The gamescom congress was held August 21, presenting a successful balance of enthusiastic visitors and heavyweight speakers in another sold-out edition. More than 900 attendees had the chance to hear from 103 speakers, who demonstrated the diverse potential of computer games, reinforcing the gamescom congress’ position as Europe’s leading think tank for games and digitalization.
Across the 48 sessions, the world of video games was illuminated from all angles. The emphasis was on topics that move the digital generation forward. Intense discussion was particularly enjoyed in the “Debatt(l)e Royale” political forum. The panel was attended by the federal directors and general secretaries of the German political parties CDU, SPD, FDP, Die Linke and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen.
In the subsequent keynotes, talks, panel discussions and workshops, the speakers demonstrated the impetus that digital games, games technologies and game developers provide. The new “Public Stage” program was streamed live on the internet with Axel Voss MEP, discussing network policy and political communication in the age of YouTube. In the “Quartet of Game Culture”, Lena Falkenhagen and Nina Kiel talked about historically inspired game settings that are fictitious at the same time. Lively discussions also took place in the other lecture halls where the use of games in schools and the important topics of cultural integration and inclusion were discussed. Prof. Dr. Linda Breitlauch (Trier University of Applied Sciences), Aiman Mazyek (Central Council of Muslims in Germany), Kathrin Trattner (University of Graz) and Olaf Zimmermann (German Cultural Council) discussed the integrative power of computer games, while Mark Barlet of Able Gamers demonstrated how inclusive games can be for people with disabilities.
“The gamescom congress 2019 demonstrates undeniably that there is much more to games than just entertainment. Digital games promote digitalization and support learning. Games are also an important cultural asset and bring people together worldwide. The congress attracted guests from all industries; from science, politics, and education. This diversity is unique,” said Gerald Böse, CEO of Koelnmesse GmbH.
The congress takes place annually as part of the gamescom event in Cologne, Germany.
A professional jury gave top honors in the gamescome awards to Dreams from Sony Interactive Entertainment (Best Sony PlayStation 4 Game, Most Original Game); another Sony title, Concrete Genie (Best Family Game); the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Best Nintendo Switch Game); Gears 5 (Best Microsoft Xbox One Game); Codemasters Grid (Best Racing Game); Koch Media’s Wasteland 3 (Best Roleplaying Game); Ubisoft’s Roller Champions (Best Sports Game); and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint (Best PC Game).
Gamescom Awards 2019 winners:
Best Action Adventure Game – Blacksad: Under the Skin, astragon Entertainment
Best Action Game – DOOM Eternal, ZeniMax Germany
Best Family Game – Concrete Genie, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Racing Game – Grid, Codemasters
Best Role Playing Game – Wasteland 3, Koch Media
Best Simulation Game – Planet Zoo, Frontier
Best Sports Game – Roller Champions, Ubisoft
Best Strategy Game – Desperados III, THQ Nordic
Most Original Game – Dreams, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Microsoft Xbox One Game – Gears 5, Microsoft
Best Nintendo Switch Game – The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, Nintendo
Best Sony PlayStation 4 Game – Dreams, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Mobile Game – Battle Chasers: Nightwar – Mobile Edition, HandyGames
Best PC Game – Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Ubisoft