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Super dad rents out movie theater so his son can play games

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(Credit: Travis Schwend)

Planning a kid's birthday party is a stressful experience for a parent. For one Florida father, however, it was an opportunity to raise the bar.

Travis Schwend wasn't content to simply throw a shindig at the local Chuck E. Cheese or skating rink. Instead, he arranged something special for his son Jonah's 13th birthday: a gaming experience like no other.

Travis rented out the historic SunRay movie theater in Jacksonville and hooked a few game systems up to the projector, letting Jonah and his friends loose to play games on the big screen. The whole experience cost just $300 and included unlimited free beverages, popcorn, and pizza. That's pretty reasonable for a kid's birthday party these days.

Jonah, his friends and his dad spent five hours in the theater playing a wide assortment of games. And while the ESRB might frown upon some of the choices, the majority of them seem tailor-made for a cinematic experience. Among the titles in the queue were Fallout 3, Skyrim, Minecraft, Terraria, Halo (10th Anniversary Edition), Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Crysis 2, and Portal. The group also played Dead Space 2 on the giant screen, but it proved so terrifying that they stopped five minutes later.

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(Credit: Travis Schwend)

We can see the eyes rolling out there over parents spoiling their kids, so this would be a good time to point out that Jonah, who suffers from Type 1 Diabetes, regularly raises funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and The Walk To Cure Diabetes.

Travis is just the latest in a series of gaming super dads that have popped up in the past year. In March, developer Mike Mika hacked into Donkey Kong to make Pauline the hero of the game -- leaving Mario stuck high on the scaffolding with the angry simian -- when his daughter didn't understand why she couldn't play the princess.

Last November, Mike Hoye reworked The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker to change Link from a "He" to a "She" to make the game more accessible to his daughter, who played the game with him as he read the text to her.

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