Friedhelm Merz, editor of the Pöppel Revue and organizer of Essen Spiel, died on July 6, 1996, at the age of 58, of ALS, better known in the United States as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
As a journalist Friedhelm Merz was heavily involved with progressive politics. Starting in 1972, he worked in the offices of Erhard Eppler and later served as a speech writer for Willy Brandt. In 1974, he became the chief editor of the Social-Democrat magazine. In 1976, he moved on to hold the same function at Vorwaerts (The Progressive). From 1978 to 1985, he served as head publisher for that magazine. In 1981, together with Reiner Mueller, head of marketing for SpielBox, he took over control of the Pöppel Revue. Since 1983, Friedhelm Merz has hosted the annual games day at Essen. The first games day drew 5000 people to the VHS and the 1995 games day brought over 120,000 visitors to the Messe Essen convention center. In 1987, Friedhelm Merz created the Deutschen Spiele Preis, the German Games Prize, the rival Game of the Year prize selected by the readers of the Pöppel Revue and gaming groups throughout the world.
His presence in the world of gaming will be sorely missed.
[The above information is taken from a press release from the Pöppel Revue, who can be contacted at Friedhelm Merz Verlag, Postfach 210250, 53157 Bonn, Fax 0228/856312.]
The Game Cabinet - firstname.lastname@example.org - Ken Tidwell