Clubs, Bars, Universities, Colleges, Football clubs have them. Actors, Celebrities, pop stars, footballers and politicians have them. Former US Presidents have had them. Families have them. You can have one too.
Game Rooms. Also known as man caves.
Are they a man thing? Possibly. But ladies are always welcome.
A Game Room is an essential recreational space; a room dedicated to game play and relaxation.
Many people wouldn’t dream of buying a house without one. No longer the preserve of the super-rich, game rooms are becoming a common feature in many western family homes.
Essentially a Game Room is a room within a home or building that is furnished with a variety of games for people to play. Contents vary but table games such as pool and table football are common.
A dream for most people, the Game Room or Recreation Room is an area dedicated to leisure and is an important aid to relaxation in our increasingly stressful existence. It’s Me space. Us space. Non-work space. Whether it’s a bar in the basement, an all-action attic or pool in the parlour a Games Room has become a common feature in many homes in western society. There is even an annual competition in the UK for Game Room of the Year. This started in 2015 and is sponsored by a national newspaper. Game Rooms are here to stay.
How long have they been around? Information on this is a bit hazy. Many universities have had a billiards or snooker room for a while. The University of Michigan had one in 1919. I suspect there are older ones. Maybe you can help. If you know of an older Games Room let us know.
As a game, Pool dates back to the 1600s. The game was played outdoors by the rich and noble in the UK with an indoor game being created with a green coloured cloth to simulate the grass. The game was very different from the current version with balls being rolled, pushed or ‘shoved’ by hand. Cues were not introduced until the latter part of the century. Also known as Billiards, the game even gets a mention in a Shakespeare play.
The Home Game Room is a much more modern creation. Some people believe that game rooms in homes became common in the 1920s and 30s as a result of the purge on arcade games following the Prohibition era. The well-off simply bought their own games and played them at home, where they could also enjoy a drink without the fear of being arrested.
However, the home based game room didn’t really become popular until the 1950s and 1960s when the game of pool became widely played across America. Pool table sales mushroomed after the release of the film The Hustler starring Paul Newman, in 1961. Since then the Games Room has never looked back.
Any self-respecting sports clubhouse will have some form of Games Room. This may simply consist of a Pool Table or a Football table but there will often be space for quieter games such as Darts, cards or even chess. Sports bars will have plenty of large screen TVs to watch live sports action but many will also have at least one Pool Table.
What should be in a good Games Room?
Anything that floats your boat really. But the following would probably come near the top of the list:
Alley Skittles 10 pin or 9 pin
Big screen TV
Video Games – driving, shooting, flying, horror, ski-ing, snowboarding
Virtual Reality headset and seating
Comfortable seating to relax in
Card Table: poker, brag, baccarat, blackjack
Dice Table: craps, poker dice, yahtzee,
Ice Cream maker (not your Mom!)
Hot Tub – why not?
Know of a Games Room with something different in it? Let us know.
Celebrity Game Rooms
Here are some well-known people who have (or had) great Game Rooms in their places.
Elvis had one at Gracelands.
Christina Aguilera has one; here it is
Lady Gaga and Mylie Cyrus have one with a hot tub.
Nicolas Cage has one (he bought it from Dean Martin).
Orson Welles had one (maybe that’s where the third guy was hiding!)
Bill Gates has one but then he’s got everything.
Stephen Spielberg has one (why didn’t he show ET playing pool?)
Let us know if you come across any others.
How much does a Game Room cost?
Well that depends? An A* Luxury Game Room could set you back $20k plus but you don’t have to spend that much to get a pleasant usable space. All you really need is some clear space and one table. Make it a good one though. You could get started for about $500. Then improve it and build on it later. It is good to have a dedicated room for games where you can concentrate and have fun with disturbing the rest of the household. Basically there are no rules. If it feels right – do it.
There are specialist Game Room Suppliers who will do a superb job of setting up a great games room in your space but they don’t come cheap. So unless you’re uber-rich why not start out by doing it yourself. You could refloor, decorate and equip a decent game room in most houses for under $2k.
The Future of Game Rooms
They are increasing in number. The idea of having a Games room at home has caught on big time and demand for furniture, game tables, equipment and accessories will continue to grow.
The Game Room is changing in nature. They are becoming more High Tech with games consoles, video games, and virtual reality sets becoming more popular. However, we feel certain that more traditional games will also thrive as there is a kick back from many people against high-tech games which can be excluding and anti-social by their very nature.
One thing is for certain Game Rooms will become more common in homes across the planet. There are more games available at affordable prices. The Game Room is here to stay and has a very bright future.