The Games Convention (sometimes called the Leipzig Games Convention, and abbreviated as GC) is an annual video game event in Leipzig, Germany, first held in 2002. Besides videogames, the event also covers Infotainment, Hardware and Edutainment. Its concept was created by the Leipziger Messe (Leipzig Fair) in cooperation with Bundesverband für Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware (German Federal Association for Entertainment Software) amongst others.
With 183,000 visitors, 2,600 journalists and 368 exhibitors from 25 countries in 2006, the Games Convention rivals the Tokyo Game Show as the biggest games event in the world. By comparison, both the Leipzig and Tokyo shows, where gamers of all ages can visit the show floor, are three times the size of the trade-only 2006 E3 show in Los Angeles. The Business Centre at Leipzig is reserved for professional visitors. In 2008, the Games Convention had a record of 203.000 visitors.
The conference takes place in a sprawling modern complex of exhibition halls in Leipzig, Germany.
To help identify younger visitors, coloured bracelets are handed out to attendees, indicating their age: "12 years and older" (green), "16 years and older" (blue) and "18 years and older" (red). These colours correspond to the age indicators used by the USK, the German version of PEGI or ESRB.
The Games Convention is usually held in the last week of August. The Games Convention 2007 took place from August 23 to August 26, 2007. It started one day earlier for press members, exhibitors and professionals.
In 2008, the Industry consortium BIU announced not to back a Games Convention in 2009 in Leipzig, preferring a newly to be established convention held in Cologne under the name of GAMESCom. Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are members of the BIU representing 12 companies. Nevertheless there will be a Games Convention in 2009 supported by the Free State of Saxony and the city of Leipzig.
The 2009 Games Convention will take place from August 19-23.
An Asian edition of the Games Convention was announced for 2007. It was held in Singapore starting September 6, 2007. The current title of the expo is Games Convention Asia 2007.
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The GCDC is held in a building in the same complex in Leipzig where the GC takes place, typically just before the opening of the main show. During the conference attendees gain ideas and inspiration from the presentation of new tools and methods, and from a variety of sessions discussing both the craft and the business of game design and development. The conference is open to both game professionals, students and press.
As the major European conference, GCDC draws top speakers from all over the world. Presenters in recent years include Bob Bates, Louis Castle, Don Daglow, Peter Molyneux, Bill Roper, Bruce Shelley, David Perry and Will Wright.