Blogger Whit Honea enjoyed his GameTruck Party so much that he teamed up with us to offer a free party to one lucky reader!
"HOLY COW, MY SON TURNS 10 NEXT MONTH (give or take).
Sorry about that. Where was I? Birthday, that’s right. Anyway, my oldest son hasn’t had a birthday party in years (we’ve done other fun stuff), but he is turning 10 and that demands festivities.
You read me. I said we’re having a GameTruck party, and it will be just as awesome as it sounds.
AND SO CAN YOU!"
By Keriann Wilmot, About.com Guide
A GameTruck is a mobile trailer that houses several flat screen televisions that can be connected to Wii, Xbox and Playstation systems where children and adults of all ages can play a variety of games at one time. The fee also includes a Game Coach who is a designated person who assists the players with changing games and any technical assistance for the duration of the party. I had the opportunity to host a GameTruck party for friends. It was a fantastic experience for both the children and the adults who were present.
Booking a GameTruck Party
A GameTruck Party is a mobile trailer that can be booked for various events, and arrives on-location to the site of the party. Included with the party is a Game Coach who helps facilitate game play and manage the participants during the party. Players will have access to various Wii, Playstation 3, and XBox games to use during the course of the party.
GameTruck is a franchised company, so you will need to first check out the GameTruck website to identify if there is a truck that is available in your location. Though we were in Massachusetts, it was possible for the GameTruck company from Connecticut to facilitate our party, but additional fees may be required for out of area locations.
Booking the GameTruck Party is simple, call the number online, or book the party through their website. Through their website I was able to gain access to party planning materials, that I didn't actually use, but that could include printed invitations, or themed invitations where contacts could be added into the system and emailed directly with the party details. Within the online website, there are also step-by-step videos that will walk you through the party process.
Throughout the process, I communicated with the company mainly via email. I did receive a confirmation phone call a few days prior to the event. We even changed the physical location of our event about a week prior, and I was able to view the change of venue through the online tools.
The Day of the Party
Since I live in a busy location and have a small home, we opted to have the GameTruck park in the parking lot of a restaurant with their permission. The GameTruck needed about 50 feet of linear of space to park and we were able to block off the space ahead of time. I received a phone call from the GameCoach, Alex, about 30 minutes prior to the party, stating that he was scheduled to arrive at the venue on time. After parking, since it was in February, Alex needed a few minutes to turn on the generators and the heat, but was available to start the party within 15 minutes.
Inside the GameTruck there was a long, leather sofa that ran the length of the trailer. There was a television on the right, immediately upon entering the truck. Across from the couch, there were 4 additional televisions. The truck was spotlessly clean. Before any of the children entered the truck, Alex and I previewed the available games. We removed the more mature games and limited the selection to games that were appropriate for all ages. Due to the weather, our party happened entirely inside the truck, but I have seen other trucks that have windows that are able to open up featuring more playing space and additional televisions.
We had over 20 different children that were available to attend the GameTruck party. The truck easily holds 16 children, and Alex our GameCoach had a very calm and easy going personality. He got the children playing various games of their choice, and was able to respond to the needs of all of the children, changing the games when necessary. Just Dance 4 (compare prices ) was very popular, and there was enough space in the front of the trailer for 2-3 kids to play at the same time.
It was helpful to have a large indoor location nearby for families to be able to filter in and out of the truck to take a break from the gaming. At the height of the party, most of the kids were specifically focused on the television in front of them. I know some parents were concerned prior with the noise that could be generated during the party. I would say more then the noise, it could be quite dark inside, so this is something to keep in mind with younger children.
I know that XBox Kinect, RockBand and Skylanders toys are quite popular with this age group, and I didn't specifically ask, but I don't think they were available during our party. If your child has a specific interest like these particular games in mind, I would suggest confirming with the franchise about the availability of certain games and experiences prior. I have seen additional photos of other people's parties who have had these items present, so I'm sure that this could be arranged prior to the event.
I didn't hear any complaints from other parents or children that they didn't get enough playing time. We utilized the truck for about 2 1/2 hours, and that was a perfect amount of time for the event. Certainly there were times during the party where it was busier than others, but it was a great way to include children of various ages happily playing at the same time. It was a popular discussion among the parents present that this would be such a fun experience for adults as well, as a tailgate party prior to a football game, to celebrate a monumental birthday, or for just a fun weekend event.
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