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Building the Ultimate Game Room – Part 1

This multi-part post chronicle my quest to have the ultimate board gaming man-cave.   Before we get into the details, here’s a bit of the history of the space that I’m working with.

About 5 years ago, one of my friends mentioned the idea of creating a dedicated space for LAN gaming.  While I wasn’t a hardcore video gamer, the idea of networked PC’s playing some old school games seemed like a fun project to work on.  After a bit of deliberation, I decided to make it happen.   Since my goal was old-school PC gaming, I wouldn’t need start of the art PC’s.  I  ended up deciding on some low profile Dell computers and ordered 4 PC’s and 6 monitors.  I suspect that the UPS driver was wondering what was happening in my house after dropping off all those boxes.

I built long shelves along the walls to function as desks for the PCs.  For chairs, I decided on some low priced rolling chairs form Staples.

After a couple of months, I had put together a respectable space for gaming.

In the picture  below you can see the home-built MAME machine which was one of my earlier projects.

I had the room setup like this for a few years.  It was a fun space for playing Left 4 Dead with my friends, but ultimately it really didn’t get that much use.  I grew tired of constantly running updates to keep the PC’s up to date with patches and virus programs.   I was feeling a bit like a PC tech in my own home.

The room was also used for board gaming by dropping a banquet table in the middle of the room.

A couple years ago I made the decision to dismantle the LAN room and shift the focus to board gaming.

The next posts will continue the story as I have worked to build the ultimate board gaming room.   The biggest challenge was how to work within such a small space.  The room is about 12×12′ which really isn’t a huge area to work with.

The LAN Room


2 thoughts on “Building the Ultimate Game Room – Part 1

  1. Props for building that mame cabinet!

    With steam, it can be set to auto update. Windows can be set to auto update, antivirus can be set to auto update (MS has a free antivirus nowadays, so one doesn’t have to pay for AV for all those computers). Flash can be set to auto update.

    The main thing would be turning them on occasionally to get updates. But one can configure them with Wake On LAN (aka magic packets) and wake them all up on demand from a single computer. Do that once a month, let them update themselves, then shut them down.

    Basically think like sys admin, trying to automate this stuff as much as possible.

    Anyway, thought I’d throw my 2 cents out there. I know you are already changing to board game room.

  2. @JQ – thanks for the comment – the MAME as a fun project, and honestly it turned out much better than I had expected. It plays just like the real deal arcade game.

    I suppose I could have spent a bit more time with the automation, but it wasn’t getting as much use as I had hoped anyway.

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