More Letters From Gamescom

To The Crowds At Gamescom,

It's... it's so beautiful

I can understand the excitement of being surrounded by new and upcoming games, believe me I do. I almost cried tears of joy at the sight of the gigantic Watch Dogs stand, and stood beaming whilst checking out Fable Anniversary both times I went to the booth. I loved the fact there was a tractor on the show floor for Farming Simulator. And when SUDA51 came on stage and signed some stuff, I shrieked with joy. Keegan can attest to that. I tried to jump up and take a picture over your collected mass of heads, but instead I palmed my camera off to my friend, whose great height made the task a snap.

So please, please understand when I say that I hate you all.

I hate the fact that there’s so many of you. I hate watching you run from hall to hall. I hate watching you lug around those giant bags. I hate when you stop cosplayers to take pictures. I hate your optimism, as if you’ll actually get to play half the games on show. And I really hate that you’re willing to pay extortionate prices for food and drink and merch just because, hey, it’s Gamescom, and ohmigod look it’s Battlefield 4!!!!

Get out of my way. I’m trying to go play Pro Farmer.

Also if I see any more of you free huggers around I am going to bear hug you until you suffocate.


To Our “Neighbours” At The Hotel Ass,

Oh yeah, the queues... sorry

Meeting you on the train to the hotel was honestly one of the most surreal experiences of the trip. I love meeting people heading the same way as me, particularly when they’re interesting and talkative, as you were. Particularly the blonde girl. Your enthusiasm for Fable Anniversary perked me up after a very, very long day.

I apologise, then, that we did not warn you in advance of the true nature of Gamescom. I’m sorry we told you that doors open at 10am, but neglected to mention you should start queuing at around 8am if you hope to get in before midday. I’m sorry we did not warn you about the eight-hour queues to see games that, in fact, you could not play. But you seemed so enthusiastic and naïve. It’s hard to destroy a person like that.

I’m also sorry you like Let’s Players, but that’s not our fault.


To The Woman Who Gave Me An Apple While I Waited For An Appointment,

That apple was one of the tastiest things I ate the entire time I was in Germany, and I don’t usually eat fruit. So thank you so much for that. I am often asked if I want a drink, but so rarely am I told “seriously, eat this fresh fruit, it’s so good after a long night out, and you’ve probably eaten crap all week”.

You’re right, of course, but I try to convince myself that the long walks around the convention centre will blow off at least some of those calories. Still, that apple was more refreshing than the dozen or so bottles of Coke I consumed across the week. Seriously, I can’t get over how good that apple was.

Actually, your entire booth was fantastic. The Hotline Miami guys’ wall of banned questions was both hilarious and informative, particularly when I subsequently walked past them during an interview and they were asked at least two of those questions. Jeff, who was showcasing the, to steal a phrase, unfuckwittable Foul Play, was fantastic, and generous enough to dispose of my apple core. I only wish I could have spent more time with you guys, just chilling.

Thanks for being such a great place to relax and have fun in the middle of the hectic world of Gamescom.

And seriously, thanks for that apple.


To The Staff At The Pizza Hut In The Main Train Station,

Thank you for putting up with my refusal to even attempt German each time I dined at your establishment. The food may have quite literally been reheated before my very eyes, but it was still delicious, and very reasonably priced. I only wish eating pizza every day was a viable dietary option, but I fear that my mother would have a heart attack if I went down that route, and I would follow suit shortly after.


To The People Who Got Off The Shuttle Bus To The Airport So We Could Get On,

You sure there's only thirteen of us here?

I’m quite sorry for any inconvenience we caused. We were not aware that we would not be greeted by the same full size bus that took us into Kevelaer, and instead be faced with an eight-seater minivan tasked with carrying thirteen passengers. Thank you also for taking the only other English person, also stranded by the lack of seats, in the cab you took to the airport. I felt bad springing that on him, but to be fair, we were a group of three, there was only one space in your cab, and Ed gets lonely quickly.

But, then again, we were waiting for the shuttle bus about half an hour before you even showed up, so maybe you deserved to get that cab for cutting in front of us.


That's a lot of orange you've got going on; you sure you don't actually work for Easyjet?

To The Cabin Crew Attendant We Also Stopped From Getting On The Shuttle Bus,

That look of your panic on your face when you realised that you were likely to be late to the plane made my heart sink. Actually, I think it was when you loudly went “oh shit” when told the bus was full. Either way, I still felt bad.

We ducked our heads when you came down the aisle of the plane, trying to sell us naff food and cheap electronics. I hope you didn’t recognise us from the bus, but I guess we’ll never know.

Anyway, you’re the one with a job, you can afford the cab.


To The Girl From The Train To London Last Monday,

I wonder if you read my first letter to you. Probably not. You didn’t exactly look the type who reads gaming websites. But, as my entire trip has proved, making assumptions is not my strong suit.

For one thing, I assumed that the trains into London from Ed’s house would be so regular that I could leave whenever I liked and still make my train. I assumed that I could quite easily buy a ticket for the Tube in no time at all. I assumed that the Tube wouldn’t get delayed by about five minutes while I was sat on it, panicking, checking my watch every other minute, and quietly muttering obscenities as I realised I was going to miss my train.

Subsequently, I missed my train.

I am on a train now, writing this. You’re not on it, I know that, but I still wish you were. There is a family in front of me with two young girls who keep looking at me when I laugh out loud at Sheep In The Big City. I’d rather you were giving me the funny looks. It’d make the additional £50 it cost me to get on this train more bearable.

Anyway my battery’s about to die, so I shall leave you with a piece of advice: plan ahead really, really well. Don’t try and wing it when it comes to public transport, or routes, or planes, or anything really. It only leads to disaster and vast amounts of cash being spent.

Also: never, ever, ever trust Ric Cowley.


To The Girl Sat Diagonally Across From Me On This Train,

Hi, my name’s Ric…

Last five articles by Ric



  1. Keegan Keegan says:

    Don’t leave me hanging like this Ric! What happens next!?

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