My 18-year old chair has started to show all those signs of ageing which I simply cannot ignore anymore. There’s significant corrosion at the joints of the metal base, the adjustment screws have had significant doses of WD-40 over the years, but frictional wear-and-tear is something that even WD-40 can’t fix. Let’s not even get started on the castor wheels. They’ve been replaced several times over the years and the ones on the chair right now aren’t even a year old. Lastly, the seat has developed a slight lean towards the left, which is the most noticeable problem among all the others mentioned thus far. In short, it’s time for a new throne!
It goes without saying that gaming chairs have come to my attention several times over the years. I’ve conveniently ignored them because I’m a creature of habit, and my durable derriere holder was built like a tank, and I never had a backache in those 18 years.
Now, coming back to gaming chairs, they look funky, and boast of ergonomic features I can’t spell without the help of autocorrect, and some even come with speakers embedded into the headrest! Heck, there are even a few with RGB LEDs, you know, just in case you want to tie yourself to a car and go cruising down the highway to show the LEDs off! I’m kidding because for the life of me I don’t know what LEDs do for a chair.
The one thing that stood out was how similar they all looked in terms of design. Sure there were subtle differences, but overall, they all seemed to have a tall backrest with side wings and similarly, shaped armrests. If all the known brands copying one another didn’t look strange enough, even all the knockoffs did the same.
I’ve tried out some of the newer models at COMPUTEX 2017, and honestly, they didn’t feel as ergonomic as they are made out to be. The wings do give you the feeling of a recliner, but most chairs have the wings too close to the back – instead of the sitting in the right posture, you end up in a slightly awkward one where your shoulders are being pushed forward by the wings. Some incline till they’re nearly parallel to the floor, but a little nudge and you’ll start tipping over – you can’t fool physics! Needless to say, they’re very expensive, and I never felt like I was getting value for money with any of the models. How expensive you ask? Most of them start at 20K, and can go up to 45K!
You’ve got racing chairs for racing game enthusiasts who want the feel of sitting in an actual car, and also some regular office chairs with bright colours posing as racing chairs.
If you can live without bright, gaudy colours, high-end office chairs such as Steelcase Gesture or Leap would be far better than these overpriced gaming chairs. Instead of spending 45K on a gimmick, just throw in an extra 5K and get yourself a proper ergonomic chair. You could even head down to a wholesaler build your own chair – select a base, back and seat, and they’ll assemble it for you!
So what did I end up buying in the end? Nothing! Well, nothing yet, that is. I have half-a-mind to drag my old chair to the local welder and get it spruced up and give it another couple of years of life. Maybe by then, there will be some proper ergonomic chair manufacturers in India. Heck, maybe I’ll just settle for an Ikea!