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silver awards
Category: Experiential Exhibits
Exhibitor: Wargaming.net LLP
Design: SMD & Partner, Aachen, Germany, 49-241-609-14-0,
www.smd-partner.com
Fabrication: Werbe- und Messebau Walbert-Schmitz GmbH & Co. KG, Aachen, Germany, 49-24-05-6-00-20, www.walbert-schmitz.de
Show: Gamescom, 2011
Budget: $200,000
Size: 35-by-67 feet
Cost/Square Foot: $85

ver since the first war game was invented in 1780, the makers of martial make believe have strived to make it seem as real as the roar of marauding tanks or the scream of strafing jets. So when Wargaming.net LLP planned its exhibit for Gamescom 2011, the London-based developer of military-strategy games charged ahead with an exhibit that was more battleground than booth.

Joining forces with designers SMD & Partner and fabricators Werbe- und Messebau Walbert-Schmitz GmbH & Co. KG, Wargaming.net targeted the attendees' hunger for authenticity and intensity. "We wanted to bring the buzz of battle to the booth," said designer James Dickerson of Werbe- und Messebau Walbert-Schmitz.

Surrounding the exhibit was a translucent fabric curtain that looked like a battle-hardened, minimalist
tank. To suggest the game's realm of clashing armored titans, the designers "rusted" the fabric with splotches of ochre-colored paint, then perforated it with 815 imitation bullet holes using an industrial laser. "The ceiling element is the rock star of this space," said one Exhibit Design Awards judge. "It begs for further inspection."

Beneath the imposing structure, attendees marched into a 2,345-square-foot space. Five turrets, each depicting a different period in tank design, functioned as game stations where visitors could play "World of Tanks." Laptops atop 30 ammo boxes also doubled as game stations.

When they were finally done skirmishing, attendees could rest on khaki-colored sandbags strewn over the floor and watch scenes from "World of Tanks" and trailers of "World of Planes" on two 16-by-9-foot high-definition rear-projection screens. War may be hell, but Wargaming.net proved it can also be one hell of a good time.e


Photos: andre loessel photography

Under Armor
Wargaming.net LLP won the battle for the hearts and minds of Gamescom's 275,000 attendees with an exhibit that showcased its newest game in a martial setting. A massive fabric screen resembling a modernist take on tanks covered the exhibit, hovering over a landscape of tank turrets, ammo boxes, and oil drums.

Charles Pappas, senior writer; cpappas@exhibitormagazine.com

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