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GC 2008 preview

Over 500 exhibitors; a bigger business centre; "the epicentre of the digital universe".

GC - Games Convention

21 - 24 August 2008

(20 August 2008: Exclusive Trade Visitor & Media Day)

Leipzig, 23 July 2008

- More Foreign Exhibitors

- One-third Bigger Area for GC Business Center

- Spectacular Multimedia Opening Concert

For the seventh time now, Leipzig becomes the mecca for the international video and computer game industry. From 21 to 24 August 2008, the GC - Games Convention brings together the game industry, trade visitors, the media - and not least, the gamers. The latest edition of Europe's benchmark fair for interactive eentertainment, infotainment, edutainment and hardware is even more cosmopolitan.

"This August too, Leipzig will be the epicentre of the digital universe. The GC - Games Convention 2008 is once again innovative, exciting and global. We're expecting more international exhibitors and guests than ever before", says Wolfgang Marzin, CEO at the Leipziger Messe. In around four weeks' time, almost all the industry's market leaders will be at Europe's keynote fair for the video and computer game industry. Over 500 companies launch a dazzling display of innovations at the Leipzig Exhibition Centre (2007: 503 exhibitors) - action, breath-taking game design and avant-garde parallel worlds spread over 111,500 square metres.

So far, exhibitors are expected from 26 countries, including the USA, France, the UK, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden and Russia. "The GC - Game Convention will certainly stimulate game fever, with more than 250 world, European and German premieres ready for visitors to play," says Wolfgang Marzin.

Less Crush from 4 to 5

A new hall concept makes it easier to get around at the GC - Games Convention. In the Software Entertainment section in Halls 2, 3 and 5, console providers and leading publishers present the latest video and computer games. Hall 4 houses hardware innovations and accessories. A new tube walkway between Halls 4 and 5 divides the flow of visitors, making crossings less hectic. The GC Beach Club hosts fun sports and chillout opportunities on the New Exhibition Centre's big outdoor area.

GC Business Center: Growing Oasis for Trade Visitors

The GC Business Center is heading for record attendance. "To make it even more pleasant to be here, we have extended this meeting place for exhibitors, trade visitors and journalists from 30,000 to 40,000 square metres", reports Peggy Schönbeck, project director of the GC - Games Convention. This year, the GC Business Center occupies the entire Congress Center Leipzig, all of Hall 1 and half of Hall 2 and expects a further increase in trade visitor numbers (2007: 12,300 trade visitors from 40 countries).

"For the first time this year, we also have the make-it-easy Marketplace package: a fully equipped joint stand with info desk, meeting lounge area, café bar and other services", says Schönbeck, "enabling exhibitors to concentrate entirely on doing business." The Developers Village in Hall 2 is specifically intended for aspiring developers, with international joint stands from Finland, France, the UK, Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Taiwan, among others. This is where exhibitors can set up contacts with publishers.

As another first, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) is funding the participation of young German companies at the GC - Games Convention as a springboard for the international arena. This support depended on the classification by the BMWi of the GC - Games Convention as an international benchmark fair.

"Level 1 - Learning to Play" at the GC family

Once again, GC family in Hall 2 sets out to open the door to the digital gaming world for teachers, parents and beginners, focusing on child-appropriate games and the facilitation of media literacy. Headlined "Level 1 - Learning to Play", the games arena offers interactive competitions. In the five game zones "Learning", "Multiplayer", "Children", "Teens" and "Family", visitors can test out the latest educational games, family and children's software. Media experts like Prof. Hartmut Warkus, media educational theory professor at Leipzig University, explain the options and are available to answer any and all questions.

Games as Art: GC ART 2008

Four GC ART exhibitions in Hall 2 at the Leipzig Exhibition Centre show how art links into digital game worlds. Organised by the Berlin Computer Game Museum and the GC - Games Convention, "Space Invaders. From Outer Space" pays homage to this classic on its 30th birthday. At its heart: the major interactive installation "Invaders!" by the artist Douglas Edric Stanley - where players use all their body-strength to steer the virtual canon. The big retro-gaming event "History & Culture" takes visitors back into the digital gaming past - retro clubs from Germany and France present collector's pieces from the last few decades. The special shows "Machinima" and "Digital Beauties" present the creative potential in computer games and new technology. Visitors can attend workshops to do it for themselves.

Creativity of a very different kind is on show in Casemodding@GC: inventive computer modellers use acrylic glass, paint or light effects to transform the once monotonous cases of their game machines into small works of art. More than 30 gamers present the most imaginative remodelled PCs - and reveal the tricks behind case tuning.

GC Freestyle - the Gamer Camp

When the exhibition halls switch off for the night, the gamer's day is by no means over. At the "GC Freestyle - Gamer Camp" at Leipzig's festival ground at the main stadium - right in the heart of town - visitors can camp, chill and play on. From 20 August 2008, there will be room here for more than 5,000 tents, plus DJ music, fun sports and free wireless LAN. With four overnights, tickets for the "GC Freestyle - Gamer Camp" cost 130 euros including four-day admission to the GC - Games Convention and free use of local public transport to the Exhibition Centre. A one-night stay with a GC one-day ticket costs 38 euros.

Specials: Special Trains, Extra Coaches, Special Prices

The Deutsche Bahn rail service brings exhibitors and trade visitors to and from the GC - Games Convention quickly and easily from any German DB station for 99 euros (2nd class) or 159 euros (1st class). Tickets are valid between 18 and 26 August 2008 on all DB trains, include the ICEs (hotline: +49 1805-31 11 53; keyword "Games Convention").

For GC day-trippers, the Deutsche Bahn is again offering special trains, even including DJ cars - on 21 August from Munich and on 23 August from Cologne. Return tickets plus admission to the fair cost 79 euros from Munich and 69 euros from Cologne.

It's rail & play with Connex services too. The one-day InterConnex combi-ticket takes GC fans from Berlin to Leipzig and back on the same day for 39 euros, including admission to the fair. The InterConnex actually adds extra stops at the Leipziger Messe station, just a few minutes on foot from the exhibition hall entrances.

For the first time, the Leipziger Messe joins "Connect GC" to organise a blanket coverage coach service from over 30 German big towns, ready to set off for Leipzig on the Saturday of the fair. For a non-stop service straight to the gaming mecca, at least 50 bookings are needed per town. The price of the coach transfer depends on the distance, a return from Berlin, for example, costs 39 euros, from Munich 56 euros.

All the GC - Games Convention travel options are available at http://www.gc-germany.com.

Easier Flight-Path

There will also be more flight connections to Leipzig during the GC - Games Convention, helping with easier travel from all over the world. Larger planes are being used for scheduled flights and there will be additional charter flights from London.

Stunning Opening Concert: Video Games Live

At 20.00 on 20 August 2008 at the Arena Leipzig, the cult show Video Games Live is the opening event for this year's GC - Games Convention. A brilliant orchestra, a choir of powerful voices, gigantic light effects: the game music event from the USA celebrates its German premiere in Leipzig.

Visitors will experience a major music event. Conducted by Jack Wall, the Video Games Live Symphony Orchestra and the 21-year-old American star pianist Martin Leung play hits from legendary games like "Halo", "Final Fantasy" and "Tomb Raider". Parallel to the music, game scenes play out across a giant screent, actors take on the roles of the digital characters and the very brave can test their skills onstage in competition. A laser show is a special highlight. (Ticket hotline: +49 1805-969000555).

Exclusive Media & Trade Visitor Day

On 20 August, the day before the exhibition halls open to the general public, representatives of the media and the industry can find out about the innovations and try out all the products on their own in peace and quiet.

Long Weekend for Gamers

On Friday (22 August) and Saturday (23 August), the exhibition halls at the GC - Games Convention are open from 09.00 to 20.00. On Thursday (21 August) and Sunday (24 August) opening times are from 09.00 to 18.00.

Contact for the Press:

Torsten Anke, Press Officer

Phone: +49 (0) 341 678 8198

Fax: +49 (0) 341 678 8182

E-mail: t.anke@leipziger-messe.de

Contact for Exhibitors:

Peggy Schönbeck, Project Director

Phone: +49 (0) 341 678 8281

Fax: +49 (0) 341 678 8282

E-mail: p.schoenbeck@leipziger-messe.de






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