Gaming has come a long way over the past decade or so. A few years ago, it was seen as a pastime for kids and teenagers, hunched over their consoles and PCs in darkened bedrooms. Today, however, the teenage gamers from yesteryear are middle-aged parents with teenagers of their own, and gaming is a mainstream pastime for all the family.
As well as becoming a multi-billion dollar global industry that generates more global revenue than music and film put together, there has also been the unintentional side effect that it has generated plenty of business for chiropractors, too. Whether you are using a console or a PC, you are likely to find yourself sitting at an awkward angle and feeling pain in your back, neck, and shoulders before too long.
Teenagers might be able to sit in impossible positions on the floor or sprawled on their bed for hours on end while gaming, but for the rest of us, a proper gaming chair is one of the best investments out there. After all, we have sofas for relaxing in front of the TV, dining chairs for mealtimes and office chairs for work – given that in the modern era, gaming takes up just as significant a proportion of our time, it makes sense to do it in comfort.
Gaming chairs come in all, shapes, sizes and prices. A growing number of manufacturers are getting wise to the fact that this is a market that is set to explode, so there are plenty of choices out there and GameAuthority has put together a useful guide, looking at some of the best. So what do you need to consider when narrowing down the choice?
Broadly speaking, gaming chairs come in the following types:
1.- Rocker chair
Don’t be fooled by the name, these are nothing like your Granny’s old rocking chair. They allow you to sit close to the floor and are focused on maximizing comfort as opposed to posture.
2.- Pedestal chair
This looks like a cross between a recliner and a car seat. It is raised a little higher than the rocker and stands on a pedestal that allows you to rock and rotate.
3.- Racer chair
With these chairs, you could almost be sitting in the car. They have multi-point support for the steering wheel and pedals, providing the most immersive experience possible for fans of driving games.
4.- PC gaming chair
This might look more like a traditional office chair, but appearances can be deceptive. A PC gaming chair is designed for prolonged use, with better lumbar support and detachable cushions. The beauty of this type of chair is you can also use it for regular PC office work.
5.- Bean bag gaming chair
Everyone loves a bean bag! But if you grew up in the 1970s with that amorphous blob made of brown corduroy in the middle of the living rooms, you might be in for a surprise at the quality, comfort, and sophistication on the bean bag type chairs on the market today.
With any purchase, you will not be able to get far in the decision-making process until you have decided how much you are prepared to spend. You can pay out anything from $30 on a funky bean bag to $500 or more on a top gaming chair with all the accessories, so there really is something for every budget.
Consider who will be using the chair and for what types of games. If you are predominantly into multiplayer action games, your needs will be very different to someone who spends most of their time playing driving games or sports simulators.
It might sound crazy, but many people get so distracted by the features and functionality of the gaming chairs that they forget an important point – this is a chair that you need to sit on so it has to be comfortable! Try several out and put comfort at the top of your priority list. After all, if you end up having to get up and stretch to work out those kinks in your back, you might as well be sitting on the sofa.
You will be spending many hours in that chair, so don’t stint on the materials. If you buy the cheapest thing going, it will be a false economy, as it will wear out in no time and you will be back to square one.
A bean bag is a bean bag, but for the other types of gaming chair we have mentioned, there is a whole range of special features you can choose. These include Bluetooth compatibility, vibration motors, surround sound and subwoofers. These can certainly enhance the gaming experience but think carefully about what you really need, particularly if you are on a tight budget. For example, if you have already invested in a fantastic sound system and have it hooked up to your games console, this might be something you don’t need in the chair.
A gaming chair can take up more room than you think. Critically assess the room where it will be positioned and measure the amount of space available before you go shopping. The last thing you want is to find you can barely get it through the door and it is taking up the entire room. If space is at a premium, look for something you can fold up out of the way when it is not in use.
Most of the high-end chairs are designed to be compatible with all the popular gaming systems, such as PlayStation, Xbox, PC and so on, but do make absolutely sure that it will work with whatever you are using before you hand over your credit card.
Sit back and relax
Make no mistake, gaming is one of the most popular leisure activities for people of all ages in the 21st century. Get the most out of your gaming experience by having the right chair, and you will not only be more comfortable, but you will find that you play better, too!