Essen Spiel board games event.
Image Source: Essen Spiel

This year’s SPIEL tabletop gaming convention will take place in its customary venue in Essen, Germany, and will not require proof of vaccination against COVID-19. This welcome news was announced via a newsletter, but there is still a small caveat – masks will be required. Medical-grade face masks (which must cover the nose and mouth) will still be mandatory. The latter requirement is due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic, with reports of the rise of new cases still causing concern.

All indoor areas of the convention will require all visitors, with the exception of children under the age of, to wear a medical mask which covers the nose and mouth fully.

These restrictions are much lighter in contrast with the US Gen Con event in Indiana, which required both the wearing of a medical-grade mask and providing proof of vaccination, but still harsher than the UK Games Expo 2022, which had no COVID-19 restrictions. This was due to the UK Government removing all requirements and restrictions earlier this year. Do note, however, that we still live in turbulent times, everything is progressing dynamically and nothing is set in stone just yet.

This Year’s SPIEL Will Be Bigger Than the Last

SPIEL 2022 will run from October 6-9. Last year, the event was more compact than previous editions, but that didn’t stop more than 600 companies from 41 countries to showcase their products and games. This year, with the ease of COVID-19 restrictions, it is expected that SPIEL 2022 will mark the gradual return to the event’s usual big crowds. GenCon has already improved on its pre-pandemic results. This year’s SPIEL will have close to 1200 exhibitors displaying their games and their features.

SPIEL 2022 will be held at the Essen exhibition centre (Messe Essen), where over 1000 exclusive premieres of the card, dice and board games of all genres will take place – communication games, solo games (or expansions including a solo element), puzzle games and story-driven games. This is especially exciting for the German board game fans, as some of the foreign titles featured in the SPIEL 2022 event will not be available on the German market afterwards.

Participants and guests will have the opportunity to connect with one another by visiting a myriad of workshops or by participating in various tournaments and competitions. They will also have the opportunity to see the awarding of the prestigious innoSPIEL award, which will honour games with innovative mechanics, quality artwork, and even the materials they are made of. The educational board games will be on full display during a special event called Educators’ Day.

Any changes to any of the COVID-19 restrictions and requirements will be announced on the event’s official website as soon as they are known. The event organizers advise visitors and guests to check frequently before travelling. Note that requirements may change in accordance with regional laws.

A self-proclaimed warrior-poet, Krasen is a man of many hobbies – ranging from combat sports training, LARPing, to writing poetry. One of those many hobbies happens to be board games. Be it with a fist, pen, sword or keyboard – he aims to be just, merciless and effective.