Throwing a video game themed birthday party – Part 1

It’s almost mid-March, which means my birthday is almost here. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that now, birthdays used to be a lot more exciting because when I was young it meant I got a new video game, but now that I’m older, it’s much more depressing – although I’d still be super excited to have new games! In the past, I was always planning elaborate retro video game challenges and fun gaming events that all my friends could attend, but with COVID the past two years, that hasn’t happened for a while. Also, as people get older and start families of their own, and have other prior commitments like work, it becomes much more difficult.

I don’t have much time until my big day since it’s the 15th, but I think I would like to share some ideas for planning a video game themed party for someone special, your kids or for you -same !

  • Choose a theme: it doesn’t have to be just one game like the Minecraft party I had planned for my son earlier this year, but could be a broad topic like arcade or retro games.


  • Print decorations that match the theme: Pinterest has a ton of gaming-themed prints that people have made for their parties that you can simply download. Even if you don’t have a color printer or ink because it’s stupidly expensive, just print some coloring sheets and buy cheap crayons. Coloring is a method of stress relief, so it’s a win-win activity. Plus, if you print extras, you can have a coloring contest or entertain your guests at the table as they wait for food or their turn to play games.

minecraft door

  • Decorate balloons with a permanent marker: can’t find balloons that match your theme? No problem, create your own! I used green balloons with a creeper face drawn on it, or white balloons with Boo faces from the Super Mario games on them. It’s fun because you can customize them all and draw different expressions on them. Designs don’t have to be perfect; the dumber the better. These balls are also great for target shooting; when i did this i wrote different point values ​​on each of the balloons and everyone was trying to hit them with nerf guns.


  • Use plastic cups and ping pong balls for a twist on the game of beer pong – in this game you try to bounce the ball and land it in one of the cups. If successful, you get the number of points shown in the cup or token at the bottom. One year I kept plastic icing (icing) containers and other hot chocolate or coffee canisters and created my own mario pipes by wrapping green construction paper around them. The largest container held a Piranha Plant toy, where if you hit it you would lose points. If you don’t have a toy like this, you can print a picture of an enemy, color the pipe differently, or get creative and draw a picture yourself. If drawing isn’t your forte, then something simple like putting a big X on it would work. I also made this game with paper Minecraft blocks, or small gift bags, the options are endless!

minecraft boxes

I hope some of these ideas will be useful to you. Next time, I’ll try to give you ideas on other things for your party, like food and drink, invitation ideas, and planning video game challenges. If you have any ideas I missed, or ideas I should learn to make the next party even better, be sure to let me know!

Joseph K. Bennett