A network of cosplayers welcomed visitors to Hamburg’s latest games fair, the Gamevention on Saturday (November 23,2019). Characters from Marvel and Star Wars mingled with figures from Game of Thrones, League of Legends and Jack Sparrow while Michael Myers pranced around with fabulous warriors and elves in Hamburg’s exhibition halls. Several stands with cosplay accessories or repair sets for elaborate costumes had been set up around the stage where hit cosplayers and influencers talked about their experiences. The wearers put a lot of time, effort and imagination and into their costumes. Trade fairs like the two-day Gamevention offer the community a welcome opportunity to show off their live works of art.
Broad range of topics
Cosplay is only one focus of the festival. A separate area was devoted entirely to the indie gaming scene. Small, independent studios presented their latest games and talked to visitors. The Gamevention is aimed at professional and and amateur e-sports players and offers the games industry a huge, public platform and an opportunity to meet their fans in person.
E-sports have long since morphed from a mere trend to become a fixed feature of the gaming community, as evidenced by events such as ESL One, which attracted around 25,000 spectators to the Barclaycard Arena in late October. Speaking at the opening of Gamevention, Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor Hamburg, stressed the growing importance of e-sports and called the games scene a “strong economic sector”. Around 200 companies in the value chain create around 4,000 jobs in the city.
Hamburg – good place for turning hobby into profession
“Games hold the fascination of entering a digital, imaginary world and being able to move there, as if it were a real world,” said Tschentscher. Hamburg is a good place for turning a hobby into a profession. “You can find Bachelor’s and Master’s degree courses here as well as many companies that offer attractive jobs,” he noted.
Mixed Reality Escape Room
Launching a start-up and creating a job is another option. Aljosha Petrovic, Davina Cochrane and Jan Lygnos did exactly that and set up Phoenix Reality. “We founded our start-up officially in May. But we’ve been developing immersive mixed reality installations and applications for the event, art and entertainment sectors since 2017,” said Petrovic. The team presented the “Paranoid” project – the first mixed reality escape room in Europe at Gamevention.
Fun and forward-looking technology
Players go on a time journey to the year 2070 when holograms and artificial intelligence are part of everyday life. There, they enter an abandoned laboratory. “Work is underway there on a secret research project that could change the history of the world. But then the lab’s security mode suddenly returns and the players have to figure out what the lab is all about and how to get out,” Petrovic explained. The emphasis is on fun and highlighting future technologies. Phoenix Reality will move into the Virtual Reality Headquarters (VRHQ) in Hamburg’s Speicherstadt in December.
The founders acquired their know-how at the SAE Institute in Hamburg. “Our courses on Game Programming, Game Art and 3D Animation lead students to the games industry, where graduates also work in visualising projects or developing apps,” said Björn Mohr, Campus Manager of the SAE Institute. Mohr was on the lookout for potential SAE students at Gamevention. “Students do not have to have a school leaving certificate and the standard period of study for a Bachelor’s degree is only two years.” However, there are no long semester breaks, so SAE students should be passionate about their course of study. Visitors and cosplayers at Gamevention certainly did not lack enthusiasm for games.
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