Visiting Gamehotel 2007

It looks like a massive marketing event. It looks slick. It looks very, very commercial. Yet it’s probably the only game expo/conference that visits Switzerland, and last year Shigeru Miyamoto showed up. That means they either have money or the event is not all shite. On the other hand, one of the main sponsors this year is Microsoft’s Xbox 360 branch, so I expect the show to consist mostly of Xbox 360 games. I just haven’t found any interesting games on the platform yet (and the console eats nearly 200W of power once you switch it on), so I don’t own one.

Oh well. The event’s called Game Hotel and apparently happened somewhere in California and in Paris before. Now it’s returning to Switzerland. I might grab a ticket for the “consumer style” show on Saturday, since I’m too poor to afford one for the really interesting part: The conference on Friday. That thing costs CHF 225.-. Scary.

From the look of the site and the horrible marketing blurbs about the consumer/expo part, I’m guessing it will be a cheesy zitfest aimed at underage Halo fanboys who are incapable of any criticism of the medium. I hope someone proves me wrong. And I will post a few pictures, but I’m guessing the betas they’re showing have been seen at other shows before. No exclusives here. This is consumer, remember.

Sorry about being bitter, I think that’s the effect the sort of promotional writing you find on that site has on me. It always makes me question the validity of the human race.

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2 thoughts on “Visiting Gamehotel 2007”

  1. Actually we did not sing with the hysteric chorus of media-evangelists praising every year another format to be the healing of marketings incredibility issues. The conference – the 225 SFR “really interesting part” – was worthy to stay with. Most speeches showed where the trend is heading to and there had been lots of critical speeches about the need of creative solutions to underline advertising impact in games. It even was possible to think about the need of ingame-marketing on a general level, we heard about “gaming is learning” and that virtual worlds which have no learning/gaming environment can’t either attract gamers curiosity nor deliver any significant advertising impact…

    There wouldn’t have been need for preventive bitterness as we heard from industry experts, not everyone shares the idea of standardised banner-formats will bring anything but reality-feeling in games. So next time maybe catch up with some of the organisational team or the speakers, then there is a chance to get in for less than 225 😉

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  2. Thanks for that drop of sanity 🙂

    I could have gotten in for less, but I distrusted the topic in general, so I didn’t go after all. I did think all they’ll be talking about would be simplistic product placement. Maybe I was naive thinking that. Did you write anything about the talks somewhere? It would be nice to read up, sitting through them just seemed too boring a thing at the time.

    We did visit the little game exhibition outside, by the way, and unfortunately, I was right. It was a completely Microsoft-sponsored festival of Xbox 360s and Games for Windows. What’s worse, EA placed several tables full of gaming PCs there, and what were they showing? Crysis. Brilliant move. After the gaming industry got so much criticism for FPS games, the people in charge chose to show yet another derivative, evolutionary take on that very same topic. They were aiming straight for the male, 13 – 22 audience. The games running on the Xbox 360s weren’t much more innovative: PGR4, that movie tie-in with the penguins (forget the name), something that looked like Crimson Skies and a skating game. Whether that was the latest Tony Hawk or just Skate, I didn’t even bother to look.

    They placed all of those games in plain view of families going to see Ratatouille. Parents right now are still in an age range where they did not grow up with gaming. Showing the same bloody FPS game as the very first thing they see won’t do anything to save the image of gaming.

    Just think what they could’ve done instead! Show Boogie, Wii Sports! Show Viva Piñata, show the brilliant and heavily underrated Zack & Wiki. Show Super Mario Galaxy. And NEXT to that, show your old bloody formulaic FPS games. That’s fine. But don’t reinforce the bad image gaming already has. No hope of seeing those Wii games with MS as only sponsor, so Nintendo Switzerland (represented by their importer Waldmeier AG) and Sony Switzerland really need to step up here. How much could it cost to ship a bunch of PS3s, Wiis and DSs to Zürich?

    We were actually at the exhibition with a video camera (none of the marketing folk would talk to us on camera, though). As soon as I have some time to cut the material, we’ll elaborate a bit on those points of criticism.

    All in all, I WANTED them to prove me wrong, to show me that they can pull off a really good show that shows gaming as a fun hobby, not as the training grounds for mass murderers that the uneducated public always sees. They failed quite miserably. Microsoft now saying that they want the Xbox 360 to be more family-oriented might help, but this time they missed the target.

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