Games rooms are becoming a must-have for the home
16:18 22 May 2015
Games rooms are becoming an almost essential feature in many homes. Gary Drage explains why.
The homeward-bound cocooning trend has made stay-at-home entertaining vastly more important to consumers. Games rooms are becoming an almost essential feature in many homes, with the provision of activities to amuse the entire family paramount.
Availability of design-led homes games equipment now reflect this change in market trend. Quality, finish and aesthetics are everything.
What products are most popular in a home games room?
By far the most popular is the pool table. Usually American pool (spots and stripes) as opposed to British pool (reds and yellows) or snooker. The reason for this preference is that American pool uses bigger balls and bigger pockets, making the fun of potting more accessible to more participants, plus the range of designs and styles for American pool is far greater due to its bigger demand worldwide. However, all types of cue sports games can be played on any table by the provision of different ball sets, just as long as the table is rectangular and has six pockets.
The popularity of pool is followed by air hockey and table football.
However, be aware that the game play and enjoyment in playing these games room pieces is badly affected by lower quality, toy-type versions. A wobbly pool table with small plastic balls, or an air hockey where the puck runs too slow or lifts off, makes for a less than ideal experience and even novice players will notice the difference from what they enjoy playing in arcades, pubs and clubs.
Why has this trend emerged?
Going out for entertainment is reducing in all sectors, and staying in to enjoy electronic gaming, quality dining, home cinema experiences and now games rooms is on the increase. It seems this trend is across the board and growing. There are numerous reasons behind this change in people’s habits. Expense is an obvious one with a night out costing potentially hundreds of pounds. Taxis, meals, drinks, plus entry fees or pay per play all add up. This money can be invested in improving the home (adding capital value), plus providing a good time and entertainment in a faster, impulsive and more convenient manner.
Aren’t games rooms only viable in extremely large homes?
Games rooms are now being placed in all sorts of domestic locations. Garages are common, typically the modern car is quite at home if kept out in all weathers year round, and most garages are now left empty or get filled with junk.
Attics and basements work equally well. Most pool and snooker tables will breakdown into smaller components and allow access through loft hatches and tight stairways, opening up numerous possibilities.
Outbuildings such as sheds are increasingly being constructed to house what is often referred to as a ‘man cave’, although the modern stylish games room is as much appreciated by the ladies in the home.
If space is still an issue there are now dining tables which easily convert to a pool table. This concept allows almost any home to take advantage of the benefits of having a games room. Tables which offer this dual purpose approach are now available in a vast range of sizes and finishes to fit perfectly in the home. The styling is now so good that no one would even know that discreetly built into the stylish new dining room suite is a stealthy American pool table just waiting to be revealed.
Gary Drage has been in the cue sports business since the late 1980s and is managing director of SAM Leisure. Call 02476 461234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.samleisure.co.uk