Event Entertainment and Kids Birthday Party Ideas

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GameTruckParty.com

GameTruck Dallas provides entertainment for kids and adults at birthday parties, school carnivals, church festivals and company team-building events. We’re just like the balloon artist, face painter, stilt walker, DJ or clown. We are trained and hired to amuse.

I recently overheard people talking about video games as toys and it gave me pause. Some people have a tendency to trivialize or vilify them in a way they wouldn’t for even a “bad” toy. I postulate that video games blend the toy world with the world of entertainment and that playing them may actually be good for you!

My youngest child is about to graduate high school. I didn’t grow up playing video games in quite the same way my children have. Yes, there was Pong early on and, arguably, the golden age of arcades in my teen years, but most people my age didn’t share their home with a game system or a pinball machine.

When the kids were in elementary school, my husband and I purchased a PlayStation and regularly engaged in friendly gaming competitions with our kids on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It was twenty-first century family time at its best! The kids were skilled but we kept up with them pretty well and could still hold our heads high when it was over. The games were fun and interesting and the graphics realistic.

Then, one day around that time a friend invited us to a school carnival. There was a LAN-based NASCAR racing competition with a new Xbox as the winning prize. To make a long story short, our son won the Xbox! We were so excited! As they say, the rest is history because our children have been hearty gamers ever since. Oh, and my husband and I basically stopped playing with them when it was painfully obvious that their skill levels trumped ours by about 1000 percent. Yeah, those Saturday morning play sessions weren’t so fun anymore!! Can you relate?

So, I come back to my question – toys or entertainment? Television and movies are entertainment, but they’re passive escapes. You absorb the story that’s placed before you. Television and movies have a predetermined beginning, middle and end. Feel free to enjoy the story, but you can’t interact with it.

Video game play is different. You need to strategize, act and react, anticipate and maneuver. You can often choose which character to use, what level to play at (beginner, advanced, etc.) and which detours to explore. Gamers develop improved problem-solving skills, creativity, spatial skills and enhanced decision-making abilities. Even simple games such as Angry Birds have been noted to boost mood, promote relaxation and keep anxiety at bay. (American Psychological Association, November 25, 2013, apa.org/news/press/releases.

Video games can be classified as entertainment because almost all of them have limitations in the construct of their stories (sandbox games like Minecraft mostly excluded), but they can also stimulate the brain in ways similar to a toy. Board games like Risk involve planning and strategy. A Rubik’s Cube helps with eye/hand coordination, concentration and mental acuity. Toys and games have a positive effect on the brain, so in this way video gaming is similar to playing with a toy.

I think it’s time to change the way we think about video gaming. As with all things, learning new skills is always positive. As in all things, however, moderation is important.

What do you think?  Do you set video game time limits with your kids?  If so, do you also set limits on how much TV they watch or how much time they spend playing UNO or Monopoly?  Why?

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Mobile laser tag is a fun birthday party idea

GameTruck is in the business of creating exciting events for kids and adults. We can easily transition from a 7 year old’s birthday party to a corporate team-building event to a bachelor party – all in the span of one day! In fact, having mastered the art of video game parties, we decided that mobile laser tag fit right in our wheelhouse. It’s just one more way we put smiles on faces of kids and adults alike and we love how now we can essentially bring the video games to life!

Having already participated in birthday parties, church youth group events, company family events as well as employee-only free-for-alls, we are steadily working to enhance your laser tag party experience! We recently added some more large inflatable obstacles – a five-foot tall cylinder, a five-foot tall piece of “cake” and a six-foot tall tombstone! That takes our total inflatable count to 11 and our obstacle count to 14.

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This is our “small yard” recommendation

We have just purchased materials to create some different, fold out barriers, too. And funnily enough, I was just reading on our owners discussion board how someone in California is going to test the feasibility and excitement factor of a large plastic trash can draped in camo material at some upcoming parties. I’m really looking forward to seeing how that works out.

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Larger, more open spaces need these jumbo sizes along with the smaller ones to create a nice arena

I’m really happy with what we’ve accomplished so far, but I recognize that it is a work in progress. Heck, life is a work in progress!  Feel free to visit our website at GameTruckParty dot com slash Dallas for more information.

Madden tournaments and more with the GameTruck experts

We’re shaking things up here at GameTruck Dallas! Our bread and butter has been and always will be children’s birthday parties.  Hey, kids love gaming and “Game” is our first name!   It’s been a perfect fit for over 4 years. A couple of my GameCoaches, however, have been at me to start doing Madden tournaments around town.

Madden 25 tournament gaming

One of my coaches is nationally ranked on a first person shooter (sorry, I don’t remember which one) and another one has played in several Madden tournaments.  After a recent meeting I think the time is right to pull the trigger on the idea (yes, yes…pun intended) and open ourselves up to some new experiences.  Stay tuned for details.

As you may know, we recently added a mobile laser tag service.  We like to say it brings the video games to life, because we can replicate the game modes so popular in Halo and COD franchises like Capture The Flag and Domination. We’ve worked with several local corporations thus far with their quarterly team building and holiday company parties and everybody loves it. Each of these events has been inside where the weather’s always warm and skies are clear.

Laser Tag Frisco

Professional grade equipment

For moms and dads who want to have us out for their child’s birthday party, weather can be a gamble.  So I’m talking to a local indoor facility about them giving us some shelter and us giving them a fresh, new entertainment package to offer!

 

If you want to see us where you hang out, shoot me an email through our website at www.gametruckparty.com/dallas.

Bilingual video games?

My business, GameTruck Dallas, is a member of my local Chamber of Commerce here in Frisco, Texas.  I’ve been in business for over four years and a Chamber member for nearly two years.  I love going to the Chamber networking meetings every Thursday morning and getting to know fellow business men and women in my community.  I’ve made friends and valuable contacts, and oftentimes, like today, I stay after the meeting to chat.

I found myself in a conversation with Carlos who is multilingual and, in fact, teaches several different languages through his school.  Many of his students are business professionals looking to communicate better with potential customers or current employees.  He looked at me at one point (there were several of us in the “huddle”) and said something about Spanish video games.  My response, after a brief moment of thought, was that video games are a universal language for kids.  They don’t necessarily need to speak English to understand how to play them, therefore we wouldn’t need to learn to speak Spanish to explain it to them.

I’m not against learning a language at all.  In fact, I love languages, which is why I took 7 years of French through high school and college and dabbled in Spanish, German and Italian, too.  Had I felt there was a future for me as something besides a French teacher, I probably would have majored in it.

I haven’t written a blog in an embarrassingly long period of time, but this morning’s conversation had me thinking.  I believe in the universal language of gaming fun.  Do you?

Hottest Laser Tag Parties

We’re expecting!

Well, it’s probably not quite what you’re thinking.  We’re giving birth to a new service!  This summer GameTruck Dallas will begin offering The Ultimate Laser Tag party, and like our video game parties, this party comes to YOU!

We’ve partnered with a high quality equipment manufacturer and secured a tagger that is exclusive to GameTruck.  Our taggers use an infared beam – not an actual laser – to hit their mark.  It’s the exact same technology in your TV’s remote control!  The taggers work in all lighting conditions, and the authentic scope provides visual targeting assistance, displaying a red or green dot on your mark.

I’ve played laser tag in a big box entertainment complex and it’s fun, but the winner is always the person who can tag the most.  Oftentimes it’s the same kid over and over and over.  And you don’t even know this kid because you’re playing with a large group of strangers anyway!  It’s not the ideal situation.  Our equipment allows for a variety of different game modes like Infection, Last Man Standing, Capture the Flag and more.  Each mode allows for different skill sets to shine through, and because we bring the party to you, you get to decide when, where and with whom you share the experience!

Just like with our video game parties, our laser tag parties will come with a GameCoach (GameMaster or TagMaster) to manage game play.   The rules will be simple and the games will last approximately 6 to 10 minutes each.  We focus on safety first followed by a unique and compelling team-based experience.  Laser Tag is appropriate for ages 7 and up, and a typical event will be 90 minutes to 2 hours long.

Laser Tag is great for birthday parties, bachelor parties, youth groups, school reward events, company team builders and more!

Experience it at http://youtu.be/SeBzcLEUXuA.

The Ultimate Laser Tag Party

We’re adding a service!  Bring the video games to life with an Ultimate Laser Tag Party. We’ve just placed an order for some of the best taggers money can buy with an expected start date, at latest, of mid-July!

How much fun would it be to actually play out some of your favorite game modes like Invasion, Zombies, Domination or Capture the Flag? Choose from over a dozen scenarios!

Kids (and adults) love laser tag, but under most circumstances, it’s all about the best “shooter” winning. With our sophisticated equipment, which is exclusive to GameTruck, we can create multiple game modes that allow those with special skills to shine. Are you a skilled hider? Gifted runner? Sharp shooter? Creative thinker? Team player? There’s a game mode for you, too!

Laser tag will be available as a stand-alone activity or you can combine it with a GameTruck party for an unforgettable experience! In either case, we bring the party to you!  Homes, parks, schools, churches, corporations! Day or night! Rain or shine! Indoors or out!

Visit our website for more information or email me at laura.albright@gametruckparty.com!

GameTruck: the best in social video gaming and social media

So, we have a business presence on Facebook.  That’s the thing today, right?  The current way of thinking is that if you aren’t engaging your business in social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogging, LinkedIn and at least a dozen other social platforms), you will be left in the dust.  In fact, if you’re not doing it right, you could practically derail your business (or so they’d have you believe)!  I don’t claim to be very good at any of it, but I’ve had a couple of surprising “victories” lately that I wanted to share.

Sometimes when I’m lacking local content, I surf the news feed for inspiration.  Well, on one particular day I found a picture I felt was entertaining enough to share.  It’s posted here, too.  A record (for me) people decide to share this picture – 58.  We reached 137% virality!  I was excited.  We had less than 200 fans at that point and, if I interpret it correctly, 25% of our fans engaged by sharing.

Granny knits a good game!

Last week we had a satisfied customer posted a photo on our wall of her little birthday boy at his GameTruck party and expressed her thanks.  She sparked a series of Likes to our page – the most fans we collected in a 24-hour period!  Also, several people asked us about future availability, so it was a very exciting day!

It’s always fun to hear from a customer that they way they heard about it was through a friend or by stumbling across a blog post, but it’s really fun to see stats and bar graphs that prove you’ve interested people enough to interact with you by sharing a cartoon or posting a comment!

Share your social media stories!