Essen 2012 … from the sidelines

Well Essen is starting and once again I am at home in Australia, watching eagerly from the sidelines. Both Fraser and I love reading others’ reports of what they do at the fair – not only because it gives us the latest news from the Cult of The New, but also because of the memories it brings back. “Do you remember …?” becomes a theme of our conversations, whether they are about people, games, booths or even food. We dig out old photos like this one – a favourite, showing the scope of the work companies put in. There was actually a guy with a tin of “Ravensburger blue” paint fixing any chips on the chairs before the fair opened.

Row after row of blue chairs with 'Ravensburger' on the back in white lettering

An ocean of blue – Ravensburger chairs lining up for inspection.

As I have for the last couple of years, I’ll be getting my Essen on by time-shifting my life and ignoring my children. From 7pm, anyway – I’ll be in the study with the live Boardgamegeek video feed running, chatting about the game demos we’re watching. It goes without saying that I’d rather be in Essen (OK, I’m slightly gutted not to be there this year), but the video feed is a very strong second best – especially when friends either are demonstrating or come by to visit (either in person in Essen or virtually, on the chat). And the girls just laugh at me, when it comes to October. Fraser too – he’s less interested in the videos and more into the blogs.

My supplies are simple: I have a copy of the BGG calendar and a timezone conversion (printed) between Essen and Melbourne. 10am is 7pm, that’s the most important thing to know. 7pm is 4am, which is what I try not to focus on. I also have a stash of Diet Coke to keep me awake, and a blanket to keep me warm. Sometimes I also grab one of the games that starred in a previous year, so I have some company. My copy of FLAGGO! still hasn’t actually been played, but it came to Virtual Essen with me last year.

It’s easier than packing for 2 weeks in Germany!

About Melissa

Melissa lives in Melbourne, Australia, where she plays games with her husband Fraser and their two adult daughters. She works as a lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction and researches tabletop games. Find out more about her research at
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1 Response to Essen 2012 … from the sidelines

  1. Brian Frahm says:

    I’ll be up at 5:30am here in Arizona (USA) to watch Portal demo… also want to catch Czech at 7am :)

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