If you sometimes need to get away from it all and vent a little frustration or want to host your 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.
You will obviously need a room and on the assumption that you don’t have a spare room that isn’t assigned for the non-existent guests, you might want to look at converting a loft space or basement, this is shut off from the world, won’t impose on the rest of the house and if you’re cunning enough, can be built without anyone else knowing.
Clear out the room of any old junk and begin to make it safe, remove damp from the basement and install flooring in a loft. Once set up, 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.
If you want to maintain a 48-hour Halo marathon then you will need a generous supply of food and drink. 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 first rule of a games room is that nobody is left without a game, 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, even if they aren’t playing, they don’t just have to crowd around a screen. 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.
Ultimately, you will need to drop a wad of cash on some serious gaming equipment; all traditional games and activities are mere child’s play compared to today’s high tech multimedia. 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. Enjoy this through the biggest TV you can buy/fit in the room, full HD with all the trimmings or even consider a projector if you are in a windowless room but remember 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.