Deutsche Spielwoche San Diego – German Game Week San Diego

The Deutsche Spielwoche San Diego – German Game Week San Diego took place at several locations in San Diego County on different days during the last week of May 2014. Children of all ages and their teachers, families, and friends enjoyed playing German board and card games. Most of the participating organizations are schools with German language programs.

German American Game Day San Diego – on the World Game Day, May 28

The highlight of the Deutsche Spielwoche San Diego – German Game Week San Diego was the German American Game Day San Diego, celebrating the World Game Day on Wednesday, May 28, at the Cabrillo Elementary School with about 200 participants.

Generous Grant from Spiel des Jahres

These game events were possible thanks to the support of Spiel des Jahres e.V. Their generous grant provided the great opportunity to buy German games in Germany shipped to San Diego, thus games that use German language in the game, or that contain other elements of the German culture. The Deutsche Spielwoche San Diego – German Game Week San Diego presented the wide variety of creations from innovative German game designers, many of them well-known in America, still plenty not available in the United States at all.

German and American Game Companies supporting San Diegans

We are grateful for the support from so many German and American game publishers and stores with donations of games to our game library.

Special Thanks: We couldn’t have this extensive success without the support from local industry insider Matthew Rivaldi from Wiggity Bang Games.


  • German Consulate General Los Angeles
  • German Honorary Consul San Diego
  • Non-profit Gamer Organization Gam3rCon

Game Publishers from Germany and the United States

  • Abacus Spiele
  • Amigo Spiele
  • GameWright
  • Kosmos
  • Spielzeug Krau
  • Pegasus Spiele
  • Ravensburger
  • Rio Grande Games
  • USAopoly
  • Wiggity Bang Games

Local Game Stores:

  • Game Empire
  • Villanous Lair

Tom Felber – Chairman of the Spiel des Jahres Jury (Game of the Year Jury) in San Diego

We were excited that Tom Felber, Chairman of the Spiel des Jahres Jury (Game of the Year jury), agreed to make a spontaneous stopover in San Diego for one day during his travel through the US as our guest to meet with stakeholders of the local game industry.

Tom Felber is a journalist working as a legal reporter and Chairman of the Spiel des Jahres jury. Tom Felber was an editor at the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ). He started with game reviews for newspapers in 1985, and joined the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) jury in 2000.

Admission ~ Donations

All events were with free admission to allow everybody to experience the excitement of playing board and card games with family and friends. Donations from participants went to the Monarch School San Diego, a school that educates students impacted by homelessness.

Idea & Concept: Armina Kranz
Contact: Phone 619-321-0606, info @

Germany is the ‘Hollywood’ of so called German-style board games

The world largest international trade fair of the game industry is SPIEL in Essen with yearly about 150,000 visitors.  The Toy Fair in Nuremberg add another 76,000 visitors annual.

Spiel des Jahres – Game of the Year

Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year) is worldwide the most important award for the board and card game industry, created in 1978 with the stated purpose of rewarding excellence in game design, and promoting top-quality games in the German market.It is thought that the existence and popularity of the award is one of the major drivers of the quality of games coming out of Germany. A Spiel des Jahres nomination can increase the typical sales of a game from 500-3000 copies to around 10,000; and the winner can usually expect to sell 300,000 to 500,000 copies.

German-Style Board Games

A German-style board game is a tabletop game that generally have simple rules, short to medium playing times, indirect player interaction, and abstract physical components. Such games emphasize strategy, combined with luck and conflict, and usually keep all the players in the game until it ends. German-style games tend to have a theme, can be learned easily and played in a relatively short time, perhaps multiple times in a single session. German-style games are usually multi-player, well suited to social play.

One of the first German-style board games is Die Siedler von Catan™The Settlers of Catan™ from the internationally recognized game designer Klaus Teuber with help of his son Guido Teuber, published 1995 in Germany. It has achieved large popularity outside of Europe. By 2009, over 15 million games in the Catan series had been sold, and by today, its sales reached over 30 million worldwide. The game has been translated into 30 languages, and is published in the United States by Mayfair Games. The Washington Post has called it “the board game of our time”.

German American Industry Relations

The German and American non-digital game industry has a long history of collaboration and developing the international market, in the United States headed by two well-known publishers: Rio Grande Games and Mayfair Games.

Rio Grande Games, based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, primarily imports and localizes foreign language German-style board games, in cooperation with German publishers as Ravensburger, Abacus Spiele and Zoch. Its founder, Jay Tummelson, started 1998 with the innovative approach to use the same artwork and components as the originals and to share the cost of printing with the European publishers. Since then, Rio Grande Games has published over 350 games and has had a significant effect on the board gaming industry in the United States. Its most popular games are from great German game designers: Carcassonne from Klaus-Jürgen Wrede, Puerto Rico from Klaus-Jürgen Wrede and Karl-Heinz Schmiel, Power Grid from Friedemann Friese, Bohnanza from Uwe Rosenberg, and Lost Cities from Reiner Knizia.

Mayfair Games, founded in 1981 by the game designer Darwin Bromley in Chicago, Illinois, promotes the growth and popularity of “Euro-Style” games into the English-speaking market, for instance from the publishers Amigo and Kosmos.  They license German-style board games and publish them in English throughout the world. Mayfair Games has over 100 game titles in print including many long-running series of games such as The Settlers of Catan™, from the German game designer Klaus Teuber, and Empire Builder™,as well as many long-running standalone titles such as Alibi™ and Family Business™, all of them from Darwin Bromley.

Major German Publishers

AMIGO was founded in 1980, built its initial success upon the cooperation with an American game publisher and quickly became well-known with the licensed sale of the world-renowned American card game UNO, which is arguable the top-selling card game in the world. Followed by a number of other successful card games, such as Halli Galli, 6 nimmt!, Bohnanza or Wizard, AMIGO thereupon became synonymic for card games in Germany. Furthermore, AMIGO successfully entered the market of board games and was subsequently rewarded with the “Spiel des Jahres”-Award for its visionary family board game Elfenland. Amigo continued its U.S. relations by publishing games with Rio Grande Games (Bohnanza), and Zman Games (Saboteur).

San Diego Publishers

Wiggity Bang Games, headquartered in South Park, San Diego, was founded by Jean and Matthew Rivaldi on the belief that a sense of humor is the key that unlocks the universe. With that in mind Wiggity Bang Games launched its first board game Quelf in 2005. It has since won dozens of awards and received many accolades. Wiggity Bang Games published the German editions of its games Quelf and FURT (aka Burst) with Amigo Spiele. Both games will be available on the German American Game Day.

USAopoly began in 1994 with a great idea for a hometown spin on the classic MONOPOLY® game. After securing permission from Hasbro to license the world famous property trading game from Parker Brothers®, the San Diego edition of the MONOPOLY game was born, and so was USAOPOLY, Inc. Over 100 different specialty editions later, USAOPOLY started putting spins on other timeless games like Yahtzee, Jenga, The Game of Life as well as Chess, Checkers, Tic Tac Toe, Dominoes and Puzzles.

Main Sponsor


Deutsche Spielwoche San Diego

2014 Locations:

  • Albert Einstein Academies Elementary School
  • Cabrillo Elementary School
  • Deutsche Kirche San Diego
  • German Pacific School San Diego
  • Guajome Park Academy (High School)
  • San Diego Central Library

Local Games in the Media




Abacus Spiele




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