AP NEWS

Have games, will travel

September 22, 2018

Dodging barrels hurled by a gorilla or fighting against the alien Covenant in the year 2552 are everyday experiences for gamers.

Now, thanks to a local business, fans of vintage and popular games such as Donkey Kong and Halo: Reach can play these favorites with two dozen friends inside a climate-controlled, 36-foot trailer decked out with big screens, double-tiered cushioned “stadium seating” benches, and a plethora of gaming consoles, from Atari to XBox.

The business, MegaWatt Entertainment, is the brainchild of Bryan Wattier, who conceived of a mobile video-gaming business five years ago. This year, he and his wife, Anita, brought the dream to life.

Their plush video trailer arrived in July just in time for their son Sam’s 13th birthday. Both Sam and his younger brother, Miles, are excited about the new family business, whose name is a pun on the family’s last name.

While the video-gaming market keeps expanding — it is approaching $140 billion annually — mobile gaming trailers seem to be few and far between in Minnesota. From a search, MegaWatt appears to be only the third business of its kind in the state. The other two are located in Chanhassen and Hastings. The Wattiers hope to serve southeastern Minnesota with their new gaming trailer.

MegaWatt has already contributed to area events including Foster Fest, a daylong entertainment event last month at Foster Arend Park to raise money for a local nonprofit.

One of the organizers for Foster Fest, Oliver Books, was thrilled with Megawatt’s presence.

“I thought the MegaWatt game trailer was an absolute blessing to have at Foster Fest,” he said. “They put on a tournament, contributed to the raffle, and gave people somewhere to cool off in some AC while enjoying video games. To be honest, if I wasn’t running the festival, I would have spent most of the day back there.”

Though the outside of the MegaWatt trailer is decorated with recognizable game characters like Mario, the inside might remind you of a luxury stretch limo. The dim interior provides the perfect place for gamers to compete and cheer.

As the games are scrolling inside, other gamers might work up a sweat at the trailer’s exterior console playing games like Just Dance. And if old-fashioned physical games are more your speed, the mobile gaming unit also provides bocce ball, rollors (a variation on horseshoes), and giant Jenga.

MegaWatt seems geared for tweens, teens and twenty-somethings, but Bryan Wattier says that moms and dads also have fun going head-to-head on 8-bit classics like Pac-Man and telling their kids about the “old days.”

One of the best parts about the trailer is the way it can reduce prep work for a birthday party or other gathering at your house.

“We like to say that Mom doesn’t need to clean the house to have a party, before or after,” Wattier said. “Might as well have the party at your house, but not in your house.”

The trailer’s Dish Satellite capabilities, generator, and big screens, especially the outdoor screen, also make it work well for tailgating events to watch your favorite sport.

MegaWatt Entertainment is a way for the Wattiers to promote an anti-bullying message.

“Anita experienced bullying as a child and would never wish for anyone to be bullied,” Wattier said. “We are an anti-bully zone and promote diversity and inclusiveness.”

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