The journalists at Gamescom’s press day earlier this week may have been a bit surprised to see a member of the political elite in their midst. Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, dropped in on the games show in Cologne.
Merkel is on the campaign trail ahead of an election in September. She’s seeking a fourth term in office, having occupied the post of Chancellor since 2005.
Having one of the world’s major gaming events on her doorstep is a perfect public relations opportunity. In fact it’s the first time she has attended a Gamescom event since it started in 2009.
In honor of her visit, the Microsoft stand presented her with a special Merkel Minecraft character, for one of the most awkward photographs of the day.
Of course, Merkel also dropped by Sony’s sprawling area and checked in on the Gran Turismo Sport stand.
GT Sport has a very heavy German influence. The Nürburgring, and its derivatives, is one of six real-world racing venues confirmed for inclusion. German cars make up a large proportion of the confirmed car list too; 20% of GT Sport’s day 1 car list is an Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche or Volkswagen model.
However, her visit to GT Sport was brief. She checked out a player using the game’s VR functions and the new Thrustmaster wheel, but soon moved on without having a go herself. Here’s the only footage we could find, shot in portrait mode with the quality you’d expect of a Facebook video:
Wir freuen uns, heute einen ganz besonderen Gast auf der gamescom begrüßen zu dürfen: Angela Merkel besucht gerade die PlayStation-Halle!
Posted by PlayStation DACH on Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Perhaps she’s keeping an arm’s length from the German car industry given its recent troubles.
In a speech given to open the show, Merkel said:
“Computer and video games are of the utmost importance as cultural assets, as a driving force for innovation and as an economic factor, which is why I was also very pleased to come to Cologne to provide this developing industry with my recommendation.”
But for all the AAA titles on show, did she try out any games during her visit? Just the one, it seems:
Farming Simulator. What else?
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