The trained staff will help you with questions about moves, © Friedhelm Merz Verlag

In­ter­na­tion­al Game Days in Es­sen

The world’s largest pub­lic fair for games

About 200,000 vis­it­ors per year, more than 1,200 ex­hib­it­ors from over 50 na­tions, and in ex­cess of 1,500 new games to look at, try out, and take home make the In­ter­na­tion­al Games Days in Es­sen a unique mega-event hos­ted every Oc­to­ber.

The dice roll at the tables and game pieces jump across the board at the world’s largest public fair for games in Essen. Game boxes and cartons pile up all around the setups. They cover entire displays at the presentation stands. Costumed professional gamers explain the rules of strategy masterpieces or board game classics and the smartest moves to young and old fans of the scene alike.

Would you like to watch a cartoonist at work, attend the Deutsche Spielepreis awards ceremony, or watch live-action role-players at a show? Passers-by may come to the counters in the Grugahalle to talk to the development teams enthusiastically presenting their innovations. An exhibitor from Korea, for example, will bring a modern app that projects figures into real space using augmented reality technology.

If you would like to be active yourself, you may participate in international competitions and championships in anything from chess to trading card games. Prize money and honorary titles are waiting for the competitors. The trade fair organisers from Friedel Merz Verlag have set up an outdoor games area for younger visitors, focused on wild play and fun. Lectures and discussion rounds on subjects such as “Games in the public cultural space” or “The digital world of analogue games” complement the trade fair events.

Speaking of digital: An annual online stream of the show was added in 2019, giving those who are staying home an opportunity to attend as well.

Date: 3 to 6 October 2024

Images and videos

Be inspired: images of your NRW

Visitors can look at it, try it out, make contacts and pursue the passion for collecting almost everywhere at the fair, © Friedhelm Merz Verlag
Visitors of all ages learn how individual games work at the exhibition stands, © Friedhelm Merz Verlag
Table-top is a genre of its own with many fans, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
Figures are in great demand on the international game days in Essen, © Tourismus NRW e.V.
Some statues are real eye-catchers at the stands at the game fair, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

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