Rays of Sunshine and GameWagon grant Logan’s greatest wish.

A video game-mad eight year old, from Birmingham, was treated to a very special video game party at his house to celebrate finishing his treatment for cancer, thanks to Rays of Sunshine and GameWagon.

gamewagon grants Logan's wish for a video game party.

From left is Keaira Hancock, 6, Logan Smith, 8, Mark Phillips of Game Wagon, Finley Smith, 7, and Kesi Bram, 2.

Eight year old Logan was living with a rare form of cancer; Rhabdomyosarcoma, which he was diagnosed with earlier this year. Since diagnosis, Logan has endured surgery to remove the cancerous tumour, as well as intense chemotherapy, which has meant he spent a lot of time in hospital. During which, Logan became particularly interested in gaming, playing games such as MineCraft during his long hospital visits.

After his treatment came to an end earlier this month, Logan’s mum applied for a wish through children’s charity Rays of Sunshine, for Logan to be treated to his very own celebratory gaming party.  The charityenlisted the support of GameWagon, who didn’t hesitate to organise for one of its custom-built fleet to go to Logan’s house, bringing the party to his doorstep and granting his wish. During the fun-filled afternoon, Logan was able to play all of his favourite video games alongside his family.

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More Adult Women Than Teenagers Play Video Games (ESA)

A new report titled “Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Games Industry” by the ESA  found more adult women play video games than teenagers. The report shows that women aged 18 or older represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing audience (36%) than boys aged 18 or younger (17%).

We could have told them that, you should see us trying to get Mums out of the Game wagon after a video game party!

more women play video games than teenagers

The report also goes onto mention that 68% of parents with children under 18 feel games provide mental stimulation and education.

“Parents across America recognize the widespread benefits of video games, including education, mental stimulation, and the bonding opportunities they create for families,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA. “Video games are a favorite pastime enjoyed by men and women of all ages, and millions worldwide who share their game play experiences with friends and family.”

We have long supported the close family interaction with video game usage in the family home and the report also shows that parents monitor their children’s game play. In fact, 95 percent of parents said they are paying attention to the content of the games their children play, and 91 percent are present when games are purchased.

Additionally, 88 percent of parents whose children play games believe the video game ratings are either very or somewhat helpful in choosing games for their children.

Do you know what games your kids are playing? Do you time limit gaming? Do you play with your kids and get involved? We would love to hear your comments and opinions.

Great Family Games For The Summer Term

We’re heading in to the home stretch for kids before a glorious six or so weeks of freedom. Looking for some good incentives / rewards to encourage them to get their heads down before the summer holidays? Here’s a look ahead to the best family games coming out between Easter and summer, perhaps you can reward yourself as well as them!

Mario Kart 8 | Wii U | Out: 31st May

Gamewagon video game party favorite Mario Kart 8

This is the big one. It’s always a big deal when Nintendo releases a new Mario Kart. The speedy series has a near universal appeal from the youngest to the oldest gamers. This time around we can expect to see transforming karts, new characters and gorgeous HD graphics. You will need a Wii U to play it but we bet you’ll be hard pressed to find a better reason to upgrade to the the new system. With four-player competition, accessible controls and infinite re-play value, Mario Kart 8 could very well be the family game of the year.

SingOn | PlayStation 3 | Out: Spring 2014

Sing On PS3 Gamewagon Video Game Party Ideas

Sony’s own SingStar has long held the karaoke crown for game consoles. Now it may be time to pass the mic. Following a similar digital system to SingStar, SingOn uses a downloaded app to the PlayStation 3 to deliver the music. Plug in any USB mics, pick your song from thousands on the online store and away you go. With SingStar, the songs could get pricey fast but SingOn seems to have a great solution to this; instead of purchasing individual songs, would-be popstars only have to lay down £2.99 for three hours access to the whole library. This could be a great option for those that only break in to song at parties, giving you a great selection for less. They’re even adding a live auto-tune feature for the more musically challenged.

Trials Fusion | XBOX 360/XBOX One/PS4/PC | Out: April 16

Game wagon video game party

After the massive success of fiendishly addictive bike-balance games, Trials HD and Trials Evolution, Finnish developers, RedLynx, are almost set to unleash Trials Fusion on the world. Promising the same, finely tuned gameplay as its predecessor, Fusion adds tricks, track creation and multi-player action (although we’re not sure what form that will take yet). As a download only game the price will likely be a little lower but if it’s anything like the last, you’ll still be in for hours and hours playtime.

Video Game Wagon Party Reviews from January

“Fantastic! 6 out of 9 boys said it was the best birthday party they had EVER been to and the other 3 said it was AWESOME! can’t get better than that as the kids of today, who often have everything, tell things just as they are so well done Game Wagon!!!

The process was as good as the event. The courtesy call from the driver to say he was on his way. The friendliness and professionalism of your driver/gaming instructor and the fact I could sit in my own living room with peace and quiet sipping glass of wine chatting to a couple of the parents, BLISS!”

Dawn: Sandwich, Kent

“Thanks for a great video game party, the kids enjoyed every minute of it, easy to organise, very friendly staff and excellent choice of age appropriate games. 🙂

Darren (our GEM) was an excellent ambassador for your organisation and super helpful. It is great seeing them all play together in your video game wagon.”

Sandra: Dartford, Essex

“Amazing! All of the children were completely wowed by the  game wagon. The GEM Jay took control of the kids, kept them happy so we could relax indoors! This was a special treat for our son and we were so glad that we decided on this – video game parties are not just kids on their own it is a really sociable experience. Thanks.”

Mrs Gordon: Portsmouth

“It went so well, Kyle that ran the event was absolutely brilliant with the kids and they all loved it.

Julie looked after us during the booking process and we were always kept up to date and was always there to answer our questions.We are already recommending you highly.”

Karen: Oxford, Oxfordshire

“The kids had a fantastic time – highly recommend it.”

Jagdeep: Slough, Berkshire

“Our video game party in your video game party wagon was excellent. We thought it was a great party for the kids and they thought it was EPIC!

They loved the idea of jumping in the back of a video game van and playing games, and they got to play on consoles they don’t normally play on.”

Mrs Ferris: West Byfleet, Surrey

“The kids loved everything, they were into the game wagon at lightening pace when Jason gave the go-ahead. They enjoyed the variety and the fact none of them had done this before. They all wanted more and were disappointed when time had run out. The kids gave their video game party  10/10.

Gamewagon is spectacular fun for kids and really boosts the street cred of the birthday boy!”

Mr Sandu: Uxbridge, Middlesex

“Absolutely brilliant. Our GEM Jason was a star and so good with the children. All of them were talking about it at school the next day, and the mums all said every child said it was the best party they had ever been to.

The booking process was excellent, lots of contact via phone and e-mail and a reassuring phone call from Jason to say he was on the way. Thank you.”

Mark: Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

“Perfect solution for a winter party – minimum effort on my part (no travelling / house not trashed etc) for maximum result as far as my son was concerned. Having Jay there to do crowd control was great too. I honestly found the whole experience extremely relaxing, right up until the point that they all came in for tea 🙂 Especial thanks to Jay – he did a great job with some very excited boys.

90 minutes of non-stop state of the art video game partying  en masse! Brilliant birthday party idea. So glad we found you.”

Cathy: Guildford, Surrey

“Just as perfect as a birthday party could be!!!! All the kids simply loved it!! and now they all want a game wagon video game birthday party! What a concept … gaming together ….with friends at home but not inside the home.”

Ripu: Romford, Greater London

“Very well – we have received great feedback from the kids and the parents. We were amazed that we were sitting having a cup of tea in peace whilst 15 x 8 year olds were having a birthday party on our drive!

Thank you for a stress free brilliant 8th Birthday party for my son – who would have thought that a party for 15 x 8 year old boys could be run so smoothly and keep them so well engaged. The boys are still talking about the “most Awesome party ever.”

Kerry: Sunbury on Thames, Surrey

“In my sons words “it was awesome” From my point of view easy and painless!!!! Well worth every penny.

Just wish I found this sort of party sooner. Aaron is my youngest of four children and this party was by far the easiest one I have ever done.”

Julie: Harlow, Essex

Quotes from parents that have recently used our video game party wagons

Emma: North London

“Wonderful, Thank you. There was no mess, totally efficient, worked like clock work. Greg was great and the kids thought it was Awesome and Epic!”

Clare: Canterbury

“All the boys were very happy. Darren was our kind of guy, down to earth and had a great rapport with the boys. We could not big up him or Gamewagon enough. Most stress free party we have ever had. My son wants to do the same next year!”

Mark: Surrey

“Fantastic! Jason was brilliant. We could relax whilst the kids had a blast. Jason kept them all involved and entertained, nothing was too much trouble. My son feels quite the cool kid on the block now.”

Video Game Party Wagon perfect for a Christening.

Video Game Party WagonOur video game party wagon was able to provide a whole range of age groups with fun and games at a recent Christening. DG Leisure booked us for one of their clients and gave us some great feedback.

“We booked Gamewagon for a Christening Event we were organising for a client.Everyone was WOW’d by the idea and extremely happy that the children were being entertained. The booking process was  simple and friendly with the whole team being very informative and helpful. Our GEM, Matt arrived with the Gamewagon exactly when he said he would and set up in no time.  We booked for 2 hours and the children were very disappointed when it finished – they would have played all day! We would have no hesitation in recommending to other clients.” – Danny & Laura (DG Leisure – www.dgleisure.co.uk)

Minecraft XBOX 360

Minecraft XBOX 360 ReviewAs a parent of two I have been amazed how the Minecraft craze has slowly crept into our lives. I’ve also been stunned by the creativity and depth that a very basic scenario created. Here is a world, you have nothing, craft, mine, build, survive! That simple premise has been a catalyst for so many to be so creative. The advent of the iOS versions helped smooth out many a long family car journey.

The advent of the XBOX version gives game pad controls the Minecraft test. Can they be as flexible, fast and precise as on previous PC and iOS versions? The answer has been a resounding yes! The pad controls are intuitive and quick. For experienced crafters they are off like lightning. For newbies like myself I quickly got involved and actually felt as though I was helping and not hindering!

You will have been aware that the Minecraft phenomenon was already out there. The difference with this version is that you no longer have an excuse for not joining your kids and playing with them, you’ll be amazed at what they can teach you!

Presentation – Visuals, Sound and Theme

There is an innate charm to the Lego approach of building your own world on your terms. The graphics that represent this are, well, blocky. Endearingly the clever use of atmospheric music and passage of time effects (day turns to night beautifully) allows you to quickly overlook the sharp edges of the world you are now a part of.Minecraft is a blocky but endearing world

Minecraft’s power is in the way it guides you towards the creation of stuff. The interface is quickly learnt and encourages exploration, discovery and experimentation. The underlying theme is of survival providing the basis for your motivation and rewards. Decision-making under time constraints and problem solving capture interest and sustain it through the first few survival days.

It is the multiplayer aspect that then helps sustain the experience.

Multiplayer in the Gamewagon:

Here is where the real magic happens. We are always looking for games that can recreate the MarioKart shuffle, where the living room couch suddenly becomes a social family event where fun and conversation burst forth when focused on a fun and engaging focus.

Sharing your Minecraft experiences with friends and family is now very easy. No more getting PCs together, getting online and making sure you have the right versions! With split-screen local multiplayer it is now a frenetic and enthralling experience in the safety of your own home (or in the Gamewagon).

Players can co-operate or compete, they can build or destroy, all in a hilarious concoction of exploration and discovery. This version will see the Minecraft phenomenon spread even further, look out!

Tips & Tricks:

Despite the great multiplayer ability of the XBOX 360 version one of the tips that we found uses that same functionality but when playing on your own! Use a second controller (split screen) when you are building and use that player to view your main player crafting and building. The second perspective gives you a never seen angle on your constructions and really helps refine your masterpieces. Give it a go.

Minecraft XBOX Controls

Summer Holiday Colouring Competition

After the success of our last competition we would like to introduce you to our new Gamewagon – George!

cartoon gamewagon

Gamewagon George bursting with video game party fun for all.

Attached is a PDF for you to print out and colour in. Grab some colouring pens or pencils and bring George to life. Download PDF

When you are finished, take a photo or scan and send to drawing@gamewagon.co.uk and the winner will get their very own Gamewagon Party for up to 10 guests.

The winner will be announced on the 31st August.

Gamewagon Orchastrate Event with Mini Mozarts

Another ambitious event with over 20 kids with Clare Shaw in Mill Hill. Clare knows her stuff as she runs Mini-Mozarts in various locations around London.

“Awesome concept, kids loved it and I loved locking them up for 2 hrs!!!” Clare Shaw, 21st September 2012 (Mill Hill).

We enjoyed the event as well and wish Clare all the best with her Mini Mozarts business. Hope to see you all again soon.