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On having a game room

Brandon Erickson's picture

Game Room Sign

For the past year, my fiancée and I have been living in a one-bedroom apartment, with my videogame stuff spread out between the living room, bedroom, and a storage unit. We both want a bigger place, but given that we are just starting our careers and facing a mountain of student loan debt, a house is out of the question. That being said, when we first started talking about our minimum living requirements for our new place in Seattle, we both agreed on one basic thing: a separate room for all the videogame stuff.

We are now just days away from moving into our new two-bedroom condo, and I must say that I am really looking forward to having a room for all my videogame and entertainment stuff (HDTV, game consoles, gaming chairs, Sega Saturn Kiosk, etc.). Finally, we can have a tasteful and aesthetically pleasing living room area. We can arrange our furniture without having to work around a television. And we can entertain guests without having to be self conscious about the clutter of videogames, consoles, and controllers.

It's not that there's anything wrong with having videogames in one's main living area. But in my ideal world, a living room shouldn't have to be built around an entertainment center. I don't necessarily want a living space that sends the message that TV is the focal point of my life. I'd rather have a separate room for those trappings of videogame- and TV-oriented entertainment, where I can relax and not worry about whether the decor looks stylish or tasteful, and where I can close the door and forget about it after I'm done.

I think that part of growing older is knowing that there's a time and place for escapism (e.g., games, movies, TV, etc.) and that there's a time for human connection without the interference and distraction of technology. I love playing games, but I don't want them to permeate my life, mentally or physically. I'm very glad to be moving to a new place that will allow me to maintain a healthy boundary between these two areas of my life. But most of all, I think it'll be pretty kick ass to be able to say I have a "game room."

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A game room is a place set

A game room is a place set aside for fun. Whether you're converting a small bedroom or office or you've got a whole basement to work with, a game room is a welcome addition to any home.

Small Game Room Design
When working with a small space, it's important to make the most out of what you've got. A standard size pool table doesn't cut the mustard in a small space. There are too many "short" spots, and game play is detrimentally affected. You can certainly opt for a smaller pool table (as many pubs do). Some might bypass the old "billiard room" standby and choose another activity to devote the room to. Foosball tables are quite compact. Bumper pool is an option. The problem with these is that unless you and all of your friends are aficionados the games can get a bit old.

Small game rooms are the perfect size for a nice poker table. Poker is good because it doesn't involve a lot of movement or space. Plus, it is an activity that many people can enjoy at the same time. Darts are another good choice for small game rooms. They require only wall space and a set distance. Darts are also a pretty inexpensive form of leisure when compared to pool (or depending on your skill level, poker). You'll want to install some sort of backboard, though, if you're planning to use conventional, metal tipped darts.

A small game room's limited space might make it a pain to get in and out of when many people are present. While building a bar will make this problem worse, a game room definitely benefits by having libations readily available. A fully stocked mini-fridge will keep the party going and take up a minimal amount of space.

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