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What is Essen? | Maven Games
A couple of weeks ago, I took a flight to Essen, a city in Germany, with my son for a long weekend away. Our sole purpose for going was to visit the Essen Spiel 2018, the largest boardgame fair in the world. A whopping 190,000 people attended the fair this year. I’ve been mulling over my experiences since coming back and thinking about how it compares to other boardgame conventions (such as the UK Games Expo, which is my main benchmark for comparison). People warned me before going that it was very cramped and not necessarily a very enjoyable experience. Apparently, some people would go there to buy the latest games and saw the fair itself as a necessary evil. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed it far more than I expected to, but it is quite different from other boardgame conventions and there are a few things that you ought to be aware of if you’re considering going for the first time. Let me tell you all about it… Unlike other boardgame conventions around the world, Essen (as it’s colloquially known) is essentially just a massive marketplace. There is no organised play (tournaments) or open gaming. There was a...