Considering six key factors when choosing where to play can vastly enhance your gaming session.
I’m sure like me you’ve gamed in many different places over the years. You might have gamed at your house, in the park, in a gaming shop, at a convention or elsewhere. No doubt, some of those places were more suitable than others. Some places are simply better suited to gaming than others.
When planning a gaming space, consider the following factors:
- Space: Roleplaying often takes up a decent amount of space. Beyond the area having enough floor space to physically fit everyone you also need space for furniture – normally tables and chairs – along with space to dump your bags. (Gamers often bring a lot of stuff to a game). Also remember, that people will be getting up to fetch drinks, use the bathroom and so on.
- Furniture: A decent-sized table is vital to most games today. Beyond having somewhere to rest your character sheet, dice and drinks a table must often also accommodate a battle mat, figures and more. Just as important are comfortable chairs. Given us gamers sit down for long periods of time, comfortable chairs are a must!
- Temperature: Gaming is a pretty sedentary activity. Given we generally sit around when we game it’s a good idea to play in an area with a comfortable temperature. Remember also that many gamers now bring devices to the table. Some don’t emit much heat, but others like laptops can rapidly increase the temperature in an enclosed space .
- Light: Sure atmospheric lighting is good fun, but it is always handy to be able to actually see the play area. You should be able to see the table without straining your eyes.
- Amenities: Given that many gamers bring devices to the table, choosing an area with multiple power points is a good idea. After all, if your character sheet or the adventure is stored on a laptop or tablet and you run out of power you are done for the session. If your sessions run much over a couple of hours it’s also good to have a bathroom close at hand. In my Borderland of Adventure campaign we play in Raging Swan’s global HQ and we also have a kitchen close at hand for people who need tea, coffee and so on to get through the mind numbing horror of my GMing.
- Distractions: If at all possible, pick an area free of distractions. Possible distractions include pets, small children and so on. Turn off the radio or television. Atmospheric music is fine, but much beyond that is going to negatively impact the game experience. Also consider the amount of noise you make when gaming. If you playing near ill people, children trying to sleep, people trying to work and so on you’ll need to take that into account. Angry people bursting into the room telling you to “keep it down” are somewhat distracting after all. (And of course if you play in someone’s house it’s generally a good idea to not annoy their partner and children!)
Help Your Fellow Gamers!
Do you consider anything else when choosing a gaming space? If you do, why not share your considerations in the comments below and help your fellow games choose a better gaming space!
This post is part of a week-long celebration of my 10-year-old son starting his first campaign for a group of his friends. He’s been slaving away over his dungeon for weeks and hopefully, they all enjoy themselves and become life-long gamers. I also get to play in the campaign, but of course I’m playing the cleric…