I went to GamesCom in Cologne this year and was pleased to see it turn out better than my last two visits. This time I knew people, my way around and where all the good parties were. I had bookings back to back and they were all interesting. Best of all, I didn’t end up stranded in the same industrial wasteland I got stuck in two years ago – the one populated only by vodka and prostitutes.
One thing I did notice though was an abundance of unusually young people with press badges, often moving in groups of three as they nervously navigated the business centre. At first I thought I was just being getting old and judgemental; then I got chatting to one group and discovered that they were bloggers.
Bloggers was how they described themselves (in fractured English) and it was immediately clear before they explained further that they weren’t from Kotaku or Joystiq or anything of that scale. To be honest, I was a little stunned that they’d even been able to get themselves press passes, as they had the impression of not knowing what to do with what they had.
I’ll admit that a part of me bristled at the situation – I’ve been doing this job professionally for five years and yet this group had greater presence at the show than Dennis Publishing (or Future, by the looks of it) and were being taken with matching seriousness. I’ve tried to shove this bitterness aside however, as it’s unfair to judge without knowing more.