Gamescom plans ‘hybrid’ event for summer, focusing on superfans

From The Verge: Video game fair Gamescom is planning to hold a “hybrid event” combining in-person and digital activities later this summer, despite uncertainty surrounding the ongoing pandemic and the risk the trade show could turn into a “superspreader” event.

Like many big events that involve hundreds of thousands of people flying in from all over the world to breathe the same air for days at a time, Gamescom decided to cancel its 2020 show and instead held a series of virtual spectacles. This year, though, organizers want gamers and industry insiders to return to the show floor, albeit in reduced numbers.

“In late summer, we are striving to make an on-site Gamescom event possible for the gaming fans again at last,” said Felix Falk, managing director of the German Games Industry Association, which co-organizes Gamescom, in a press statement. “We will hereby be placing a focus on the superfans and the on-site testing of the latest games this year.”

As proof of the event’s safety, organizers are promoting their adherence to so-called “#B-SAFE4business” guidelines outlined by Koelnmesse, the exhibition center in Cologne, Germany where Gamescom is usually held. According to Koelnmess, safety measures include mandatory face masks (except at seating areas for eating and drinking), contact-free navigation through doors, reduced visitor numbers (so attendees can maintain at least 1.5-meter distances from one another at all times), and “sufficient ventilation.”

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