A few years ago, my friends and I took part in a weekly themed activity night. Each week for three years, we’d set out one night a week where we’d all get together for a few hours of fun.

Theme Nights were budget-friendly affairs, designed to offer a mix of food, games and entertainment and most importantly, a break from the real world. Over the course of five special posts (this is post Number 4), I’m going to talk about some of our Theme Nights, explaining what they were all about, with a few photos (captured at the time) to illustrate the events.

Today’s Theme Night is…

Gaming Night (One of many gaming themed nights)

Gaming Night 5

Throughout the course of the three years of Theme Nights, if ever we were pushed for time, we would often rely on one of two default themes. One of these default themes was a Film Night – the easiest night of all to arrange as it would simply involve us all getting together to watch a movie.

The other default night was Gaming Night!

Now don’t be fooled into thinking that Gaming Night was just a case of popping a game on and playing it for a couple of hours, because it wasn’t. While Gaming Night was often a default night for us, we still put a little thought into the occasion.

Sonic Night 2

So, for example, one of our Gaming Nights was a Sonic the Hedgehog-themed evening which involved various Sonic-themed challenges across different consoles. A time-trial on the Sega MegaDrive; a race on the GameCube; and so on.

As you can see, as we were going old school with a gaming icon of our childhood, the food for the evening pretty much resembled a school packed lunch (crisps, sandwiches etc). You’ll also notice the ‘ring’s and (chaos) ’emeralds’ that were added to remain in keeping with the Sonic theme.

Gaming Night 4

But it didn’t just stop there: One week we held a GamesMaster Challenge Night – whereby we recreated some of the player challenges from classic Channel 4 gaming show, GamesMaster. This was a week in which we played the likes of Disney’s DuckTales and Super Mario Bros. 3 on the NES, with players competing against each other to complete certain tasks.

Gaming Night 3

And on the occasion when we decided to develop the Gaming Nights into something a little different there was The Big Gaming Quiz Night, which mixed console gaming with some good old fashioned quizzing.

As you can see from the photo to the left, this also included a miniature Mario Kart round played out on the living room floor!

I swear there was a lot of cheating going on in this round.

The thing about Gaming Night(s) was that although it was a really simple theme, we always tried to give it a new twist – either through the games we played, the food we served or how we approached the whole night.

Gaming Nights were heaps of fun and while they may have been default Theme Nights, they were never dull.

I hope you feel inspired.