The colourful world of games

Be it on the computer or around the table, Germans of all ages love games.

A computer and video game fair: gamescom.
A computer and video game fair: gamescom. www.gamescom.de

For more than a decade, gamescom in Cologne has been one of the world’s largest computer and video gaming fairs. In 2020 it will begin on 27 August and end on 30 August. People from all over the world can watch live – streamed to a global audience, the “Opening Night live” show that kicks off the event features a star-studded line-up.

Smartphones can also be used for gaming.
Smartphones can also be used for gaming. oneinchpunch - stock.adobe.com

According to Game, the industry association, 34 million Germans play video games. 48 percent of them are women. The average age of gamers is on the rise: in 2016 it was 35, and now in 2020 it’s 37.5. 19.5 million people use their smartphones for their gaming – making it the most popular platform.

Barbara Schöneberger and Nino Kerl present the German Computer Game Award 2020.
Barbara Schöneberger and Nino Kerl present the German Computer Game Award 2020. Getty Images for Quinke Networks

Once a year, the German Computer Game Award is presented. In 2020 the award for best German game went to “Anno 1800”, a construction and management simulation. “Through the Darkest of Times” won first prize as the best serious game; it addresses the topic of resistance to the Nazi regime.

 Games development is supported by the German state.
Games development is supported by the German state. Adobe Stock

In view of the importance of the gaming sector for the digital economy and its high degree of innovative potential, the German government decided in 2019 to roll out a funding programme for the industry. Germany is the largest market in Europe and the fifth-largest worldwide. 50 million euros will be invested in projects each year until 2023, drawing on funds provided by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

An old favourite in Germany: Mensch ärgere Dich nicht.
An old favourite in Germany: Mensch ärgere Dich nicht. picture alliance / dpa

Analogue games have not been forgotten, either: board and card games that are particularly popular in Germany are presented each year at Nuremberg International Toy Fair. Despite a constant flood of new developments, the best of which are named “Game of the Year” every summer, the classic “Mensch ärgere Dich nicht” – a boardgame similar to Ludo – is still one of the best-selling games.

Games inventor Klaus Teuber.
Games inventor Klaus Teuber. picture alliance / dpa

With sales of an estimated 30 million, German game inventor Klaus Teuber’s “Catan” is considered to be the world’s best-selling boardgame after Monopoly. There is an established scene in Germany that loves games of this type. Every year, 350 new boardgames are placed on the market in Germany – more than in any other country in the world.

Germans love card games.
Germans love card games. picture alliance / Winfried Rothermel

The most common games in Germany, popular across all generations, involve cards or dice. Nobody can say how many packs of cards and dice shaker cups there are in the country – probably several in every household.

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