So you're thinking of having a video game party. Or maybe you're just having a party and video games are going to be played. Well, it could wind up being a disaster. Here's 10 rules to avoid that.
1. Have a wide variety of games and systems ready
Please don't be a one-trick pony, claiming to be hosting an awesome video game party and then all you have is Halo and a copy of Madden from several years ago. Aside from the fact that you just handed in your balls for a copy of your Gramer Membership Cardtm, you're a douche for having a lack of variety. Get several systems and several games for each system. Don't just pick out what you plan on playing (see number 2), but get anything that is multiplayer and fun. And the best types of games to use are ones that could be played by MORE than two people. So while Street Fighter IV is a great idea, Super Smash Bros Brawl is an even better one. Finally, have the shit all set up and ready to go, get one of the multi-AV boxes so you can have several systems hooked up with no hassle.
2. Let the guests pick the games.
You're the host, so be a gracious one and allow your guests, or at least a general consensus of your guests, pick out the games. Don't make everyone play what you want to play, because it may not be their idea of fun. Actually listen to people and let them pick games out (or encourage them to bring their own). Because if you're the only one having a good time, then your party fucking sucks.
3. Unlock shit
Don't just buy a game, and expect it to be playable by loads of people right out of the box. This goes especially for fighting games and Rythym games. It's pretty lame if you don't have all the characters for your Street Fighter game available, or if you bring out Guitar Hero and your guests are limited to a handful of songs. Take the time to play them on your own and unlock everything first. Don't heve everything unlocked in Guitar Hero World Tour? Then Play Guitar Hero III instead.
4. Let your guests play
Quit being a douche. You can play your games whenever. Let the guests play them now. Get off the couch and just watch for a while. I'm not saying you shouldn't play anything, but you should definitely play less than your guests.
5. Lay down the law
Just because you're taking your time to follow these rules and not be a douche doesn't necessarily mean that people won't be douches if they see an prime opportunity for douchery. Pre-empt any incidents of doucheism by laying down the law right away. Set some fair and balanced rules that will maximize fun and minimize fail. The most important thing is to make sure people are not being dicks to each other and they're not hogging up the fucking games. Laying down the law early will prevent these things usually, and in the case you gotta tell someone to GTFO then you're the hero, not a dick.
6. Test your equipment
This is basic. Make sure all your systems work, make sure all your games work, make sure all your controllers work. Test the controllers and games with the systems you plan on using because no amount of "the fuck, it worked on my other x-box!" will make you look like less of a failtard. Seriously. Be on the lookout for scratched discs and failing systems. And test the controllers thoroughly (fighting games are usually great to test controllers with.) so you know that they don't just work, they work WELL. Speaking of which, having backups is not a bad idea.
7. Switch it up when necessary.
Read your guests, try and keep it fresh and switch games or systems when necessary. Maybe people are getting tired of Rock Band already, so bust something else out. Make a suggestion and see if they go for it. On the flipside, if people want to play the same game all night, let them.
8. Have a decent set-up
Please for the love of shit don't tell me you're huddling all around a 14 inch screen TV from the 80's. If you're doing that, then please smash your face into the wood paneling that I know you have in your basement and stop trying to have game parties. A decent size TV is a must, as is a stereo system hooked up to it.
9. Have decent seating options
Please have more than a couch. Seriously. Get some armchairs, put a rug down and fuck, get beanbags if you need to. But make sure everyone is comfortable and has a decent spot to sit with a decent view of the TV. This is not just for the people playing, it's for everybody watching. And clean your damn couch you slob, nobody wants to sit on the couch you made love to every night. Yes, I know you do that, everyone knows.
10. Invest in wireless controllers and batteries
Seriously. Bust out the wireless controllers and the FRESH batteries. Make sure they work and have plenty of spare batteries on hand just in case. No wires to trip over or get all tangled up, and it gives your guests more mobility and ability to sit where they want to and game it up. Move your stupid ugly Ikea coffee table out of the way so nothing is interrupting the line of sight or your Wii sensor bar.