If you’re a gamer, it only makes sense to buy a top gaming chair. After all, with its sleek design and custom-made design, gaming chairs are the most optimal for gaming.
If only that were so true. A lot of gaming chairs may have that cool esports or Initial D look, but when it comes to actual comfort, it’s a lot more cramped and uncomfortable to sit in.
Buying a gaming chair will most likely be painful to one’s back, neck, and wallet.
Why most gaming chairs suck
A lot of gaming chairs are bad simply because their ergonomics are terrible.
If you’ve ever sat in a racing car or a pilot seat on an airplane before, your back will understand the discomfort right away. After all, these chairs have that racing car design. If you’ve never experienced riding in one of those seats, just know that it’s very cramped and not comfortable at all. Let’s take a look at why most gaming chairs are all flash and no comfort.
For one, the armrests of most gaming chairs are too low, making sitting position awkward. The back of the chairs isn’t designed to support a person’s back for long periods of time. Try sitting in most gaming chairs for more than an hour and you’ll feel some pain and discomfort.
Furthermore, these seats make you rest “inside the chair,” making gamers feel trapped in their own seat. These seats are modeled after high-end race car seats since they’re flashy and look cool on TV and in the movies. But in reality, race car seats are designed for the driver’s safety, not for gamers that sit for several hours.
Nearly all gaming seats are also low to the ground, meaning that ample leg and height adjustment is lacking. The taller you are, the more uncomfortable these chairs will be.
While many brands try to overcome these shortcomings with reclining adjustment or pillow room, there’s a tradeoff for these comfort adjustments. Want to recline a bit? Great, now you can’t use your armrests. Are you a taller person and want to raise the chair a bit? Sounds good, but now reclining will be a pain.
Another big knock on these gaming seats is the price. Some of these chairs can cost over $200 dollars.
In turn, many gamers opt to buy their chairs from non-gaming companies. Seats that are regarded as office or work chairs you’ll see at any company. For a fraction of the cost – usually under $100 – gamers can get away with a much cheaper chair that gets the job done. Namely, comfortable gaming for hours on end.
Why are gaming chairs expensive?
It all comes down to these customers buying the branding and gaming label. Much like buying the more popular and expensive Nike or Adidas shoes when a cheaper brand would suffice, gamers also follow the pricey brand names when it comes to gaming products.
But not many gamers know why these chairs are so expensive.
Perhaps the biggest reason gaming chairs are pricey is because gaming companies spend so much money on marketing. These gaming companies know that, for the most part, they’re selling generic chairs that are often made with low-quality material. However, their huge marketing and branding campaigns cover a lot of the chair’s blemishes. To offset this marketing cost, these companies increase the price 10% more than its production cost.
A good portion of this marketing budget goes to the celebrities that promote the chairs. When famous esports player and celebrities are seen using the chair, their appearance entices customers to buy the chairs. After all, if an esports player endorses that chair, surely, it must be good.
If only that were true.
Another chunk of marketing goes towards the marketing pitches. Gaming labels proclaim that using one “gives players an edge in competitive gaming.” Do you really believe that buying a $200+ gaming chair will you that “edge” to make you into a top 500 Overwatch player or a League of Legends pro? Of course not.
Much like buying the latest, most expensive Nikes won’t magically give you the ability to slam dunk a basketball, gaming chairs won’t do the same. With all the discomfort these chairs described earlier, your gaming experiences will more likely give you back and neck pains than that “edge” needed to perform well in DoTA 2.
With most of these chairs, it feels like you’re paying a lot more for their gaming branding and label, rather than if the chair is actually comfortable, versatile, or have good ergonomics.