Almost every gamer has dreamed of a room filled with their favorite games at some point or another. If you are one of the fortunate people with the resources to make it happen, you might be at a loss about how to proceed.
There are several things to consider when designing the ultimate smart game room, and this guide will help with a few game room ideas to keep in mind.
The Game Room’s Purpose
For some, the ultimate smart game room will be a shrine to their favorite hobby. It will be the space they display their collection of games collected over the years, as well as their prized copy of Earthbound. For others, the room will be dual-purpose: a room to put things on display, as well as a place to retreat.
There might even be some people that see the room as a way to recreate their favorite childhood arcade. Whatever the reason you decide to build a game room, keep its purpose in mind as you move forward. That will determine the pieces you need to make the room a reality.
Lighting and Effects
The most important element of the ultimate smart game room will be the lighting. Whether you seek to emphasize a particular display or you want to capture the ambience of a mid-80s arcade, the color and brightness of the lights makes a huge difference. From this point, you have multiple options.
You could opt for budget-friendly smart lights like the Sengled Smart Bulb, or you could choose a more expensive and feature-rich option. If you want lights to give ambience and that will work with the content of your television, Philips Hue is a great option.
Philips Hue has multiple entertainment-focused products including the Philips Hue Lightstrip and the Hue Play Light Bar Starter Kit, designed to cast light onto the wall behind the television or monitor and match the ambient color onscreen for a more immersive experience.
If you want to light your displays without breaking the bank, a standard LED light strip will do the trick. These strips have adhesive backing that makes them easy to mount to the underside of a shelf. Just attach them and plug the strip in; while it won’t be a smart light, there is an included remote you can use to control the color.
TV and Equipment
If you are designing a room for the purpose of being an entertainment haven, the focal point will most likely be the TV. While the type of TV you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference, there are several things you need to keep in mind.
You want a TV with low input lag (or the ability to activate a low-input lag mode), HDR, and a great picture quality — preferably an OLED. Bear in mind that a TV with the kind of high-end specs you’re looking for can be quite expensive, but it is possible to find sets that fit the bill for more wallet-friendly prices.
Unless you want to keep an old CRT TV around for classic gaming, you’ll need an upscaler to make your old consoles work on a new TV. Many old consoles were designed to output a signal that modern TVs cannot recognize. Even if you get them to work, there’s significant ghosting.
An upscaler can fix resolution problems and make games like Super Mario Kart look fantastic on a 75” OLED TV.
In addition to a great picture, you’ll want phenomenal sound. You can always choose a traditional surround sound system, but many modern sound bars provide the same level of quality for half the price.
There’s no point in putting in the effort for a smart game room if you have no way to control it. You can choose between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but make sure any other accessories you buy are compatible.
For example, you might need smart plugs to control other accessories. If you want to make sure the entire room is wired up but you want to save money on LED light strips, an inexpensive smart plug can take the place of the smart strip. Just give the smart plugs a specific, memorable name and you can ask Alexa or Google to turn them all on at once.
A smart plug can also give you control over accessories like streaming lights without getting up. If you decide to have an impromptu streaming session on Twitch one evening, just ask Alexa to turn on the stream lights and dive right in.
Again, the smart accessories you need will be dependent on what game room ideas you implement. Take the time to plan out ahead of time and leave room in your budget.
Last comes the least-sexy part of any room setup: organizing it. A simple pack of cable ties can go a long way toward wrangling loose cables and keeping the room from becoming a mess. If you’re going to run a cable up a wall or along the floor, consider investing in a cable raceway.
This will hide the (sometimes multiple) cables behind a simple piece of plastic that can be painted to match the color of your wall. It’s an easy way to add a clean look and feel to the room. If you’re designing this room in your own home rather than a rental property, you can hide the cables in the wall itself.
You’ll also want shelving units for storage. Ensure the units you choose are sturdy enough to support the weight of your belongings; after all, the last thing you want is to lose valuables because the shelf collapses and damages them.
The ultimate smart game room is a dream that looks different for everyone. However, getting that end result often involves the same steps: deciding what the room should look like, investing in lighting, organizing the mess, and more. Take the time to plan out your ultimate game room and set goals to make it happen.
Give yourself enough time, and you might even be able to throw in a fun accessory or two like a smart coffee table with a built-in minifridge. Yes, it does exist.