The very first gaming party I hosted may have been the most ultimate gaming party ever. Before the Nintendo Wii came out, I signed onto a campaign to throw a Wii party. That basically meant getting our friends and family together to try out Nintendo’s new gaming system before it even hit the market. I learned a lot from that once-in-a-lifetime experience — for one, how when you share a story about getting to try a gaming system that no one else had tried yet, and a gazillion people are waiting to try it, it’s likely your server will crash. But that was many years ago, and since then I have learned a whole lot more about gaming, parties and how to create fun experiences for my family. That a simple party turned us into a full-blown gaming family and that there are all kinds of reasons why I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Since the first Wii party, we have hosted numerous parties revolving around gaming, a variety of video games and their characters. More than any other kind of parties, it’s the ones that focus on gaming that people remember most. Why? Because quite frankly, they’re the most fun! And I have thrown enough of them to know.
So, without further ado, here are a few tips to help you host the ultimate gaming party.
Gear Up! 1 of 11
It's possible for any mom to throw an awesome gaming party kids and adults will enjoy. Simply follow these 10 simple steps!
Pick a Character 2 of 11
By choosing one or more of your favorite video game personalities, you can build a cohesive theme for the festivities. Create invitations and decorations based on your character of choice. Take the Donkey Kong birthday theme we used for my daughter's 10th birthday. Or, to really raise the bar, why not pick one of your kids' favorite Disney Infnity characters to base your party decor and food around? Whichever character you choose to highlight, be sure to do so — this is an essential party-planning step!
Run with It 3 of 11
Take your game theme or main character, and take it to the extreme. Cake, themed snacks, and party favors that match your chosen theme will get your guests really into it. Get creative as you plan, and let your kids help out with the prep work! For a grown-up version of a fantastic dinner party with a game theme, check out this "play with your food" video. So clever!
Get Girlie 4 of 11
If you're looking to host an all-girls gaming party, don't be afraid to girl it up! Regardless of what your kids' favorite characters are, it's totally possible to make your party gender-specific. We had a girls' gaming night, which had all-pink decorations and we pampered the girls with pedicures while they played. Needless to say, it was a huge hit!
Don’t Forget to Mix and Mingle 5 of 11
Video games work equalizers, which makes gaming parties the perfect kind of party when you are inviting friends and families with kids of all genders and ages. Built-in, self-contained entertainment makes it awesome! I promise you that with the right game choices (depending on your guest demographic), everyone will be engaged.
Encourage Collaboration 6 of 11
Video games really do encourage collaborative, cooperative play. Be sure to choose games that have collaborative play options wherein more than one character can play at the same time. This fosters a fun energy of competition and working together as a team.
Expand Your Offerings 7 of 11
Of course, you'll be playing video games at your gaming party, but consider mixing it up with other games. You can still stick with the gaming theme — just expand your game repertoire beyond video games, especially if you want to take the party outdoors for while.
Make It a Family Affair 8 of 11
Parents love any social outing when their kids are engaged (so parents love gaming parties, trust me!). But, mark my words, parents will end up wanting to game with the kids, especially when you, the host, encourage it! This shot is from a Wii Sports party. The moms all enjoyed the Wii Yoga. No, I'm not kidding.
Be Sure Everyone Is Included 9 of 11
Almost everyone is willing to try something new when they're invited to do so. Kids (young and old), parents, teens, and even grandparents will join in the fun if they're handed a controller. As the host, it's your job to both lead by example (get in there and play ball!) and make sure everyone's invited to take a turn. I'll bet everyone will want to!
Name Your Game 10 of 11
The variety of types, styles, method of play, and themes are astounding. No matter your interest, there's got to be a video game out there for you and all of your guests. Be sure to have a variety of games on hand to offer those people at your party. Unless you have pinned down a specific game theme, your guests' tastes and preferences might surprise you. Let the group take the lead if you don't have a structured game plan.
Keep Control of the Dial 11 of 11
Keep in mind that gaming parties can be as crazy or as calm as the games you choose to play. We've had really loud, boisterous parties (don't get me started about the videos I have of my husband singing and dancing at our last party), and more subdued, quiet gaming gatherings alike. You don't have to choose one or the other, but do plan your party accordingly. I love starting with the high-energy games and winding down with the more mellow ones before sending the little gamers home.
What’s your take on games, gaming and gaming parties? Are you a gamer? If not, I certainly encourage you to give it a try. Your kids will love you for it.
For the story about how Tracey and her teen got here, take a peek at their first post at Reframed.
For more about Tracey and how she elevates the everyday, visit her at traceyclark.com.
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