Boxed Culture: The Literal Table-top 1

The Literal Table-top

We play games all over the place. From dirty metal bar tables to felted wooden beasts built for the sole purpose of having games played on them. Sometimes we dont really care where we play but we all have at the very least a preference on the location and more importantly the Table we play on. Today I am going to disucss what I think makes a good gaming room.

Trapped Like a Meeple in the Cusion!

Unlike this guy you will want more room to do whatever you are doing. Source

On of the most important aspects of a game room is the space. Not just space enough to have a table and chairs and maybe even some of your games but also having enough space to walk around the table and get up and move. If you play games for long periods of time like I do, you know sometimes during a 4 hour stint in a game of Eldritch Horror you need to stand up and move around and get your blood flowing. This is hard to do if your room only has enough room for JUST a table and chairs. I have been in gaming rooms where there is not enough space and I almost undoubtely did not return to said location.  We also need places to put drinks and maybe even food. Usually we use foldable tray tables to set food and drink on the side of our table which means that room needs to accommodate that as well. So now that we have established that the room needs to be a good size, what is next? Well the chairs of course!

What Has Four Legs…

I made a vow to never sit in a chair that I could flip over and still sit in! Source

The chair you sit in during a game is almost as important as the table you need to play them on. If you sit on the ground, you will most likely lose all the blood in your legs. If you sit on a bar stool for too long, you will have a sore ass for days! So what kind of chair is best chair (as the Russians say it)? I find that there are three aspects to a good chair.

  1. The Back: Having to hold your back up all day long is a very hard thing that no one realizes is hard until you don’t have a chair with good back support. Now I will say that are some decent substitutes but nothing really compares to being able to plop down and lean back without having to worry about falling over.
  2. The Cushion: Some wooden chairs do not have cushions. This usually means I can only sit in them for about an hour before my bum is sore. A good cushion not only allows for decent blood flow in your butt but also helps your back and legs feel better while sitting. Now that is science!
  3. The Legs: Speaking of legs, chair have them!… Nope that isn’t all I am going to say here. A good chair has a sturdy pair of legs on it. These legs make you feel confident the chair will not break mid session. Some barstools have wobbly legs I never trust and then there are chairs that have just some weird metal peices and … well nm those are scary.

Now that we have a leg to sit on (?) we can talk about a table.

A Well Paying Job In Table Real Estate

This table has everything, but you either take a long time to build it or spend an arm and leg buying it! Source

When we go to conventions or rich real estate investors’ and board game connoisseurs’ homes we see gaming tables of legend. These tables are robust, have raised edges, have covers, and a hundred other aspects that make them amazing. But what do you really need to make a gaming table great? I think the best gaming tables are ones that can optimize player seating and tabletop real estate. This means we can sit as many people around it as we need to play a large game, think Eldritch Horror or an 18XX game. The tabletop having felt is a nice touch but usually that just means you have bought/made the table specifically for board gaming which means it will have a lot of the things I listed earlier. One of the commonly overlooked aspects of a gaming table is a cover. If this table is replacing your Kitchen/Dining Room/Living Room table then you will want something to cover the felt if you have it, otherwise you will want the cover to play on since tables get dirty with food and drinks and such!

In reality it comes down to where you are comfortable and who you enjoy being around but there are some things that help make gaming a lot MORE enjoyable. In fact the table we are gaming on now is a mix of all the things I just said:


This half pillow room, half game table monstrosity is actually surprisingly comfortable to lounge around and play games on so who knows what really makes a game room feel like home! What kind of game room do you have? Is it hand built or hard bought? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see ya next time!


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