It's that time again. Time for excitement about the Spiel game expo (Internationale Spieltage) held in Essen, Germany every October. Even when my fall season gets busy with work, kids' school, and other activities, there's always this time when I start living vicariously through the pre-, post-, and (now) during-the-event reports. Over a decade ago we heard about the new titles debuting at Essen through reports from Mike Siggins, Ken Tidwell, and others posted to The Game Cabinet in the weeks following. Then we started getting more contemporary online reports from Frank Schulte-Kulkmann & other attendees. People started taking digital cameras with them, and we got to SEE the games we were hearing about.
Last year the Boardgamegeek team had a booth at Essen for the first time, and they improved the vicarious experience for us again with live video, recordings of the same, and Geekbuzz. This year they're returning with the same goals in mind. In fact, the video turned out to be such an exciting feature that they've got a schedule loaded with designers & publishers anxious to show off their new offerings. It's going to be fun for many of us sitting at home to tune in and enjoy Essen from afar. Not as much fun as being there, of course, but at least it's something! Hey, take some of that money you saved on international travel to buy some new titles, or throw a little donation money toward BGG for providing this.
In part 1 of my Essen Anticipation show, I called Scott Alden and Lincoln Damerst to talk about BGG's presence at Essen next week. This year Aldie is staying home to mind the store for BGG, but he's always full of ideas. Lincoln is returning as one of the guys at the booth, and his job is being in charge of the technology they'll use (cameras, mics, laptops, networks, etc.). These guys talk about their plans for Essen, and drop a few references to games they're looking forward to, as well.
In part 2 of the show (posted later), I'll record my own personal list of games to watch out for, as well as a quick look back at what I thought was going to interest me from Essen last year.