If the real world is sometimes a little too much to handle or you have a competitive yet not-so-athletic group of friends, then a serious gaming session in your living room probably won’t cut it. Many people with a spare room in their house might shove a mediocre TV, an Xbox and a futon in there but why not go the extra mile, create something that you and a few buddies can shut the doors and emerge at the end of the weekend bloated on junk food and triumphant over your online adversaries.
Firstly you need to decide upon a room, not everyone has a spare room that isn’t assigned for the non-existent guests but it can be anywhere. It’s even better if it is shut off from the world; a lack of windows is a bonus and converting a loft or basement into a gaming space doesn’t impose on the rest of the house and you may even get away without anyone else knowing about it.
Clear the room out and begin to prepare it for a conversion, if you are using the basement make sure there is no damp and if it’s the loft then lay down some flooring so you don’t fall through into the bathroom. Once ready, decorate your room, white walls are best as they won’t make it feel like a small space and make you feel like a recluse. Flooring should be simple, preferably wood or laminate that is easy to clean and won’t require heaving a vacuum up some stairs.
Decorate the room in a manly fashion, movie posters and old vinyl covers and definitely none of those girly canvasses or black and white photos your other half will undoubtedly have around the house. Make sure you have the most comfortable and unique chair but ensure there is enough space for all your friends. A large L-shaped sofa will be the most efficient but a couple of sofa-beds will also mean that your friends can stay over when their wives are no longer talking to them for spending so much time at yours.
Keeping a supply of food and drink is paramount as it will ensure you practically never have to leave the room during your 72 hour Call of Duty marathon. Beer fridges are cheap and ideal, and snack food can be stored anywhere. If you can, install a toilet to really seal yourself off.
The most important thing to remember with a games room is that nobody is left game-less, try and find some old-school pinball machines, possibly a dartboard and even a snooker table if you have the room. This means that whenever people come round, they aren’t left as spectators. If you have the space, fit a bar in the corner with a couple of stools, so even when people aren’t playing anything they can be social and enjoy themselves.
Lastly you will need to splash some serious cash on gaming equipment; all the traditional games are mere child’s play compared to today’s high tech consoles. Choose one of the two leading consoles, both have their advantages and whatever you choose you will divide your friends who will have sided one way or the other with their own purchases, if you can afford it, buy both. Hook this up to a goliath of a TV, the bigger the better, full HD with all the trimmings and even consider a projector if you are in a windowless room but this will require the lights to be off. Get a beefy surround sound too, something that will make the room rumble with the sound of the online battlefield and make the rest of the household wonder what the hell is going on in there. Buy a selection of the latest multiplayer games as these won’t require six grown men watching one person repeatedly attempting to defeat the evil wizard boss on level 23. Remember to occasionally visit the outside world, with all that enjoyment in one room you might forget about the kids, your job or even sunlight.
A games room is the perfect place for all those novelty gifts and unique gifts you might get at Christmas or on birthdays.