RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
It's a big day for board games, the start of the Spiel festival in Essen, Germany, a board game convention. Over 100,000 people are expected to attend. Tiffany Ralph from Portland, Ore. is one. She raised $3,000 in a kick-starter campaign to get there. The convention starts with a mad dash.
TIFFANY RALPH: Like, there will be running. Imagine a Black Friday event. And instead of a few hundred people, imagine 50,000 people who have traveled from various countries around the world. And that will give you somewhat of an idea.
MONTAGNE: And why a convention in Germany? Well, Germany takes its board games seriously.
RALPH: Germany is the hot spot for a lot of board games. And, you know, in the United States, board gaming has always been kind of a child hobby. And in Germany, it's not. It's an entire family event. And it's a professional event. And it's an adult event.
MONTAGNE: And after each of the four days, attendees take to the streets to play their new games.
RALPH: During the day, people will go and buy stuff. And then in the evening, everybody plays games. So all of the bars and hotel lobbies and restaurants around the city are just full of people playing games.
MONTAGNE: And Tiffany Ralph plans on bringing some of them home with her.
RALPH: I have a very large bag. And inside of that bag, I have another bag. Then I have another bag inside of that bag.
MONTAGNE: And then on, games and games and games. That's Tiffany Ralph in Germany at the Spiel Essen board game festival, which starts today.
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