Spring Into GameTruck History
It is a funny thing when you first act on an idea. So many people ask, “where do you get your ideas?” Robert Kyosaki, of Rich Dad, Poor Dad fame, said something to the effect that “ideas are easy.” I recently came across a blog post from a game designer who said, “Ideas are worthless. Execution,” he said, “is everything.” It is not until an idea is acted upon that it starts to manifest value.
What most people don’t realize is that moment you try to pull an idea out of the ether of your imagination and instantiate it in the world – strange things happen. You learn things you did not know before. Information, previously hidden, masked, or simply unavailable to you becomes clear. It could also be that you lacked the requisite experience to see this information. Probably one of the questions I have asked so often in my entrepreneurial journey is, “How was I supposed to know that!?”
By getting in motion. By working on my idea. Only then did I get access to the information I needed to go to the next step.
I formed my first LLC on Cinco De Mayo 2006. I had been working on my idea for GameTruck for more than a year. I had gone so far as to create drawings, sketches, talk about it with friends. But it suddenly became very real when I ordered that first trailer. (Which is still in operation in Houston Texas! Thank you Luis!).
I received my trailer in June of 2006. It was just a shell really. If you know anything about the weather in Phoenix, June is when most people are headed out of town, not out to their driveway to build a business. For the next 8 weeks, my brother Chris and slaved over converting a car hauler into that first video game trailer. We literally sweated over the thing. We did not start working until 10PM at night when the weather had cooled down to a balmy 99 degrees. We worked until dawn then crash.
My number one concern in those days was, “how am I going to handle the heat?” Our first party on the books was scheduled for August 22nd. It is really strange how myopic you can get when you start a business. I was so focused. I was pouring our life savings into this thing. I had no income. What was I doing? There were a million things I should have been thinking about. Yet, the one thing I was obsessing over was how to make damn sure the kids were comfortable in that box during the Arizona summer.
That single minded focus probably saved our company. In building a box that could handle the heat, it could also handle the cold. Had I built the box for the spring, it might have never lasted a single summer or winter. Because I would not have insulated it the way I did. It was almost a year after I build that first trailer that I got to experience first hand the magic of a Spring GameTruck party.
Ah, the spring…
Why GameTruck And Spring?
Spring is just a magical time of year almost anywhere. The kids are in school, so all their friends are around. The weather is turning. The snow is melting. The first buds of new life appear on tree branches. Grass pokes up through the black soil. You can feel it in your bones. The world is changing and summer, beautiful sunny summer, is just a few more weeks away.
The spring is probably the best time of the year to hold a party of any kind, but especially a celebration. Something within us shucks off that dowdy winter coat and screams, “Let’s Gooooo!” Life, growth, optimism is coming. With the spring weather we can open the vendor doors on the trailer. With the spring weather we can leave the front and back door of the trailer open so a refreshing breeze blows through the trailer.
In San Diego you can feel the ocean everywhere in town. In New York, cherry blossoms seem to materialize out of nowhere, their pink petals fluttering on the wind. In New Jersey, you can smell the grass. In Florida, the heat and humidity stay at bay and the Orange Blossoms perfume the air. Every part of the country is alive with growth, energy, and promise.
These are the times when we want to play, to connect, to create new memories with friends both old and new. By this time of year, the heavy work of school is starting to ease up. Sure, there may be finals ahead, but in most states the standardized testing is complete, and people are looking forward not back. This is the time to feel alive.
Tips and Tricks for Spring GameTruck Parties
Over the last decade and a half, we have seen some people do some fun things. Here are a few oldies but goodies.
- Book a laser tag event to get the gamers out of the house. Having them moving around the yard getting loaded up with fresh air is a blast.
- Open the garage, setup a folding table and chairs. Never let the kids in your house. They will play in the trailer and can bounce back and forth between the game theater and the garage. Super easy clean up.
- Invite your favorite adult friends to join you for pizza and beer or wine in the house. The party within a party is a parent favorite. A phenomenal game I recommend is Grandpa Beck’s Cover Your Assets. It’s quick, easy to understand and lively.
- If you have a GameTruck @ Home party, have the kids play outside and setup a Nintendo Switch inside the house for you and your friends – there are great fun games and you are never too old to play.
- If your game trailer comes equipped with outside screens, setup lawn chairs and snacks and kick back and watch the kiddo’s play. Or jump in and join them! Don’t forget to video the fun to share with family and friends on social media.
- Theme your party. There are amazing resources for Minecraft, Mario, and Fortnite. You don’t even need to spend a lot. Green and black cray paper rolls, and paper plates make it a Minecraft party. (Spray paint some amazon boxes green and black and you have “blocks!”). Purple and gold are good for Fortnite, and just about anything white and red works for Mario.
- Jump in and play yourself! You’d be surprised how many parents grab a couch in the trailer, join in on the fun. I’m hearing the Nintendo Switches are just as popular with adults as kids. Have you tried Animal Crossing with friends? Give that a try for your next neighborhood coffee! You’re never too old to play. There is something about the spring that brings out the child in all of us.
- Have a “pre-birthday” party. If your child’s birthday is in the summer after school is out, April and May are a great time to have a celebration while all their friends are still around. You’d be surprised how many families “pull in” a birthday to celebrate with classmates.
The main thing about the spring is that you can be outside and move freely. You do not have to keep the doors closed to keep out the cold (or the heat). If your game trailer comes equipped with outside screens, the Spring is the ideal time to move and game!
GameTruck Spring Dates Wont Last Forever
Spring might be my favorite time of year to host a party. And I am not alone. If there is one caveat about spring, this is perhaps our busiest time of the year, so you are going to want to book early. And if you see a time that works for you on the Calendar. Grab it. This might sound like marketing hype but it’s not. You want a late December or January party, you can have your pick of the litter. August and September are also months where you can take your time to mull it over. Not the spring, however. Demand surges every spring and hesitation usually results in a missed opportunity (and some sad kiddos).
I should point out one thing. What about COVID? As of the time I am writing this, virtually all school children in all of our markets have returned to class. Our most vulnerable citizens and first responders have been vaccinated and in the state of Arizona the vaccinations have been open to all adults. Families from coast to coast are ready to celebrate and the spring is the perfect time to do it. Of course we will keep a focus on health and safety for you and your family, our staff, and our franchise partners. However, it really feels like we are beginning to come out of this long, protracted isolation and spending time with good friends has never been a higher priority for most Americans.
We would love to help you celebrate and to be honest, there has never been a better time (or time of the year) to do it.