What gaming room isn't complete without the basics: big screen TV, video game systems, arcade and pinball machines, Foosball, ping pong and other table games. But what makes a gaming room really great? What makes your space so inviting and awesome that you and your friends can't wait for your significant other to head out of town and head down to the game room and never want to leave? It's all in the details with surprisingly little effort!
Seats & Spaces
You'll need big and comfy and plentiful if you're going to be camped in the room for hours at a time with lots of friends. Remember to provide plenty of spots for people to sit and rest their feet as well as their food and drinks while they're playing or watching. If you don't have a huge amount of space we suggest getting a coffee table that can easily roll out of the way for games that require you to jump around.
Don't forget that those not playing on the big screen need to keep entertained too, and we don't mean just by your awesomeness at Call of Duty. Provide plenty of side entertainment such as a Foosball or Ping Pong table, and if you have the budget lots of classic arcade games on free play will pair perfectly with the high end gaming system on the big screen.
Have fun with the decor, whether it's a gaming theme or something totally out of the blue that your wife/girlfriend would never let in the main house but fits right on in in a game room. It's the one place in your house that you're allowed to let your inner child out and even show off that old Pez collection you've been trying to rationalize keeping.
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Food & Drinks
You'll need plenty of life sustaining sustenance to keep your energy levels up while you power through the next gaming level. Whether it's soda and water or adult beverages, stock up and keep your drinks cold with a nearby mini-fridge. Chips, pretzels, and a pizza delivery guy on speed dial finish the job for a weekend when the wife/girlfriend isn't home. If you want to avoid greasy controllers we recommend keeping a pack of wet naps and a trash can nearby so buddies can quickly wipe their hands before they grab the controller, although that probably won't happen without a gently reminder.
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Organized & Clean
Don't just let your games, controllers and accessories just lay around like a 6 year old's bedroom - we're better (and older) than that! Make a proper place for everything and store and organize all your stuff. Keep everything clean and dust free, especially your electronics that need to breathe to operate maintenance free (remember the days of blowing on our Nintendo cartridges?).
There's probably a good chance that your buddies aren't going to use coasters, so go for maintenance free furniture that can simply wipe clean after everyone leaves and no one offers to help clean up. If you keep lots of coasters around though it'll provide a nice little hint and people are more likely to use them if they are conveniently on hand. Keep lots of napkins and trash cans nearby as well, plus recycling bins if you're into saving the environment (which you should be).
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More Notes On A Great Gaming Room
• Many don't realize that sound is equally as important as video, so plug in to a nice sound system and enjoy the booms and oohs and ahs and finally realizing that you can actually hear the other guy sneaking up from behind you with surround sound.
• Playing music keeps the mood upbeat, just don't overwhelm the gaming sounds.
• We've all got short attention spans, so if we're not playing we're probably losing interest. Keep lots of side games around as mentioned above, but it's also a good idea to keep magazines, board games, TVs and other entertainment going on the side at the same time. Lots of booze generally helps too.
• Don't forget to keep extra toilet paper stock in the bathroom, preferably in an obvious place that doesn't require a guest to embarrassingly ask you for more.
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(Images: Gregory Han; Creative Commons by Dan Tidswell, and adrianjwallace)