Halloween is a great time of year for declaring your gaming passions to the world. Not only can you purchase or create the perfect costume, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to decorate your abode and throw a Halloween-themed gamer party. In this article I’ll offer tips for Halloween decor, costuming and make-up, party themes and ideas, and inspirations for expressing yourself online.
Decorating Your Space for Gamer Halloween
Your local dollar or discount store is chock-full of affordable decorations this time of year. With any video game theme you prefer, you can also add Halloween elements like spiders and spiderweb, bats, and other creepies and imagine your universe taken over by scary paranormal elements.
For a quick transformation of your space, hang colored sheets on the walls, or purchase wall decals inspired by your favorite video games. Also check out my previous article: Keeping House, Gamer Style for decorating tips and sources for decor products.
Costumes and Make-up
Costumes and make-up can be as easy or complicated as you’re up for. Taking inspiration from cosplay (costume play involving video game, anime, and super-hero characters) will kick your efforts up a notch. The cosplayers dress up regularly, and take the notion of costuming to an entirely new level. You can visit the forums on Cosplay.com to participate in discussions about specific game franchises, and share your own creations.
If you’re seriously creative, the reality show Face Off (SyFy, Hulu) shows you how Hollywood make-up effects are created:
Sources for video game inspired costumers:
- If you’d prefer to buy costumes pre-made, you can find dozens of them on CosplayShopper.com.
- Gamer Halloween costumes on PCWorld.com.
- Costume ideas from GameInformer.com.
- Don’t forget your pet! Etsy lets you dress the little darling up like Luigi!
- Check out Pinterest for great gamer costume ideas.
Quick and easy Halloween make-up
- Anime, manga and gamer make-up.
- Dead girl (or guy) Halloween make-up.
- Halloween make-up on Pinterest.
Gamer Halloween Parties and Party Ideas
As usual, Etsy is a perfect place to go for novel decorating items. There is a Decor and Party category, and another full of handmade novelty items you can use to decorate or to hand out to your guests.
- Zombie Apocalypse
This one is easy and fun. Encourage guests to come dressed as zombies and play horrible zombie b-movies in the background. Food can involve body parts (like this gross hand meatloaf), of course, and gross everyone out with bodily fluids punch. A GAME OVER wall decal will drive the message home.
- Gothic Halloween parties
An excellent approach to take if you’re a fan of gothic horror or steampunk. WikiHow has a useful article full of spooky ideas.
- Retro gamer Halloween
Mario, Luigi and the Princess have been spooked! A balloon wall creeped out with cobwebs and spiders can also add some gamer whimsy and provide late-in-the-party fun. You can fill the balloons with novelty items before blowing them up. You can also layer gamer wall decals with Halloween ones for maximum scare factor.
- Halloween games LAN party
Have your friends come to the party with laptops loaded with Halloween games. Big Fish has several fun titles, like Amelie’s Halloween Cafe, Halloween: The Pirate’s Curse, Haunted Hotel, and Halloween: Trick or Treat. You can even turn the party into an alternate reality game by slipping guests scary messages and having game-related flash mobs in the living room.
- Minecraft Halloween
This one is easy to do with boxes and other simple elements, and you can always create a Minecraft worm cake.
- Vampires Take Over party
Encourage guests to dress like vampires and spend the evening drinking blood.
Party games and decorations
Role-playing or solving a mystery
These games are fun anytime of year, but especially relevant around Halloween. Get your guests solving a murder – you can always change a game so that it follows your video game theme (Who killed Master Chief?!)
Gamer scavenger hunt
Have your guests scour your neighborhood for video game items. It’s best to enroll your neighbors in this one, and guarantee that you’ll return borrowed items, or limit the finds to photos. Some suggested items:
- A skull
- Pumpkins carved or stenciled with video game themes
- In-game items like powerups (make them yourself)
- Video game controllers (increase the challenge by asking for one of each kind!)
- Specific game titles
- A house where they are playing a Halloween-inspired video game
- Someone dressed in a game-related costume
- Any items that are orange or black (keep it simple!)
Play witch’s straw with your own video-game cut-outs.
Do a mummy wrap by passing out rolls of toilet paper and encouraging guests to get creative.
Play ‘What Am I?’ with video game characters.
The Withered Corpse is a body parts guessing game where guests feel their way to victory.
Party edibles and treats
- There are zillions of cakes and cupcake varieties you can make. Spook up any theme with sugar spun cob-webs, candy pumpkins and other Halloween bling. Items like these cheesy crescent ghosts can be transformed into video game items, or even your favorite characters (dripping with blood and guts, of course).
- I love these eyeball lollipops, chocolate brains, and do-you-dare apothecary vials on Etsy.
- Turn your kitchen into a creepy cooking laboratory and let everyone join in. A quick and easy way to add video game elements is to print cupcake wrappers, placemats, labels, and other items on your printer.
- Want to up the ante? Here’s a prosciutto head on a platter you can weave into any zombie apocalypse theme.
- Need still more ideas? Halloween food on Pinterest.
Express yourself online!
You should definitely plan to show off your creations online, and even participate in some costume contests or at least post your creative work on Flickr, Pinterest or Tumblr.
I hope you’ve found some inspiration here! Please add your comments and other ideas for an excellent gamer Halloween.