Game spaces come in all shapes and sizes. You may have a room dedicated to games, or you may have to clean-off the dining table in order to try out the latest expansion to Dominion. Regardless of your situation, what can you do to enhance your gaming space to make the gaming experience more enjoyable and more memorable?
Our first home was a small 1300 sq/ft home with three bedrooms. With a family of six, needless to say, space was a luxury. I converted the coat closet next to the front door into my game closet. I strategically added shelves to the side and rear of the closet to still allow coats to be hung (strategically meaning, trying not to upset my wife by using up important space and commandeering the entire closet). We had a small dining area that was used for all our family gatherings, meals together, and of course, playing the occasional board game. During the early years of our marriage, most Sundays we would invite two of my older brothers over for dinner. After dinner, I would rope them into playing board games for the rest of the evening. There were a ton of laughs and some great memories made during those years. Back in that time, the board game industry looked very different than it does today. Gaming accessories were not widely popular nor accessible. What did I do to improve my space? First item was my table. Prior to meeting my wife, I worked for a furniture company repairing furniture. As a perk, if I ever saw a piece of furniture come through the shop that I was interested in, I could buy it at an amazing price. I bought a fair amount of furniture in this way and my dining table was one of those pieces. My only criteria when it came to a dining table was that I wanted it to go from rectangular to square once the leaf was added. I felt that this would make a better gaming table by putting everything in arms reach of all players. My small table in our starter home served its purpose, and it definitely helped make games more enjoyable. Eventually the table became so beat-up that we had to get rid of it (those of you that have ever had small children know what happened), but the time and experiences spent around that table are forever with me.
This all leads me to my current game space. I like to think of gaming spaces as living spaces. Not in the same way that you would refer to your living room. I think it is a space that is ever changing and improving. I now have a space solely dedicated to games. It is my favorite place to be in my home. It started out as a large space with a small table and a couple of shelves of games. I have since decorated the room with wall art, epic light fixtures, additional shelf space, added a second gaming table, and finally I added a Game Topper to each of my tables and more and more shelves (my wife made me add that last part). Game nights have become a highly anticipated weekly event at our house, and we often fill both tables with players looking to create their own memories. My daughters are in high school now, and it is not uncommon for them to have a date night down in the game room and teach some of the local high school boys that it is okay to lose.
So, what can you do to improve your game space? Start with a fun picture on your wall, or get a neoprene gaming mat that you can add to your dining table to transform your dining space into a gaming space. My favorite addition to my space was adding the Game Toppers to my tables. Nothing else has come close to transforming my game room than my Game Toppers have.
Games are all about having fun and creating memories with friends and family, and your game space sets the stage. Find what you like. Figure out how to improve your experience. It doesn’t have to be large or expensive. Start small. If you know what you like, then work toward making it a reality. As for me, my next step will be a chair upgrade. What is next for your game room?