The game room is a wonderful place, but in the household heirarchy it’s often a second-class citizen, relegated to semi-finished basements while fancy dining rooms go unused for most of the year. Some tables, however, are so visually stunning that you’ll want to show them off — and some of them function as dining tables as well, so you may not have to ditch the dining room after all. Here are nine of the best high-end game tables.
The Ping Pong Dining Table
Table Tennis aficionados maintain that Ping Pong originated as an after-dinner diversion for the upper crust. In a nod to that tradition, the Ping Pong Dining Table by Hunn Wai stealthily doubles as an eating and gaming surface. The French rococo patterns make the table look pretty, and the DuPont Corian finish keeps it that way. A rectangular vase can be stuffed with flowers and used as either a net or a decorative centerpiece. The “You Got Served” jokes are neverending.
Ping Pong Dining Table Gallery
The Beautiful Game Foosball Table
The design firm known only as “11″ does away with the typical rectangular wooden block for its take on foosball. Instead, The Beautiful Game is inspired by modern football stadium designs, minus the hooligans inside. The clean white playing field and abstract players are a nice touch, looking more comfortable in an art gallery than a game room. [images from eleventhegame]
Beautiful Game Foosball Table Gallery
The Arcade Gaming Coffee Table
Nothing on TV? Surface Tension’s coffee table stows a sliding drawer full of classic arcade controls, with buttons by Happ and joysticks from Sanwa. A 19-inch LCD screen faces up from underneath the table’s center glass, providing a new take on the old “cocktail” arcade cabinets. Inside, there’s a Shuttle PC with 2 GB of RAM and a 160 GB hard drive, which should be more than enough to play anything from Pac-Man to Mortal Kombat. For more relaxing times, the table can store iTunes music and stream wirelessly to compatible stereos.
Arcade Gaming Table Gallery
The G-1 Pool Table
A glass pool table is a tricky proposition. Will it endure the rigors of errant cues and hop shots? And how will it feel compared to classic felt? Nottage Design has those questions covered with its G-1 pool table. A special “Vitrik” playing surface replicates the felt feel, and the glass is four to six times thicker than the norm. Best of all, the pool balls have a “floating on air” appearance, the company says, as they roll across the table.
Transparent Pool Table Gallery
The Pong Table
DuPont’s Corian surfaces again in this design from Moritz Waldemeyer for the Museum of Modern Art. With two trackpads at either end of the table and 2,400 LEDs embedded into the surface, impromptu games of Pong can easily break out mid-meal. The Pong table is on loan from Waldemeyer’s “Electric Kid” collection, which also includes roulette table with similar technology.
Luxury Classic Game Tables
Chess and Backgammon are just more fun when high-quality materials are in play, so Geoffrey Parker’s pair of luxury game tables must be particularly satisfying. Automotive leather and ebony-veneered finishes are available; both conceal the game boards in the middle, inlaid and lined with felt. Space underneath each side of the table makes for comfortable contemplation of every move.
Luxury Game Tables Gallery
The Electronic Poker Table
Poker night is great and all, but who can be bothered with all that shuffling and dealing of cards, and managing of poker chips? To the rescue is Axtra’s electronic offering, which replaces all those inconveniences with 17-inch touch screens for each player and an oval-shaped screen in the center. Multiple tables can be synced up to one progressive jackpot — a setting more likely for casinos, but imagine the excitement at home.
Panasonic Plasma as Air Hockey Table
Air Hockey is a fast game, so to perform a feat such as translating it to a touch screen, only a supersized display will do. Panasonic’s 103-inch plasma fits the bill, and with help from uicentric, attendees at ISE 2009 were treated to some fast-paced face offs. Odds of hitting the home market? Unlikely, but it’s worth a loving gawk nonetheless.
Fusion Tables by Aramith
Many of the items on this list function as stylish tables in their own right, but only Aramith’s Fusion Tables are purposely designed to hide their best features. The surface of these tables roll back to reveal pool, craps or roulette, and they’re small enough to fit in an office. You could try to convince your boss that a little midday gaming is good for productivity, but on the other hand, you probably won’t have to.
Aramith Fusion Table Gallery
Thanks for reading, DesignCravers, Diggers, Stumblers and Redditers! What is your personal favorite game table from the list above? Were there any that you would have included as our 10th table ont his list? Let us know, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. While we have you, we’d love it if you took a moment to check out some of DesignCrave’s other coverage. For example, last week we featured an article on the Famous Architect Homes: the personal residences of the masters of architecture. Otherwise, hit up our archives from the start! Thanks again for reading.