Gamescom: Some Fake Security (Happy Friday)

How secure will Gamescom 2022 be? The practical test will take place from August 24 (photos: private)


Gamescom 2022 organizers promise a safe fair – but an increasing number of cases show: Corona is not interested in such promises.

Dear GamesWirtschaft reader,
Dear GamesWirtschaft reader,

I don’t know about you, but BA.5 and his ugly relatives make their way through my private and professional environment at an almost breathtaking pace. Entire family clans that bravely survived the pandemic for two years with extreme caution and caution suddenly report a series of failures.

The quick tests, which supposedly give the go-ahead for evening meetings, turn out to be positive the next morning.

It’s a cross.

In most cases, the origin can be precisely traced to a very specific occasion or moment – street fairs, tours, birthdays, corporate events, conferences, meetings, fairs, coffee parties, a coughing neighbor on a holiday plane.

Therefore, it will come as no surprise that over 100,000 fresh infections and half a million people were registered in seven days across the country in the last 24 hours. And this is in the middle of summer, and although, unlike in spring, there are no systematic tests in nurseries, schools and companies. The number of unreported cases must be huge.

Happy Friday - the weekly column on GamesWirtschaft
Happy Friday – the weekly column on GamesWirtschaft

Recent changes make me anxious to see what awaits us at Gamescom in Cologne at the end of August. Not so much because of the average course of the disease, but in most cases it is the case with the currently popular Covid variants very brutal, very uncomfortable and very stubbornly fails, but at some point it is also “inside out” (apparently – the cup has passed so far). The virus was and is harmless as the long-term consequences of this infection can take on more serious features.

What worries me a lot is the nonchalance shown above all elseat an event like Gamescom, “Ensuring the safety, health and well-being of all present”.

For real now ,guarantee‘? I consider such an announcement to be at least bold – especially since then “Tried and tested hygiene and safety concept” which has just been tried at a cultural meeting of the leading manufacturers of sweets and tires with several thousand participants. The practical test of the weekly event is underway with probably several hundred thousand private and industry guests – from August 24 at “the world’s largest event for computer and video games”.

In fact, very little can go wrong because according to the official Covid FAQ, access during the week of the fair, including assembly and disassembly, is strictly prohibited if the following symptoms occur: Cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, general weakness, diarrhea, changes in the sense of smell or taste.

Question: How do you want to control, track and, if in doubt, sanctions? A bold thesis on my part: not at all. The only thing that is checked at the entrance is the ID card (for an age bracelet) and the contents of backpacks and bags. who reasonably appears to be serious, when in doubt it was simply waved (Evidence 1: author of this article).

If you buy yourself a Saturday ticket for 30 euros or a ticket for trade fair visitors for 55 euros, but on the morning of the fair you feel a suspicious scratching in your throat or even see two red quick test lines, you would be twice as unlucky. As Gamescom Admission Tickets, which are sold in advance only, cannot be canceled, exchanged or transferred as they are 100% digital and personalized.

Second, in my opinion, almost the more critical aspect: exhibitors. Even medium-sized B2C and B2B stands employ several dozen employees – in the field of technology and safety, at gaming stations, at the sausage checkout.

Anyone with a positive test result during the fair must first leave the premises, second, inform the “Situation Center” in Hall 1, and third, go into quarantine. Contacts who are not fully vaccinated also need to be quarantined. This is what it says in the KoelnMesse guide.

It is called: Already and a slippery, asymptomatic crown case can ensure that a large proportion of booth staff will sign up along the way. By the way, this not entirely unrealistic scenario was and is and The reason that led to the early cancellation of individual exhibitors (though ultimately not decisive).

I think that is completely justified. Such decisions have absolutely nothing to do with advanced “panic” or “paranoia”, but are simply the result of a real, sober view of reality. And it doesn’t help to sit back and wait for things to unfold: the pre-sale of tickets has already been underway for four weeks – and in five weeks the first articulated trucks will be arriving at the exhibition grounds to begin the set-up. If not now, when do we need to talk about it?

In any case, I have no exactly illusions about the end of Gamescom week without a Covid souvenir – with deadlines every 30 minutes, with an international audience, with events, awards ceremonies, shows and parties. Aerosols do not care about wider corridors and optimized entry and queue management at the latest, as soon as the discussions over biscuits and coffee in booths measuring 2.5 × 2.5 meters begin. Masks are voluntary and optional anyway.

Even in the gray days before the crown, it was only with a bit of luck that it was possible to keep Gamescom infection-free. One time, on the first public day, I was sitting early in the morning in the waiting room of a Cologne doctor who appeared to be retiring, who looked down his throat anxiously and said: “Honey, why don’t you go home and make yourself some chamomile tea.” I could only nod my head in agony as the vocal cords had said goodbye the day before.

If the organizers of Gamescom now “an unforgettable experience” I promise, so hopefully this is only for the goods and services on display – and fewer health risks and side effects from a trip to Cologne.

Because everyone – exhibitors, visitors, organizers, the industry – wants one thing above all else: a fairly smooth Gamescom 2022 – and with it a bit of security in uncertain times.

Have a nice weekend

Petra Happy
Editor-in-chief of Gry Wirtschaft

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