For most of us veteran gamers, having a game room in our homes is often one of the items high on our bucket lists. However, setting up one of these recreation centers in our home is usually more complicated than simply buying machines and setting them in an empty room. There are several factors you need to consider in order to create the perfect gaming room.
We understand that referring to something as “perfect” is often a bad idea since the idea of perfection is always in the eyes of the beholder. However, themes and designs aside, there are several precautions and steps that every game room owner must consider, and which marks the difference between a room filled with games, and a recreation center which you and your friends will be hard-pressed to leave.
In this article, we aim to give some insight on said factors, so that you, too, can create a great gaming room in your abode.
Initial Safety Considerations
Arcade machines and amusements are electrical devices and, as such, require a constant supply of electricity in order to function. For this reason, if you’re planning to make your own game room, you will always need to keep in mind the lifeblood of your machines: electricity. In order to prevent your games from constantly blowing fuses, you need to invest in fuses which can accommodate more than a couple of machines connected simultaneously. Keep in mind that most classic games (from the 70s/80s/90s) typically require around 1.5 to 3 amps of power per game in order to function. Newer titles such as Cruis’n Blast or Daytona Championship USA average around 5 amps per unit. In this sense, a 20-amp circuit breaker would be able to accommodate several machines. Nevertheless, the bigger variants of gaming rooms will require more circuits to keep your gaming room powered at all times.
In the same vein, investing in a good surge protector is an easy and inexpensive way to protect your investment. Considering that most arcade amusement and machines can often cost hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars, dropping a few dollars per machine for a high-quality surge protector is a great course of action. Some of these protectors can even accommodate several machines at once, so you can power whole sections of your gaming room with the simple flick of a switch, reducing power usage — and your utility bill — in the process.
Last, but not least, remember that the worst hazard your game room is exposed to will always be water. Boiler ruptures, faulty refrigeration equipment, and even a leaky ceiling during rain or snow can wreak havoc on your gaming. After all, most arcade amusements are simply wood and circuitry and, as you may well know, wood rots, and circuits can short out when exposed to water. The best way to prevent this is by keeping your amusements and machines on casters or wheel. In this manner, if there are significant spills in your gaming room, your machines will still remain safe from water hazards.
Choose a Good Theme
As we mentioned above, creating a game room is often much more than simply throwing a couple of machines inside an empty room. In order to make it really stand out to your friends and family, you need to make it truly unique. The best way to do this is by adopting a style which reflects your personality or simply designing and adding some decorations to suit your preferences. Luckily, advances in technology mean that newer and better decorations, such as LED lighting are easily accessible by most users, and creating your own unique theme is as easy as it’s ever been.
If you’re starving for creativity, you may find a good source of inspiration in the old arcade establishments of our youth. These places are usually dimly-lit; the only sources of light are commonly the screens of the amusements, and a sea of LED lights coming from the walls and the amusements themselves. Furthermore, wall decorations such as novelty street signs, thematic clocks and even LED light designs are also a good source of decoration.
If you want to go for a more traditional approach, painting your walls in specific themes are also a good way to make an impression, and complementing said designs with neon signs, black lights, and ultraviolet lights can give your game room and out-of-this-world look.
When it comes to gaming room themes & decor, your creativity is often the limit. The most important part of adding a theme to your room is that it reflects your personal tastes and preferences in order to create a lasting impression on your visitors and keep them glued to their screens.
Variety is the Spice of Life
One of the most important things to consider when furnishing your game room with your favorite machines is that, in most cases, your favorite childhood games might not be the games that are best suited to a home game room. Unless you’re particularly keen on a specific machine, some old games of your childhood might not be good enough to hold your interest for more than a couple of playthroughs. Unless you plan on frequently rotating and swapping out your games — which is quite an expensive course of action —you would do well to invest on amusements that have tons of replayability and lasting value. Pinball machines are, and will always be the staple of arcade establishments and gaming rooms, in general. The randomness of every round makes each game a truly unique experience, thus providing tons of replayability to these machines, as opposed to, say, beat em’ up games.
Multicade machines are also a great way to keep fresh the variety of games in your game room, as these amusements usually come with tons of games pre-installed in a single cabinet. Games like the Arcade Legends series or Pac-Man’s Arcade Party Home Cocktail cabinet are a good way to try out all sorts of fun and popular games, including the cherished games of your childhood, before deciding to purchase that rare standalone machine with a single game for your collection. If you’re aiming for true variety, the former series is the way to go, as they come with an expandable repertoire of 135 games each, while the latter comes with a smaller, yet still fun collection of games, including several of our beloved Pac-Man titles.
As a general rule of thumb, a good game room achieves a good balance of different types of games: driving games, gun games, air hockey, foosball and, if you have the room for it even mechanical amusements can be added to your recreation center in order to achieve true variety. Some wall-mounted games such as darts can also be considered when trying to spice up your game room.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating your own rec center; just remember to keep a good variety of games on deck, and to take some time to plan out its design as well as its safety measures.
At PrimeTime Amusements, we pride ourselves in our expertise in all things related to arcade machines and games. If you would like to place an inquiry with our team or require assistance in designing and setting up your own game room, feel free to give us a call at 1.800.550.0090, or pay us a visit at 5300 Powerline Rd, Suite 210, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, 33309.