Hotels and video games aren't a natural fit, so now that UK retailer GAME is inviting people to stay in a hotel suite specially designed to suit a gamer's needs, our eyebrows are raised. The inevitable title of this gamified accommodation? The GAME Pad, of course.
GAME is only trying out the one Pad at the moment, located at a Stalybridge Suites hotel in London. On top of an en-suite kitchen and king-size bed, the Pad is decked out like a gamer's den, with GAME describing it as the "ultimate gaming experience."
There's a Wii U and a PS3 in the lounge area, and an Xbox 360 in the bedroom. Each console is attached to its own 40-inch TV, and comes with the top 10 charting games for that system. With so much gaming to hand, the idea is clearly to make guests feel like they don't have to move from their butt-sized indentations for the entire night. The room is also pre-loaded with snacks, drinks (including booze), and four pizzas, as well as breakfast in the morning. It doesn't come cheap, though, with one night's stay priced at £199 ($320), with multiple nights bookable.
GAME invited us to check out the Pad in East London, which is still an incredible place to visit months after the Olympics. The room itself offers a spectacular view from the 12th floor, with the O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome) visible in the distance and the ever-present buzz of the London railways just below.
Outside of that, though, the room took us back a few years, both in good ways and bad. It has a smattering of lava lamps, beanbag chairs, and posters, along with a few stick-on 8-bit graphics scattered about. It reminded us of university days, and how we turned dorm rooms not built for gaming into our personal dens. As much as there's a certain cosiness about the Pad, the neatly stuck yet ultimately sparse posters and images reminded us of being in a room we knew we were only renting. Presentation-wise, it falls very short of special. On the other hand, maybe with all those games to hand we wouldn't care about the room's ambience during an actual stay.
Our major concern with the GAME Pad, though, is who exactly would be interested by it. GAME's press release suggests potential audiences, proclaiming "if you're a gamer desperately seeking some peace and quiet to play your new game or if you're completely stuck on what to buy the gamer in your life for Christmas, look no further!" Whether or not we're particularly convinced, you can book to try the Pad for yourself
, with nights available starting from January 2013.