5 Ways To Celebrate A Gamer’s Birthday
Video games have become more than a casual, after-school hobby for children; in recent years, the industry has expanded to include immersive virtual reality experiences, multi-player online worlds, and realistic, movie-quality animation. Video games may even have positive effects on gamers, with recent research indicating evidence of improved memory, attention, and decision-making skills among gamers, thanks to their need to retain large amounts of information and make split decisions in-game. With over 2.6 billion people worldwide playing video games, including 65% of US adults, being a gamer has become somewhat of an identity; if a gamer in your life is celebrating a birthday, here are 5 Ways To Celebrate A Gamer’s Birthday.
- Choose the perfect gift
One of the best ways to delight the gamer in your life is to get them a birthday gift that relates to their love of video games.
The simplest way to give the gift of gaming is by purchasing a gift card specifically created for a game they enjoy; the global gift card market was valued at over $619 billion in 2019, proving that gift cards remain a popular choice for presents. While a standard gift card may include the same monetary value as a specific gaming gift card, going the extra mile and finding a card for their favorite game shows your gamer that you pay attention to the things they love. Gift cards are available for most video games, and while choices may be limited in some stores, try specialized gaming stores or online gift card distributors to find one that works for you.
If it’s a milestone birthday, you might be interested in giving a gift with some real wow factor; consider getting your gamer a new console to really knock their socks off. Each gamer has different preferences regarding their gaming systems, but the Sony PS4 and Xbox One consoles were the most popular choices in 2019, with over 18 and 16 million units sold respectively. If you’re unsure which console would suit your gamer best, chat to the staff at your local video game store.
- Go to an arcade
Arcades are the perfect birthday venue for gamers of any age. 21% of gamers are under 18, and their venue choices can be limited; arcades are fun for all ages, and generally offer generous party packages, allowing the guest of honor to invite their friends for an afternoon of party snacks and fast-paced, gaming action.
If your gamer is of legal drinking age, arcade bars are popping up in most major cities, and are becoming a popular choice for celebrations by combining a traditional night out at a bar with the nostalgia of arcade gaming.
- Have a virtual party
Before online multiplayer gaming, video games were generally a closed activity, with additional controllers allowing only a limited number of people in the same household to play together. Modern gaming is increasingly an online, social activity, allowing people all over the world to interact and game together.
It’s likely that your gamer will have friends that they’ve met through gaming who they routinely play with, and who they may want involved in their birthday celebrations. 57% of teenagers aged between 13 and 17 have reported making a new friend online, with 29% of those teens having made more than five friends online; however, only 20% of these teens having met an online friend in person.
When planning a birthday party for a gamer, consider including a virtual element to allow any gamer friends who may live in different geographical areas to join in; whether it’s a co-op mission on Call of Duty, or a simple virtual reality hangout in Rec Room, having a virtual party venue could score big points with your gamer.
- Decorate thoughtfully
Gaming related party decorations are a low-key and cost-effective option to include gaming elements in your celebration.
Although custom decorations can be expensive, there are many party hacks to help you create a fun gaming atmosphere without breaking the bank. Instead of ordering a custom cake, consider decorating a basic cake on your own; your gamer will appreciate that you went to the effort of personalizing it, even if it doesn’t look perfect. If you’re on a tight budget, consider researching the color palette of the guest of honor’s favorite game, and decorate using budget-friendly balloons and streamers in those colors for a subtle effect.
If you’re familiar with common video game tropes, you’ve probably heard the term ‘easter eggs’. In video game lingo, easter eggs aren’t made of chocolate, but refer to hidden surprises and features within a game; you can create your own hidden easter eggs for the birthday party by hiding surprises around the venue. For a high-impact touch, place glow stick necklaces under small plates to recreate the glowing effect easter eggs often have in video games.
- Attend a video game tournament
If you’d like to bypass a traditional birthday party and plan something truly memorable, consider taking your gamer and their closest friends on a road trip to a video game tournament near your city.
Video game and eSports tournaments are becoming hugely popular; in 2019, there were 454 million viewers of gaming tournaments—a number expected to reach 645 million by 2022. Not only are video game tournaments exciting, but they signal the rise of gaming as a potentially lucrative career option; the highest paid eSport player ‘NTtail’ has earned almost $7 million from 108 tournaments, and the top 10 highest earning gamers in 2019 made more than $1 million each.
Highly skilled gamers who do well at tournaments are gaining fame of their own, and are treated like celebrities by much of the gaming community; chances are that your gamer will jump at the chance of celebrating their birthday at a tournament.
Planning a birthday celebration for a gamer is a great opportunity to get creative with your venue and decorations, whether you go high-end or budget-friendly, there are many ways to incorporate gaming into your party planning.
By choosing the perfect gift and having some fun surprises up your sleeve, you can ensure that your gamer is delighted with their birthday celebration.