As the year 2015 is almost over, I’d like to post this blog I’ve never posted before (because PsychoUnicorn was not online back then) on Gamescom. This is my new years resolution, as I hope I will read these words back in August 2016, when of course I will go to Gamescom again even though every year I am thinking: argh, it is too busy, too hot, too many people getting way to comfortable in my personal space..
Other than that though: I love Gamescom! You would not expect it from what you’ve just read. Yes, it is too hot, it is too sweaty and I usually plan too much, but it is a fantastic event. However, there is something that really bothers me a lot and that is the Germanness of it.
English people often ask me if Dutch people and German people like each other or not, and I think we are usually okay. As long as we both recognize our languages sound horrible, we are fine. There is one thing about the German culture that I really dislike though, and that is something many German people detest about their country too. That is: Why is everything in German? If you watch The Fresh Prince on tv in Germany, Will Smith sounds so weird. You don’t understand a word he is saying, because he blabbers in German. That is just wrong.
Usually when you go to a touristic place or event in another country, you do not really have to make sure to carry a dictionary in that language on you, or have some fancy app installed on your phone that helps you translate your language into the language spoken in that country. Germany kinda makes you do that. Actually, they make you bring both, because WiFi is also not one of the strong points of this otherwise super awesome country.
In some ways I can respect that, I understand that you have a culture that you are proud of, and it would be boring if everything was in English everywhere. Plus, as a Dutch woman I can understand German pretty well (do not ask me to speak it though, I am miserable at that and yes, I will speak Dutch with some extra Z-sounds and hope it translates to German somehow). I do not have a big problem understanding people speaking in German, or translating things on a menu.
But if you organize an event and you are being all proud about the fact that it is the biggest gameshow of the world for consumers, why keep it all so German? It all started with the press emails, as I go there as press I receive these emails that are supposed to get me extra excited and they give extra info. However, that info is all in German, and I am not going through all the trouble of reading long German texts that will probably tell me things I already know, or things I won’t have time for because my schedule is set and I am not going to change it.
Then there is the floor. When I was at Gamescom, (which was lovely, more positiveness about that in a later blog, don’t worry!) I was walking around, taking pictures, having a great time feeling at home. Until Nathan Drake was speaking. He was not walking around on the expo floor, you silly, he was on a big screen. In the trailer of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End Nathan Drake says something and right then and there it was in German. That is just wrong.
I can imagine that many Germans struggle with English (I would probably too if I could not watch Fresh Prince in the language it originally was), so may be the trailer could be subtitled in German. But I think it is just wrong that a character that you know so well, all of a sudden sounds so different! When I walked a bit further, I came across a quiz that was held on a stage; again it was all in German, so I definitely was not going to win any Nvidia goodies. 😉
It gets really annoying when everything is like that. I was looking at the Just Dance 2016-panda dancing around and this woman was speaking about all new features of Just Dance 2016 (which are a lot more than I originally thought, so yay!), but she did it all in DEUTSCH. Stop it, people don’t understand it, a lot of foreign press is coming to this event; you cannot do this to your guests, I think it is rude.
I am fine if cute and small Christmas markets are totally German, or if I go to Winterberg to go snowboarding, but if you organize the biggest video gaming event on our planet, why would you not make your exhibitors communicate in English? And even if they refuse to do so; Gamescom, at least communicate in English yourself. But as I said this is all just things we will have to deal with in August, long away from now. I just wanted to share this little new year’s resolution with you 😉