Those old enough will have fond memories of venturing to the local arcade with friends, a pocketful of change and an excited look of glee cast across our face – a few hours of gaming with friends awaits! The concept of co-op gaming is nothing new. The advent of home gaming systems that actively encourage co-op gaming revolutionised the video gaming industry. Yet, the joy of playing games with friends was noticeably absent.
This all changed in the 21 st century. Today, co-op gaming is all the rage, with developers and platforms actively geared towards encouraging gamers to share their gaming experiences. Amongst this evolution, gaming parties rose stupendously in popularity.
Are you interested in throwing the gaming party to end all gaming parties? If so, here’s how you can create the ultimate gaming party experience.
The Day Before the Party’s Even Begun
A good gaming party is only a good at the games you choose to play. If you’ve sifted through your game collection and decided that Atari’s notoriously terrible ET, NES’s Bad Street Brawler or Hotel Mario are the games certain to excite those rocking up to your video game party, you may not get the reception you’d hoped for. Alternatively, if you pull out Diablo 3, Portal 2 or Fortnite then you have the ingredients for a full time!
However, it’s important to remember that not all video games are suitable for all ages. If you’re hosting a gamer party for pre-teens, maybe there’s a better option than Diablo 3!
Why not choose a handfulof different types of games? Pick a racing game, a sports game and a shooter, or maybe a fighter game. Street Fighter, anyone? This allows you to cater to different people’s tastes allowing different people to showcase their skills.
The Night Before the Party’s Even Begun
Any good kids birthday partyneeds mouth-watering snacks and delicious refreshments. The night before the party is the time for a trip to the shops. Why? Well, the day of the party you’re likely to be busy tidying, organising and setting up Xbox’s, Playstation’s and getting that Twitch account ready to go live.
If you’re playing online, the night before is a good time to check that your passwords are still valid and that you have a secure reliable internet connection – you don’t want to delay, or God forbid lose any gaming time!
Always serve a selection of sweet and savoury snacks. Take a quick trip to the shops and stock up on water, cordial, juice and fizzy drinks. Serve food that can be eaten quickly, and ideally with one hand.
Sausages, pizza, and rolls are staple kids birthday party food treats. If you have a taste for healthy snacks, falafel, pitta bread, fruit and carrots to snack on make good substitutes. Whilst your there, why not stock up on AA batteries? With hours of gaming in front of your, you may well need them!
Try not to save food that could leave stains on your carpet if dropped or spilt. There’s likely to be a great deal of exuberance – and no one wants to get a face full of guacamole when celebrating a record time on Mario Kart!
The Morning of the Party
The ultimate gaming party experience is more than just compiling a library of games to get your guests pumped and supplying a steady stream of delicious drinks and snacks, you need to think about the gaming environment too.
This means vacuuming the carpets, tidying the room, wiping surfaces down – and creating a comfortable space for your guests to sit. No one will want to sit for hours at a time in an environment filled with dust, dirt and grime!
Just as bad are odours. If it’s a warm day, make sure that the windows are open, allowing clean, fresh air to circulate. Whilst you’re at the shops buying supplies, why not pickup a can of air freshener? Hour upon hour of gaming in warm weather can lead to unpleasant odours permeating the environment. Air freshener will resolve the problem of pesky odours in a few seconds.
Oh, whilst you’re cleaning, you’ll need to give the bathroom a once-over and make sure that you have plenty of toilet paper. Outside the room you’ll be gaming in, the bathroom is the other environment your guests will likely be spending some time in. A clean bathroom is a welcome bathroom.
An Hour Before Your Guests Arrive
With the clock ticking down until your guests arrive, it’s time for some last-minute organisation. Make sure all your gaming equipment is neat, clean, untangled, plugged in and working. Test the sound and picture quality of your TV.
You don’t want to have your guests sit down, controller in-hand, ready to go and you’re stuck fiddling with a controller and cables, engaged in a valiant fight with the TV, willing the game to start. Also, if you intend to create a fully immersive gaming party experience with an Xbox Live Vision Camera or Playstation Eye, make sure that you fully test each before your guests arrive.
Ten Minutes Before Your Guests Arrive
With minutes to spare before your guests arrive, boot up your consoles and break out the snacks. You need to have everything good to go. Any time you’ll need to spend sorting gaming equipment out or grabbing snacks is time lost playing Fortnite, Super Mario Odyssey or jamming to Rock Band!
Make sure drinks and snacks are visible but out of the way – and away from any cabling. Use plastic cups and bowls, and make sure all tops are securely fastened to bottles, you don’t want a spillage before you even start.
So, there you have it. How you can bring the nostalgic arcade experience or fun of co-op gaming to a kids birthday party. Follow these simple steps and you’ll surely have all the ingredients for a gaming party for the ages!