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Mobile arcade brings games home

January 13, 2010 by By Brad Smith, Telegraph Correspondent

Philip Wood / The Telegraph

Ethan Wrba plays Lego Batman on one of the televisions in the Games 2U van, which will come to your home or party and provide video game entertainment.

The pizza arcade may be a thing of the past, with the latest wave in video game birthday parties to hit the streets.

Thanks to Games2u, there is now a choice.

"Sure, you can pack up your kids into the car, along with their friends," Chris Wrba said, "drive to a place and find long lines, cold food and bad service. No, with Games2u, you're the host. You set the pace, the rules. It's your party.

"We're just providing the toys, so to speak."

Along with his brother, Stuart, and a partner, Turino Fuad, Wrba recently opened up a Games2u franchise in El Dorado Hills. "We're not limiting ourselves to just one area. From Granite Bay to West Sacramento, book a party with us and we'll be there."

Games2u was founded more than five years ago. The company, Wrba said, provides people with mobile video game theaters and other gaming services. "Yes, we have video games but we also set up multi-player Laser Tag games and even have the giant inflatable ‘hamster balls.' Those are very popular," he said with a laugh.

Wrba first learned of the franchise when he visited his brother Stuart, who was, at the time, living in Phoenix, Ariz. He said Stuart had hosted some parties, using the Games2u services.

"We both thought it was a great idea," Wrba said. The brothers learned of the franchising opportunities and contacted the company. "We thought that this part of the country could use something like this."

Outfitted with a specially modified Games2u van and a trailer for the Laser Tag gear, hamster balls and other equipment, the Wrba brothers and Fuad set up shop in El Dorado Hills.

They have flat screens for the video game consoles, laser projectors, fog machines and everything else needed to get the party started.

"We have both Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii gaming consoles and a library of the most popular games, including' Halo: ODST' and' Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.'" Soon, Wrba said their inventory will include "the U:Bot."

The U:Bot, according to the company's Web site, is a "motorized 6-foot, 8-inch tall, sci-fi movie inspired, patented robot.

The U:Bot's drive controls allow it to go straight, back, right, left and pivot in 360-degree circles.

There are also buttons inside for laser effects, synchronized blinking lights and a fog machine. Even more, once inside the U:Bot, there's a microphone hooked up to a voice modulation system, so a child's voice is translated into ‘robot-speak.'"

"The U:Bots are being built now," Wrba said, "and we should have ours by the end of January."

Wrba said that besides kids parties, they will do fund raisers, company parties and picnics and other social gatherings.

People interested in contacting Wrba's Games2u franchise can do so by going to the company Web site at g2u.com or call 730-0011.

"It's something new, fun and different," Wrba said of the mobile gaming theater and its services. "If anyone is interested or has questions, they should feel free to contact us."