Building a games room
What goes into an amazing games room? Nostalgic Roe takes you through his setup
Creating a game room is a huge, exciting undertaking. How do you want to display your games? Do you want to highlight high dollar items? Organize in a certain order? Or just throw it all on a wall and not care?
My basement was filled with random bookshelves for the 965 games I owned, along with a few old chest that contained various cables, accessories and extra systems. I’m pretty proud of how far I have gotten for what little time I have to collect, but at the same time I wasn’t all that happy with how it was shown off.
When we purchased our new home, it was decided that I would be putting my collection into my office, which was a much smaller space than the basement of our previous house. So I had some decisions to make in terms of how everything was going to be laid out. It took me a while to think it over, but I eventually came up with a few new ideas, combined with some old ones, that I thought worked out really well.
1) Getting rid of the bookshelves.
I know a lot of people have the bookshelf look. You see it in all the Youtube videos. Big black shelves that can adjust. And honestly, this doesn’t look bad. But it can be really expensive, especially if you are going to match it all.
The one factor in my new game room was that I had this awkward nook to work around. It was too small to place a desk at, so I didn’t have much choice but have my collection start in this area. If I were to go the bookshelf route, I would end up with dead space in the corners. Now, I still have a little dead space because of the shelf I use for my consoles, but I’ll be replacing that once the collection calls upon it. When that time comes, I’ll have a nice little wrap around area for the games to continue on.
The best part about this was that it was fairly inexpensive compared to buying new shelves, and I can always adjust it if needed. It is not a permanent fix, and actually leaves the room feeling a bit more open, where as shelves would have shrank the room size. The shelf widths vary a bit, which allows me to add figures and other items in front of the games that I want to display, instead of needing a whole shelf of its own.
2) Shoe organizers make great controller organizers
This is one I did at my old house and loved it. There are lots of ways people like to store their controllers, with the most common being putting it in a zip lock bag. For me personally, I don’t want to waste more ground space for this. So instead I bought a shoe organizer and hung it on the wall. This makes it way quicker and easier for me to access the controller that I need, while also looking kinda cool by showing off all the different controllers for the various systems I have.
In the new office, this is now hanging over a closet door. The only downside is that it is hanging a little higher than before, so I need to stand on my toes to see everything. This is hardly an issue, plus I still have the floor space that I need to store other gaming items.
3) Untangling all the cords
In my basement, I had every system hooked up not only for gaming, but for recording as well. But as gaming cables tend to be, this was a huge mess and a total pain if I had to fix anything. So I simplified the setup.
The reality was that I never really played all the systems. Most of the consoles were only turned on to test games after I bought them and that was it. The NES and SNES got the most love, with the Genesis starting to win some time over as well. So rather than hook everything up again, I made a deal with myself to only play one system a year. If I need to test games, I’ll set up the required system when it is needed. Now I only have my NES and Wii (only to watch Netflix) setup and I’m considering this year the Year of NES. Next year may be Genesis, and the year after PSone. With so many titles in my collection, this is really the best way for me to truly play all of my games. Plus, I don’t have to fight with any cables if anything goes wrong!
4) Changing my collecting standards
This is a biggie for me, and for many collectors. At some point, unless you are a completionist, you realize you have too much crap. And that crap could mean crappy games, games as a whole, whatever. You just realize that you could part with some games and be ok with it.
When I’m out hunting for games, I look for anything. And as long as the price is right, I’ll buy it. Not all games have made it to my collection. I’ve bought and sold off several PS3 titles because I don’t own a system, but they were good trade bait. That is easy money to keep the collection going. But as the collection has grown more and more, I’m starting to realize I’m just not interested in owning every game for every system more or less because I’m never going to play them, and they have zero nostalgia for me. So I’ve decided that I’m going to get rid of anything that I don’t have an attachment to.
I have an Atari 5200 that will be up for sale soon, along with some Coleco games. I’ve also decided that I want to be more cartridge based. Not that I’m going to turn down a PS or Xbox game, but I’m no longer going to buy them just to buy them.
While it may have shrank in size, I’m really happy with how my new game room has turned out.
And while you’re here, why not check out the official Leftover Culture Review Game Room