The humble foosball table, that fixture of fraternity houses and tech startups, has just gone glam. After all, just because you read the Robb Report doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the simple pleasures of slamming beers while bashing a little ball around, right? Now “The Beautiful Game,” a glossy, chrome-limned $68,000 foosball table designed by Gro, provides plebeian amusement and patrician luxury at once.
Gro’s table is apparently inspired by life-sized football stadiums. “Many new football stadiums built in recent years have a strong architectural and sculptural beauty, becoming city landmarks in their own right and enhancing the visual landscape of the local environment,” they write. “We wanted the design of our football table to be equally spectacular and memorable, enriching the interior space where it will be placed.” I think it looks like something that Darth Vader would use to take the edge off a long day of throat-crushing, but that’s just me.
But all that onyx-and-chrome isn’t just there for show. Well, it is, but Gro did put some thought into why they chose this particular look: “As well as ensuring visual impact and consistency of design, the bright-silver chrome finish of the figures mirror footballers’ status in sport and society.” David Beckham, cloned and effigied in spotless silver for your idle, inebriated amusement? Sweeeeeet.
Gro concludes its design statement with a charming mini-manifesto against the sterile, antisocial button-jabbing that passes for “gaming” in our digital age. Foosball is tactile, social, unpredictable — everything that real sports were meant to be. Er, unless you’re “playing” them with tiny make-believe-men on a table that cost more than triple the average person’s automobile. But at least you’re doing it in style!