Ich Bin Ein Gamer, Kinda: Chancellor Merkel Steals the Show

By Rich Stanton on at

Gamescom has been running in Cologne since 2009, but this year's event saw a major first: the show was opened by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was a clear sign of how important the games industry is to developed economies, though of course there's a simpler explanation: Germany has elections next month. Was the woman they call Mutti out to snare the youth vote?

I'll leave that one for the political journalists. Merkel laid out Europe's united future by opening the show with the French giant Ubisoft. As you can see in the picture, she's telling Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot about the time British PM Theresa May said she wanted "a red, white and blue Brexit."

In all seriousness, Merkel's opening remarks were about the economic impact of games, calling them "a most important engine" of the economy and emphasising investment in future technologies. It's notable that many countries in Europe, including the UK, offer specific tax breaks or subsidies to games developers — whereas Germany doesn't.


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Merkel's only big controller moment was with Farming Simulator, perhaps thinking of her friend Theresa May, running through fields of wheat. Rather bizarrely the photo shows her with a PS4 dualshock while the cabinet apparently contains Farming Simulator Switch Edition. Whoops! Any normal woman, at this point, would have an internet mob of saddos rushing to shout 'fake gamer!' But even Putin knows that you don't mess with Mutti, she will crush you like a bug.

Merkel moved on to take a look at the upcoming Minecraft: Education Edition, but Kotaku UK can give you a glimpse behind the curtain. Here she is posing for press pics with a nice smile next to the, errr, not quite-so-nice Minecraft Merkel.

But when the paparazzi has moved on, the Chancellor's displeasure is clear to behold. Look at the below.

Computer, enhance!

As Mojang should know from their tie-ups with Telltale, Mutti will remember that.

Onwards to better things, including a look at the future.

With all those game banners around, the augmented reality opportunities were sometimes too good to pass up. I reckon she'd sort Sebastian Castellanos out in two seconds flat.

Finally, no minor political event would be complete without input from the (fake) Democratic People's Republic of Korea, who took time away from stroking nukes to show they don't like videogames either.

North Korea eh? Just say no. We've been watching out for a Trump tweet, obviously, but clearly he still thinks videogames are creating a generation of monsters.