Long before Vaporwave was a thing, I’ve been big into aesthetics. I’m old enough (yikes) that I was around for that style when it was new, and I’ve loved it ever since.
Some of my fondest, and fuzziest, memories from youth have to do with dark and crowded arcades. The neon, the music, the excitement, I loved it all.
Back home (Portland, OR), one of my favorite places, period, is Ground Kontrol. It’s the most bitchin’ arcade/bar. Years back, they redid their space in a Tron-esque theme (see above), and this year, they opened an expansion (which I have yet to see in person!) themed in an intense red neon glow.
I love that the two spaces have such different aesthetics. Something about playing games surrounded by beautiful colors of neon and loud and delightful music greatly appeals to me.
All that got me thinking about how I could adjust my gaming space at home to incorporate some of those elements.
When driven to play Destiny’s multiplayer (the Crucible), I often put one earphone in my left ear to listen to certain playlists that keep my energy up (I am not a huge fan of multiplayer). When I’m using online party chat, I always have my earpiece in my right ear. With my music in my left ear, I don’t bother anyone else, but I am still able to enjoy it.
So, music and lighting, both important to my gaming experiences.
Quick side note: something I’ve come to appreciate this generation is sound design. With being able to use headphones easily with my system and controller, I’ve been able to really hear the beauty of a rich sound design, and I’ve been able to hear those scores and soundtracks even better. Gaming scores are some of my favorite music out there.
Back to lighting.
I scoured Amazon for some multicolored lighting alternatives. I came across some inexpensive touch lamps that allowed the colors to be changed at will:
I bought two of them, and I have yet to really test them out in a mostly dark room. I’m thinking with the launch of Destiny 2 and all those beautifully colored environments, I just may need to manhandle the lamps to find some color coordinated inspiration.
I also found some color changing light bulbs (with remotes, no less!) on Amazon:
I bought a four pack with every intention of putting them into my floor lamps. I have yet to install them, but I’m thinking this weekend is the time! I’d love to play around with them a bit to see what color schemes look as rad as I think they might.
Really, when I think about color schemes, the first one that comes to mind is pretty much Blood Dragon:
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon had an aesthetic that rooted itself in my brain from the moment I played it. If I somehow had richly colored neon lights at my disposal, I can guarantee they would be all over my gaming space.
Until that dream becomes a reality, I hope my lamps and specialty bulbs will suffice.
What is your gaming area setup like? What do you like to have nearby? Do you like playing with a high quality headset to take advantage of the robust sound design? Do you have specialty lighting to put you in the mood for whatever game you are playing? What would your ideal gaming setting be?
I once drove past someone with a big a** television in their garage and I thought how fun it would be to game with all that fresh air. :)