being on the conventions, so I tried to find him. I didn’t know if there’d be a chance of meeting him directly in the first place, but I’d have loved to, of course. I also respect it when they’re not around for the public. So I either keep my distance or go all in.

It took me around 2-3 hours sitting in the sun to finally meet and speak to him for maybe 5 seconds. But for me, it was really worth it.
I might, after all, get another chance some other day, I consider myself patient enough and at the same time I can’t really wait for meeting him again. I know, from his perspective I am just a random woman and one from his fans but for me, I’ve learned so much from him already. It is worth it.

That meetup was pretty much my second or third highlight of the day. I had some time left afterwards – or so I thought – to get to the train and meet up with another group of friends from the city, but I really haven’t thought of there being total chao

Way Back To Cologne City

Since Gamescom was going on. I should have thought of it and considered the fact of there being human masses waiting for a train on their way home as well. My bad here – haha.
The way back to Cologne City was complete chaos. One side of the station was locked – the way I came and knew – so I had to get another way around. You know, when you’re in a city or place you barely know, it would make sense to get the way out the same way you got in?

But nobody could actually tell me anything helpful about a train I could use instead. The first I’d have gone for was canceled, so I improvised and managed to get to the city – around 20 – 30 minutes late, but I managed. After all, without any help of those obvious info guide people they had around to manage the mass on people in the first place.

Finally arrived at my destination, Cologne City, a part of the group was late as well, so I could met with them and we’d go for the meeting spot together.
Since the other half already went there and was waiting and of us being unexpectingly late, we had to hurry up a little. Couldn’t stay as long as we might have planned or even really enjoy the evening together.

Because all of us had a while to go back to each of our places in the end. Well, I went for sweet potatoe fries, as a usual go to, but I couldn’t complain because I had my snacks all around the day anyway.

My Stay

The room I had booked over Airbnb was fine as well. I didn’t realize it was only a room first, but it didn’t matter anyway.
There were kitchen and bathroom I would share with other current tenants, but we haven’t even met each other. They happened to stay for te Gamescom as well, which I found really funny.

The Host was friendly and showed me around the rooms and explained everything. The location was fine, there’s a store pretty close I could get some necessaities from and – if one knows the right direction – the train station wouldn’t be far.
I only didn’t like it, to walk around in the dark, because of the route not offering enough light at night, but it was manageable.

Final Thoughts

It was an amazing day at the Gamescom – and “weekend” in Germany – after all the chaos and overall certainly a trip to remember. And if one asks me if I’d go again, I might even consider it. I didn’t manage to play as many games as I could have, but I hardly do gaming on events either way because of the waiting time.
Besides the DB having their chaos not properly managed afterwards, I consider it worth my time. For my first time on the event, it was really a great experience.

Have you ever been to Cologne or Germany at all? Do you want to go? Or if so, how was your trip? Share your experience down below!

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