Man cave games. Where did it all begin?

All men watch it, do it or talk about it

Men love a man cave games. Playing games is what men do best. Most of us are good at some sort of game. Whether it is hitting balls far into the distance and looking for them in the long grass, or hitting balls into the distance and then running around in circles, men are pretty good at it. We love balls of all shapes and sizes. It is a known fact that spherically shaped objects that bounce are, at a quantum level, intrinsically tied to the neurons of a man’s brain. This makes it nigh on impossible to look away from a ball that is flying through the air. Of course, not all men are wired this way. We are not all skilled at hitting, kicking or throwing balls. Some of us prefer to just watch other men doing these things. And when we cannot physically be on the side lines watching men chasing other men with balls, we are certainly happy, and very good at, watching proceedings in Full HD whilst in a reclined position.

Thumbs ready? Let the man cave games begin

Of course, not all games that men enjoy playing need be energetic in any way at all. A great way of getting around playing games that require some sort of physical exertion can be played in digital form. There are a whole plethora of games that can be played on a console or computer that only require the use of your thumbs. These kinds of man cave games are popular. It is these kinds of games that are simply not allowed to be played in the family living room despite their popularity with most males in the house. Popular thumb games include those that involve digital men kicking balls, digital men hitting balls into the distance and digital men kicking other digital men in the face. Another favourite thumb game is what is called the first person shooter. This is where you play the character yourself and see the world through his eyes. It also involves big guns and lots of dead zombies/aliens/Nazis/puppies.

I once was blind but now I see.

Believe it or not, there was a time before man cave games existed. The reason man is so caught up in the need to play or observe games goes back to the days before the invention of electricity. When darkness cast its shadow upon the land, men found they could no longer see very well. This meant they had to retreat to somewhere near a source of light. That source was usually the homely fire. He would say goodnight to his buddies and head home. Now, as we have already explained in the origins of the man cave, man had his own space at home. However, he first had to speak to the wife and find out how her day was. He would also have to listen to how the day was for all his wife’s friends. This would take up several unmeasured pieces of time. Man would then have to chop up a dead beast in order for his wife to begin supper preparations. It was only at this point in time that man could retreat to his man cave. It was in his man cave that man could then think of things in a way only he knew how to do.

Screwdrivers may be satisfying, but life is empty without games.

But something troubled man. Back then no one knew that the troubling sensations pouring through man’s large brain were related to neurons feeling disconnected from the quantum mechanics produced by spherical objects. No, they simply thought that they were feeling a bit confused and empty. Men sat in their man caves thinking of things that were round and rolled about. They could not understand what this meant but they were all experiencing the same feelings of roundness resulting in empty abandonment. It was as if once the sun had fallen below the horizon man found himself at a loss. He didn’t know what to do with himself. The same emptiness began to creep into the day time too, especially at weekends. Most free time at weekends was taken up fixing things but even keeping busy with a screwdriver would not alleviate the feeling of something missing.

One day a man called Benjamin Franklin discovered something called electricity. This was a pretty good discovery but for one thing. What was the point? Electrons running about creating something called a current and it hurt when you put your hand in the way. But it was a start. Another bloke called Thomas Edison came along a hundred years or so later and experienced what can only be described as one of those light bulb moments. He invented the light bulb. From that day on the world of man was never the same again. Unfortunately for Ben, he never lived long enough to experience the joys that man cave games eventually bought to the world.

One day someone called Tom said “let there be light!”. And there was light.

At first the light bulb was expensive and only available to those with lots of money and an electricity supply. So it was the most expensive man caves that were first illuminated in ways never before witnessed by man. But whilst only luxury man caves were being lit up like Christmas trees (long before anyone thought of putting lights on trees), there was another revolution taking place at drinking men’s clubs throughout the land. As pubs and bars began to light up the darkness, their trade quadrupled as men would go to the pub before going home to chop up any beasts the wife required for supper preparations. And as the pubs got richer they bought more land surrounding their properties. This land was, at first, a somewhat redundant purchase because pub landlords had not yet decided what to do with the land. What they did do however was put lights around it in order to show off to their competitors how much land they had.

Men then started to do things like sit outside in the illuminated space around the pub so the landlords built bench tables and landscaped the area making it look more attractive. The warmer the weather, the more men wanted to sit outside. What came next was, in hindsight, inevitable.

Men watch balls and men watch breasts. Is it that hard to understand?

One day a man whose name has been forever forgotten to the annuls of time came to the pub for an after work drink. The pub, whose name and whereabouts have also been forgotten over the years, was full on that particular day. Many men sat around outside on benches and drank beer. As was the way back in the days before the invention of man cave games, most men were feeling a sense of loss and abandonment and were confused by their thoughts of spherical bounciness. But as is the way with men, they did not discuss their problems with each other. Instead they would hide their struggles away and talk about large breasts. It was many many years later that a clever psychiatrist made the connection between man’s obsession with breasts and his need to watch balls bouncing. But that is a story for another day. As the man walked into the pub, under his arm could be seen something round wrapped in paper. Many men looked over at the man and his object. It was as if a naked woman with large breasts had entered the room. The necks of men swivelled and their eyes focused at the same point almost involuntary as the round object entered the room.

Probably the most important conversation ever. Probably.

The man ordered a beer and went to sit outside. Unfortunately for the man, there was no seating available so he placed his rounded object on the floor and leaned against a post that supported the veranda roof. Everything appeared normal except for the constant over-shoulder looking of men as they kept glancing at the round thing on the floor. A bearded man who had clearly consumed a lot of beer approached the man.

“What do you have there?” the bearded man asked the man.
“I’m not sure” responded the man. “I had a sudden urge to sew together a couple of sheep’s bladders and then inflate it with air using a bicycle pump”.
“Hmmm” said the bearded man. “Why would you do that?”.
“I have no idea. All I know is last night I had a dream about doing such, so today I had my seamstress do it”
“I see. But why does it not deflate?” the bearded man asked before moving tentatively closer to the grounded spherical anomaly.
“Ah, that is because I had the seamstress sew in a bicycle valve allowing the air to stay inside” the man replied looking somewhat proud and idiotic at the same time.
“Makes no sense to me sir. But for some strange reason, it has caught my attention and I don’t know why”.
“Indeed” replied the man. “I see a lot of men glancing over with the same confused look in their eyes. I think I may be onto something. I just need to get it home to my man cave where I can mull it over alone. Can I buy you a beer sir?”
“Why, yes indeed good friend. You may”

The most important kick in the history of man.

At this the man turned to walk to the bar and, inadvertently, kicked the rounded sheep’s bladder. The paper surrounding the bladder fell to the side as the bladder itself sailed through the air. It landed several feet away and continued to roll another several feet before coming to a rest in the open space. Gasps were heard all around and all eyes stared at the spherical sheep’s bladder as it sat there, unmoving, in the open space illuminated by electric bulbs. The man, feeling embarrassed moved to pick up the bladder when someone shouted out, “don’t pick it up. Try kicking it”. The man look confused as the thought of kicking it played through his mind. Then, turning to the loud mouth who suggested the kicking the man kick the bladder. The bladder flew into the air and, with a little side spin, moved slightly away from the loud mouth. The bladder hit the loud mouth’s friend sitting next to him on the head. It didn’t hurt though. Instead it sent a sensation of euphoria through the loud mouth’s friend. He stood up, placed the bladder in front of him and kicked it back to the man. The man, without even thinking about it raised his hands and caught the flying bladder.

The birth of man cave games (AKA The Dawn of Man).

The man felt this urge to now run with the ball in his hand. So he did. He ran over to there with the ball under his arm. Before he could stop running another loud mouth shouted “to me! to me!”. The man heard the shouts and without even thinking threw the ball to the other loud mouth. Suddenly men were on their feet everywhere. Men sat inside came outside to witness what was happening. As more men joined in the bladder was moved between them more frequently. Sometimes kicked, sometimes thrown. Every man taking part felt a satisfaction like nothing else. Those that were merely watching proceedings felt like a long time itch had been scratched. Many men lay down on the grass and watched proceedings horizontally. Some men would jump up and cheer whenever someone caught the bladder without dropping it. Hours flew by and there was not a single man that didn’t feel a sense of relief and unbridled happiness. Man cave games were getting closer.

So many forgotten heroes.

As time went on word of the rounded bladder spread and pubs throughout the land started earmarking their spare land for bladder games. Men learned how to kick the bladder better and their catching skills improved exponentially. They even learned how to bounce the bladder whilst running. It wasn’t long before the bladder started to receive customisation. Some men made them oval shaped and some men made them smaller. In fact, another man whose name shall forever be forgotten, decided to do away with using the bladder entirely and instead used a toughened rubber. He also miniaturised the sphere making it useful to throw and catch with one hand. Eventually men made sticks with which to hit the small rubber spheres. Over time the sticks evolved into their own categories with some designed to hit a sphere that was hurtled in the direction of the hitter. Others were designed to hit stationary spheres lying on the ground in front of the hitter. Later, all these forms would appear in a variety of man cave games making people very rich indeed.

Mr Baird didn’t just invent the TV. He invented man cave games.

Pubs the world over grew big and powerful. The breweries amassed colossal amounts of money. That money was then used to sponsor the best men at handling the spherical objects. One day, a man called something we will never remember inadvertently said whilst kicking a bladder, “wow! Im having a ball!”. And it was from that day forth that the term Ball was coined and forever used in place of rounded bladder sphere. Ball games were invented, mainly by the English, and competition arose. The more and more men that watched the games, the more and more money the games earned. One day a man called John Logie Baird invented a television. After much head scratching about what to do with such a seemingly pointless device, someone pointed out that it might be good for televising games. And it was this Eureka moment that changed the world forever. Mr Baird had single-handedly invented the man cave TV and the man cave game without even realising it.

Games were watched in pubs and man caves the world over. Men kicking and hitting balls was the pastime of evenings and weekends everywhere. Over time man cave games were recreated in table form so that men in their man caves could feel like they just won the world cup single handed. Table games evolved into arcade games and arcade games evolved into computer games and console games. The more that games were realised in man cave form, the more the recliner seating industry succeeded.

The sophistication of many man cave games owes a big thank you to electricity and balls.

Today man no longer wonders why their brains wont work properly on those dark nights after work. Now men take it for granted that the night’s big game will involve beer, recliners and friends with more beer in the man cave. It is no wonder that some of the largest corporations in the world today either make televisions, own teams of ball players, make computer games, brew beer or make recliner seats with inbuilt remote controls. Thanks to man cave games (and real games), companies like Samsung, Sony, Microsoft and Ikea are more than just mom and pop corner shops.

But let us not forget the horrors of the world before electricity and balls. To those men who suffered on our behalf, we thank you.

Looking for some gaming inspiration for bringing man cave games into your life (or someone else’s life, a husband or boss perhaps)? Take a look at our gift ideas for men because there is bound to be something in there for you to get excited about.

A bit of reading for more in-depth knowledge about the man cave:
The Origins of the Man Cave
What Makes a Great Man Cave Bar
Man cave furniture: required decor for any man cave.

Looking for something to add to your man cave or searching for great gift ideas?:
Check out some our Man Cave Hideout designed man cave t-shirts
Take a look at some ideas for enhancing your man cave

Former designer of bar and pub interiors and founder of Man Cave Hideout. Currently living in Africa working on a safari lodge lounge and bar area.

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