Texarkana gets mobile gaming trailer
By AARON BRAND
Feb. 25, 2018
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — If you see a blue trailer roll up with characters like Mario, Iron Man, LEGO Batman and Zelda all over the sides, you may be in for a treat with the electronics inside.
And when you do step inside, you won't see what's typically found in a trailer: yard tools or band gear. It's dark, sleek and stylish in there.
You and about 15 friends will find room to kick back, chill out, look up at one of four 50-inch, ultra high-definition TV screens and simply play games — video games like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Outside, there's room to play Wii U with a couple more screens.
It's not new elsewhere, but for Texarkana it is. It's a mobile gaming trailer, something to plaster a smile on a kid's face and spark his or her excitement — or for someone who's a kid at heart and just loves gaming.
Owned by Scott and Sandy Morrow with their son Joshua in charge of the games, SNS Mobile Video Gaming, which locals have started seeing at events like Texarkana's Mardi Gras last weekend, provides a venue for all sorts of occasions, whether it's a birthday party or a summer camp, family reunion or church event, tailgating or fundraiser.
"There's two things I'm excited about. First of all, the kids' faces, and the second one is to bring this to Texarkana because it's only the bigger cities that have it," Sandy said.
The Texarkana Gazette reports that the Morrows, mentioning the age-old belief that Texarkana doesn't offer much for youth to do, aim to bring something different to Texarkana, something beyond Chuck E. Cheese's and bounce houses.
Once inside the trailer, Scott explains how much room he has. "You play 16 people in here, eight out there. I can run 24 people at once if you wanted to split the TV screen. Each TV has got its own surround sound, so if you're playing games you've got your own sound," he said. Crank up that sound, it's OK.
"We furnish all the games," Scott said. Typically, customers tell them what games they want to play and the Morrows get them ready. They'll buy a game if they don't already have it in stock. "We mostly have all the newer games," Sandy said.
Most popular so far are Star Wars: Battlefront, Call of Duty: WWII, Infinite Warfare, NASCAR, Graft Theft Auto and FIFA 18. There are some older throwback games on hand, too, such as Pac Man or Galaxy.
"We're trying to cover all the age groups, from the older people down," Scott said.
The trailer has a built-in stereo system for music. A laser light show can run while playing games, too, with the lights synchronized to the beat. The interior has a limousine style, so people can simply relax. It's all wheelchair accessible, too. Veterans and military get a 10 percent discount.
The rental is by the hour: $200 for the first, $75 for every half hour after that. "The longer you want it, the cheaper the price goes down," Scott said about the rate. An average rental is 90 minutes to two hours.
The Morrows take care of everything to get it ready, loading the games and preparing the space. They'll bring the trailer to where you are, too. There's an all-important clock, too.
"When the clock comes on, the party starts. When the clock goes off, time's up," Scott said, who calls it the "ultimate man cave" and place to get out of the house and get warm.
About a year ago, Scott started thinking about getting this all together, and for the past six months he worked on it. Having logged more than two decades at FedEx, he has an eye toward a retirement business. SNS is independent, not a franchise.
"Who knows where it goes because actually I'd like to have more than one," said Scott, who had his trailer custom built with an outside antenna, TVs, DVR, security cameras and more.
"Mom and dad can keep up with what's going on in there," Sandy said, referring to the outside screens that show what's happening inside. While the kids are inside, adults can join them or sit outside and watch ballgames or whatever they wish while the kids play.
Also inside, the trailer is heated and air conditioned, so no matter the weather, it should be comfortable. The outside TV screens have small awnings above them that extend out and offer a bit of shade and weather protection, too.
Scott sees some versatility to the gaming trailer, as well. You can watch movies or hold business meetings and other corporate events inside. For adults, bringing food may be possible (not for the kids, however, and no partying with alcohol or smoking inside).
All in all, the trailer is 28 feet long and eight-and-a-half feet wide.
"You don't have a problem with people and room, walking by or anything like that," Scott said. "You've got plenty of room in here."
Bringing a new mobile gaming trailer has made their son happy, they say. In fact, now that he's the gaming coach, the Morrows see more of him.
"I'm feeding him dinner every night now," said Sandy.
Why the video game market? Pretty simple, really.
"It's a growing industry," Scott said. "Three years ago the market for video gaming was around $89 billion to $92 billion a year industry. In three years ago it's grown to a $140 billion a year industry." The desire is there for gaming, gaming, gaming, and it's for all ages, too, he said.
"It's just where the kids are at nowadays. They're different from when we were younger. Where we wanted to go build forts or ride go-karts or mini-bikes, now kids want to game," Scott said.
Information from: Texarkana Gazette, http://www.texarkanagazette.com