Imitation weapons not permitted at Gamescom 2016, organisers warn

Gamescom organisers have issued a statement warning attendees not to bring "imitation weapons" or "weapon-like" items to the convention this year, which kicks off August 18. The move is intended as a safety and precautionary measure following "the terrible incidents of the past weeks", including a mass shooting in Munich on July 22.

As Europe's largest public games convention, Gamescom traditionally attracts a huge turnout of cosplayers – all of whom will be affected by the news. The statement (.pdf) addressed cosplayers specifically, asking that they refrain from using imitation weapons as part of their outfits.

"The background behind the tightening down on the costume regulations is to avoid frightening particularly children and families as well as other Gamescom visitors, but also the inhabitants and guests of the city of Cologne by wearing authentically original costumes that in some cases contain imitation weapons and/or weapon-like items," the statement reads.

"All imitation weapons or weapon-like elements of your costume – regardless of the material and size – will be confiscated before you are admitted to the grounds. We would therefore kindly ask you not to bring these with you to Gamescom."

While exhibitors will be allowed to feature imitation weapons at their stands, they must be registered with organisers at the event, and will not be allowed to leave the premises. The statement also warned attendees to take as little baggage as possible, due to heightened security measures at the entry to the convention centre.

Gamescom runs from August 18 until 21. 

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.