Last updated on December 3rd, 2023 at 11:56 pm
Cologne in August 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. Which I already failed. I managed to get to one, but it wasn’t the closest nor the one I had in mind and planned to go for.
It doesn’t really matter as much since I got there, and I got there in time as well.
When I arrived, I wasn’t the first one, and with me there were a lot of people. And I’m used to a high amount of people when going for the AniNite, but it really felt like 5x more or so. In the end, I found out there were 320k people this year alone. Last year, there were 265k people. It’s the world’s biggest video game event of the year, so I’m not really surprised.
I managed to meet up with long-distance, never met friends, and it was really fun but also a lot for me since it was my very first.
It was exciting to see them open the gates at exactly 9 a.m., so we waited a bit after getting in there 10 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 didn’t surprise me entirely.
After entering, we were looking for our wristbands to be able to play games; Which was really fun for me to get.
It wasn’t really fun for me. Since I made the mistake of having only a picture of my passport with me, 2 out of 3 people I asked, where like “No, we need a physical ID”. We tried to go for a 0 FSK game, which kind of made sense without a band, but they didn’t let me in.
In the end, I finally spoke to someone who told me it didn’t matter that I had only a picture and finally got my band.
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.
I haven’t really played lots of games, either. There were just too many people waiting for them already.
After a while, I found out about a YouTuber I have been around for 10 years, and I tried to find him. I didn’t know if there’d be a chance of meeting him in the first place, but I’d have loved to, of course. I also respect it when they’re not around for the public.
It took me around 2-3 hours to finally meet and speak to him for maybe 5 seconds. But for me, it was really worth it.
It’d get another chance some other day, I’d consider myself that patient.
That meetup was pretty much my second or third highlight of the day. I had some time left – or so I thought – to get to the trains and meet up with friends, but I really haven’t thought of it being total chaos since there’s an event going on. I should have thought of it. My bad here – haha.
The way back to Köln was complete chaos. One side of the station was locked – the way I came and knew – so I had to get another way around. But nobody could actually say anything helpful about a train. 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.
It was an amazing day after all the chaos. And if one asks me if I’d go again, I might even consider it. I didn’t play as much as I could have, but I hardly do gaming events either way because of the waiting time.