I’ve spent the last five days in Essen – in spirit, if not in body. Thanks to the many blogs and dedicated reporters, Essen news gets out quickly – and thanks to bgg’s streaming video service, we can even see demos from the comfort of our own homes.
My plans to intrepidly experience the full virtual Essen were sadly doomed to failure. Timezones are not always friendly – 9am Essen time is 6pm here in Melbourne; My family didn’t seem to understand the meaning of “I’m doing this and will be unavailable after 6pm”; I had to work on key days; and the Bigster’s school evilly scheduled its annual musical breakfast for Sunday morning. Oy vey!
These issues and evil bandwidth-hogging neighbors aside, I managed to see a lot of the live stream and even to catch up on a few of the videos after the fact. I was very proud to make it all the way to the 7pm closing on Saturday night(4am), although less so when I had to get up at 7am for the concert. It was very very good, but still … 90 minutes’ sleep was really Not Enough.
The videos aren’t a passive experience. There’s chat, of course, which is a great part of the weekend and one I look forward to. And this year I found there was more support needed, particularly at the start, so between bgg, ustream and twitter I was kept pretty busy.
The quality of the presentations varied a bit this year. Kudos to the designers and publishers who checked out the live stream before their presentations. Props, too, to the people who tried something a little different. I was disappointed, though, that no-one tried lying on the table to present their game to the overhead camera.
And now, my wish list is astonishing. Really astonishing. I need to whittle it down and rework it – but first,i need to watch the rest of he videos. You never know when you’ll find a gem.