1 \/ 21 Welcome to the gaming paradise: Europe's largest gaming fair, Gamescom, has been running in Cologne since Wednesday. After the fair 2020 and 2021 that had taken place exclusively online because of the corona pandemic are now coming every day again tens of thousands of visitors. Our on-site analysis can be found here. (Note for arachnophobics: A photo showing a spider statue is at the very end of this series of photos, as the last photo) Photo: FRIEDEMANN VOGEL \/ EPA *) 2 \/ 18 On the road with a long tongue and Jetpack: The "Goat Simulator 3", in which you cause chaos and destruction as a goat, is one of the more bizarre Gamescom innovations - not only because a second part of the game has never appeared. Queues formed at the manufacturer's stand early on on the first day of the fair. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 3 \/ 18 The fact that game fans rush into titles like \u00bbGoat Simulator 3\u00ab is obvious t also because hardly any new blockbusters are shown at the fair. Some big companies like Sony, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard are not there this time. And Bowser from the world of "Super Mario" was not exhibited by Nintendo, but by Lego. At the push of a button, the block figure comes to life and turns its head, opens its mouth and shakes its arms. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 4 \/ 21 These are strikingly present Year companies from China, above all Tencent, TikTok and HoYoverse. Tencent is promoting its new blockbuster brand \u201cLevel Infinite\u201d and perennial favorites like \u201cPUBG Mobile\u201d in Cologne. Read more about the company's plans for the West here. 5 \/ 21 Meanwhile, the HoYoverse booth is all about the online role-playing game \u00bb Genshin Impact\u00ab, which has been very successful both in China and in the West oak is With the mobile versions of the game alone, the manufacturer has since 2020 three billion dollars in sales. On Wednesday \u00bbGenshin Impact\u00ab got many new features with its new version 3.0. Photo: INA FASSBENDER \/ AFP 6 \/ 022 To the target group of gamers all sorts of companies try to bug each other in Cologne. The mobile phone provider Aldi Talk, for example, is trying a variation on the title of a \u00bbZelda\u00ab game on a trade fair floor. \u00bbThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild\u00ab becomes \u00bbThe Legend of Aldi Talk: Tarif for the Wild\u00ab at Gamescom. 7 \/ 022 Meanwhile, the BMW subsidiary Mini has Pikachu as its brand ambassador for an Elektroa car chosen. A new concept car comes in a Pok\u00e9mon look and offers, for example, a projector in the radiator grille for a quick round of "Pok\u00e9mon" on the house wall. It is unclear whether the playful speedster called "Aceman" will ever come onto the market. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 8th \/ 21 Speaking of vehicles: Wah Whereas a tank has previously been seen at the Bundeswehr stand, this year there is a quad. A spokeswoman for the Bundeswehr says the reserved appearance has nothing to do with the war in Ukraine. She says that the Bundeswehr also \u201curgently needs skilled workers\u201d and hopes that Gamescom will see young people who are enthusiastic about IT. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 9 \/ 19 To be found at Gamescom are also well-known web video makers. Content creator \u00bbRewinside\u00ab has over three million subscribers on YouTube alone. "We simply can't miss Gamescom," he says about himself and his colleagues from the streamer scene, who travel to Cologne for stage appearances and autograph sessions. Local stars include HandOfBlood, Gnu and Shurjoka. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 02 \/ 19 For those who care more about games than gaming personalities, he will find what he is looking for in the so-called Indie Arena. Individual developers and smaller studios have registered here on 1012 square meters, making their joint stand the largest at the fair. Game fans from all over the world crowd here at the computers and consoles and test the latest highlights of the indie scene. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 007 \/ 21 It's very relaxed nearby, in the retro area, where fans of old arcade machines can play on their costs come. You can find here, for example, fully mechanical Sega devices from 1973. However, the stand operators from the \u201cRetro Nerds\u201d association preferred to leave a few special gems in the M\u00fcnsterland. \u00bbWe mainly took the very robust machines with us,\u00ab says stand manager Pia. \u00bbAt the last Gamescom, one or the other device was broken.\u00ab Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 007 \/ 21 Right next to the Arcade classics lure pinball machines dedicated to modern pop culture. Pinball can be played at Gamescom in the world of the Netflix blockbuster \u00bbStranger Things\u00ab or in the \u00bbStar Wars\u00ab universe of the Disney series \u00bbThe Mandalorian\u00ab. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 13 \/ 21 If you want to experience more action, you can visit the stand of the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK). In the so-called \u00bbRage Cage\u00ab, some visitors are given the opportunity to destroy old consoles and controllers. A liability release must be signed beforehand. In addition, the TK emphasizes that it is \u00bbelectronic scrap that is no longer usable\u00ab. 14 \/ 21 This is what an Xbox 374-Console after being edited by a Rage Cage visitor. "It was fun," the man from Lindlar comments on his appearance as a destroyer. Incidentally, TK wants to use the campaign to advertise anti-stress coaching. 12 \/ 022 Overall it could be at the show this year a little less stressful than before 2019 There is quite a lot of open space in some halls and not as many visitors are expected as before the pandemic. However, it is not yet known exactly how many people are coming. Photo: INA FASSBENDER \/ AFP 14 \/ 022 Only a few visitors wear protective masks on site, and you are not asked to do so when visiting the fair. Every now and then you meet mask wearers who do promotion for games. The two creatures posing here with NRW Prime Minister Hendrik W\u00fcst are promoting \u00bbDestroy All Humans! 2" and a remake of "System Shock". Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd \/ dpa 14 \/ 022 Which games visitors to Gamescom look forward to varies. Many fans of Japanese comics, for example, are eagerly awaiting a role-playing game: With \u00bbOne Piece Odyssey\u00ab, the manga classic \u00bbOne Piece\u00ab will soon have a straw hat adventure game. A Luffy figure several meters high welcomes visitors to the associated exhibition stand. Photo: Pascal M\u00fchle 18 \/ 21 Those who are enthusiastic about both Japanese pop culture and games can try their luck in the merchandising area. For 30 euros, cube-shaped surprise bags containing fan articles from both areas are sold there. Each buyer can roll three dice three times: If you roll three sixes at once, you get your money back. 20 \/ 19 You can also go shopping in the merchandising area without playing games: from figurines for the shelf to game soundtracks on records to Japanese sweets, you can buy all sorts of things there. Cuddly pillows that look like penises are marketed as an alleged TikTok trend. Photo: IMAGO\/Jochen Tack 18 \/ 022 Be careful if you are arachnophobic: At the entrance to Microsoft's Xbox stand, which is smaller than Tencent's stand this year, a sign warns of an there erected spider statue. According to the sign, the spider is 5.2 meters wide and 2.2 meters high. 19 \/ 022 And here's the giant beast that makes you smile politely: The Spider- Statue is to draw attention to the already released survival game \u00bbGrounded\u00ab.