Furnishing your new game room
Creating a home game room is a two-step process. First,
you have to make sure the area is big enough to meet your recreational
needs. Once that's settled, then it's time to fill up your available
space with fun stuff that the whole family can enjoy.
Here are some popular game room furnishing options. Your choices
are limited only by your personal preferences and your budget.
An arcade game or two will give your new game room an authentic
feel. One of today's hottest games is The Golden Tee, video golf
entertainment from Incredible
Technologies. With the 2005 version, duffers can electronically
test their skill on five diverse venues, including a nonlinks Scottish
course with deep pot bunkers and trees, a volcanic course from New
Zealand, or 18 holes based on the Richtersveld National Park in
South Africa. Just like its real-life counterpart, arcade golf can
be expensive. Eagle
Distributing sells home versions that exceed $5,000 before shipping
and handling are added. If coming up with the cash for your personal
Golden Tee is not a problem, then make sure you don't run into a
logistical one when it's delivered. Measure your doorway to ensure
you can get the equipment into your game room.
Not a virtual golfer? No problem. If you're a baby
boomer, consider Arcade Legends from Chicago
Gaming Company. The latest version comes loaded with 50 classic
video games from the 1970s and 1980s, including Asteroids, Battlezone,
Centipede and Mortal Kombat. If you want even more, additional game
upgrades are available. Choose from a full-size version that has
real arcade controls (joysticks, trackball and buttons) or a table-style
cabinet. Again, get ready to shell out much more than the coins
you dropped into machines as a youth. Even on sale, retail for Arcade
Legends is around $3,000, but you might be able to find a bargain
on eBay or other
online auction sites.
Don't overlook the ageless pinball machine. Stern
Pinball offers a decidedly modern twist to the standard bells,
lights and whistles: Become the top wiseguy via The Sopranos game.
It features the real voices of characters from the HBO program (including
Tony, Carmela and Dr. Melfi), as well as the Bada Bing! dancing
girls, a safe that cracks open after being whacked by the ball,
and the show's talking fish that jokes around with you as you try
to rise through the mob family's ranks to challenge Tony for the
top spot. There are even R.I.P. rollover lanes featuring mug shots
of whacked characters; pinballs end up here when your shot is too
weak to make it all the way around. You can order the game from
various suppliers (BMI
Gaming or National
Jukebox Exchange), but you might have to pull off a Sopranos-like
heist to afford the game: It runs around $4,500 to $4,700.
If you prefer competing against another person instead of a video
screen and you have the space, a pool table is a nice touch. But
if your room is too small for regulation billiard matches, consider
a multigame table. Several manufacturers offer tables that let you
go from standard board games such as backgammon and checkers to
foosball, air hockey, table tennis, bumper pool and tabletop bowling
or basketball. In addition to their versatility, multigame tables
give you a lot of game room action in a relatively small space,
typically around five feet long by three feet wide. Check out your
local department store or online resources and you should be able
to find a multigame table for around $500 or less.
Thanks to the popularity of televised poker, both celebrity and
professional, the game's accessories now can be found at almost
every department or sporting goods store. Want something a bit more
elaborate? Check out Nevada
Poker Chips. Although the company is headquartered in Omaha,
Neb., it bills itself as the largest specialty retailer of poker
chips, poker sets and gaming tables. On the Web site you can find
casino-style poker sets that include chips, cards, dice and books
on various types of poker games, all nestled in an aluminum carrying
case. Choose plain chips, ones with a logo design, chips with your
personalized text, or a combination logo-personalization-chip style.
Sets start at $60 and can go for as much as $400.
High-rollers can pick up the Texas Hold 'Em Ultimate Package. For
$5,249 you'll get two 650-piece clay chip sets and a handmade game
table that seats eight and features a velvet-like fabric top and
sunken cup holders to prevent spills from marring your game or the
table surface. There are not, however, any tips on ways to ensure
that what happens in your game room on poker night stays there.
Nothing says -- or sings -- game room like an old-fashioned jukebox.
Zone offers a selection of reproduction jukeboxes from Crosley,
Wurlitzer, RCA and Rock-Ola. You can go small: A $100 will get you
a diner countertop "Select-O-Matic" jukebox radio.
Come up with another $8,900 and get a sound system
souped up for the 21st century: the Rock-Ola digital downloading
bubbler jukebox. With this reproduction of the most-popular jukebox
of all time, you use an LCD touch screen to choose from over 150,000
songs that are piped in through the ECAST Broadband Network. While
the tunes turn, er, download, a kaleidoscope of bubbles and changing
colors flow through the jukebox's translucent plastic panels. If
the LCD display is just a tad too modern for your tastes, check
out BMI Gaming
Jukebox Exchange for versions that actually flip your CDs.
Top off your game room with a neon accessory. Amazon
has a neon clock (chrome frame with blue-to-pink color changes for
$75.99) that features a Rock-Ola jukebox ad on its face. Or proudly
display your favorite brew in neon. You'll probably be able to find
it among the more than 700 lighted ads for ales, lagers and beers
available at NeonSign.com.
The brew lights will run you at least a couple of hundred dollars,
but you can find a more cost-effective game room decor addition
at the site's bar mirror section.
Done fantasizing about the games you can play? Then
get down to the details on how
to add a game room to your home.