“Gaming” chairs are an over-rated cash grab and here’s why

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Photo Credit: Nick Davila

A gamer’s chair is one of the most overlooked parts of their setup.

By: Nick Davila, Reporter

When a gamer finally finishes their setup, the things they worry about most are their computer and peripherals. However, one grossly overlooked area is their chair. A proper desk chair should provide comfort and support to the entire back for prolonged periods of sitting. However, most gamers nowadays are transitioning from run-of-the-mill office chairs to the aforementioned “gaming chair” – seats made of faux leather that are designed like racing seats, marketed for “maximum comfort”. While the chair looks good, it has many flaws when it comes to actually sitting in one.

Cheap Materials

The materials used to create these chairs leaves them feeling cheap and uncomfortable. The chairs also use faux leather, which leaves them feeling like you got it from a thrift store. They also rarely have mesh fabric, which leads to ventilation problems and tons of very uncomfortable and sweaty backs. Office chairs often use mesh fabric due to its air circulation, which allows one to remain in the seat for longer periods of time without their back sweating off.

Poor Design

Race-car seats are the main inspiration for gaming chairs. The main reason for this is because the first huge gaming chair manufacturer, DXracer, originally made race-car seats. They have everything from the winged back to seats that resemble buckets. However, these things are in race-cars for a reason, and it’s not to help the driver achieve a higher K/D ratio (at least we hope). The lips on the sides of the seat are meant to keep its driver in place. However, since gaming is extremely stationary, there is no need for these implants. The raised front is meant to help a racer keep its legs on the pedals. However, for a gamer, these are actually a detriment as they can bring up circulation breaks in the legs. 

They’re all the same

A majority of companies buy “gaming” chairs from the same OEM manufacturers with a simple recolor. This makes the experience nearly identical between different companies. It also allows higher-end companies to charge way more than they paid for them by simply putting their name on it. This leads to a lower effort by companies to quality control–but the cash keeps rolling in due to the aesthetics of a “gaming” chair in their setup.

There are better (but more boring) alternatives

As terrible as it may sound, gamers don’t need to sell their soul and posture to a “gaming” chair. However, there is hope for those who want to save their backs–it just comes at a cost to their aesthetic. While they are less visually appealing, office chairs do gaming chairs’ job and do it better. For those of us who want the best of both worlds (and are willing to shell out large amounts of money for it), the legendary office chair manufacturer Herman Miller teamed up with Logitech’s G department to release the Embody Gaming Chair. 

According to their store page, the Embody is a culmination of over 30 PhD’s in things like Biomechanics and Ergonomics to create the perfect gaming chair. However, at a hefty price of 1,795 USD, it’s out of the question for most average consumers at the moment. For the average consumer, there is a wide range of options as office chairs mimic the body, allowing for longer periods of sitting. Some examples would be the Modway Articulate Ergonomic Chair and the Flash Furniture Mid-Back Swivel Chair. These chairs could allow gamers to spend way more time honing their skills and less time at the chiropractor.