Nürnberg has a great treasure: It is the compiled “memory of the toy industry” – thousands of board and card games, to which about a thousand new games are added every year. The collection is located in the Pellerhaus, which houses the German Games Archive. “Schafkopf” and bridge groups meet here to play, but so do cosplay fans, board game lovers and pen and paper groups. Here, games can be fun, games can be celebrated and visitors can challenge each other to a game round.
But how do we define “games” and “play” in the twenty-first century? Is play in the twenty-first century about gaming skills that we need to respond to the new challenges of digital transformation? What abilities do a city that wants to remain on the “Throne of Games” need for the future?
Renovations, experiments and rehearsals will last until 2025 when Pellerhaus will become the international centre of games and play; a place where all facets of this cultural asset are accompanied, supported, networked and promoted – to ensure that our game culture remains sustainable.
Pellerhaus is already extensively testing new digital game formats. The archive is shared with scholars who, in return, provide their findings to develop innovative gamification strategies. The “Haus des Spielens” will serve as a games lab for the new university, the flourishing toy industry in the metropolitan region and for international game developers, a place of culture and pastimes, a place of dice and joysticks, conferences and hackathons and for a relaxed game of chess over a cup of tea or coffee. In short: Nürnberg, the European Games Capital.