German Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, has officially opened gamescom 2017. The event, the biggest trade and consumer show in Europe, started officially following a speech in front of over 300 invited guests and journalists.
The Chancellor was joined by the Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet and CEO of venue Koelnmesse, Gerald Böse. In her speech, Dr. Merkel referred to the importance of videogames in culture.
"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," the Chancellor said.
The importance of the Chancellor opening the show is a big step to the continued mainstream acceptance of videogames, not only as a cultural product but also as an essential part of industry for Germany. "The opening of gamescom by the Chancellor was and remains a great honour for us," said Koelnmesse CEO, Böse. "With her visit, she acknowledged the development of gamescom into the world's largest event for computer and video games, and underlined the position of gamescom as one of the most successful and largest events in the German trade fair system."
Following the speech, a tour of the exhibition halls was given with many game companies taking the opportunity to show the Chancellor their video game, and take a nice picture too.