gamer culture

Mobile Gaming Lounges Are Changing Kids' Birthday Parties

by Mike Futter on Feb 23, 2015 at 10:39 AM

As the father of two elementary school children, we visit a lot of birthday parties. We’ve been to Funplex (a Dave and Busters-type location for kids), the roller rink, Chuck E Cheese, the movies, and the bowling alley.

Over the weekend, my son had a birthday party at a friend’s house. The invitation touted something called a Game Truck, but didn’t offer much by way of details.

When we arrived, a large trailer was parked in front of the house. I was invited inside, where I found a wall of sofas, large televisions mounted on the walls, current- and last-gen game consoles, and even an area for motion gaming (with Just Dance set up).

Once everyone arrived and the door was closed, the truck did get warmer.

The kids were free to pick from a wall of games (all appropriately rated), and they burned through a big portion of the library in the two hours of the party. It was a bit chilly, and the kids did have to keep their coats on, but they seemed to have a good time.

A number of companies offering these services have popped up, including Game Truck, Ultimate Game Truck (a different company), Gamin' Ride, Rolling Video Games, and others. Most offer the mobile gaming lounge, while some also offer laser tag and other attractions.

As a parent who has braved Chuck E. Cheese as a party host, the concept of bringing the gaming aspect of those events somewhere less chaotic seems like a good idea. Moving forward, I can also see a connection with virtual reality, as that technology has an arcade appeal.