A Gaming Chair Won’t Help Your High Scores, But It Will Save Your Ass
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Featured Image Credit: Secretlabs, Riot Games
Having spent 20 weeks and more working from home on a broken camping chair, when a message dropped into my inbox asking if I'd like to test out a fancy gaming chair, obviously... I said maybe. Because, really, what is there to say about a chair, any chair, except: does your butt feel good in it?
So I let my brain turn some ideas over and over, to see what might stick. Could I put a gaming chair to the test, and play a game when slumped on the sofa, sitting in the garden, lying down in bed, and then reclining in my new chair? Turns out: I could. But guess what. The results (I used Tetris, on the Game Boy, because what else is a) amazing, b) gives you a score to hit in a short amount of time, and c) is portable, right?) really weren't conclusive at all. I actually scored best lying down in bed. The gaming chair came next, then the sofa, then the garden - but I'm blaming glare from the sunlight on the latter wretched performance.
Turns out that a fancy gaming chair can't boost your high scores, based on a very short, wholly unscientific test, using a (classic, admittedly) game that came out in 1989. What it certainly can do, however, is save your ass. Cos oh boy, is this 360-spinning throne ever a comfy place to spend a working day perched on.
Monday to Friday, I spend a good eight hours and more in front of a laptop, in a corner of my bedroom. Well, in the bay window, but it's sort of a corner. I've been here ever since the company moved to make everyone work from home, in light of COVID-19; and as I said earlier, since the middle of March I'd been doing my job from a fold-out canvas camping chair with a missing arm and a back rest that'd slide down to your arse at least four times an hour. Suffice to say that at the end of a working day, my back was feeling pretty bad.
But no more. As the chair in question (since we're overdue, getting to this part) has been a saviour for both my spine and my asscheeks. The email was from Secretlab, and they sent me one of their League of Legends-branded 2020 Series Omega chairs, part of their new League of LegendsChampion Collection inspired by the setting of Ionia and the virtual group K/DA. Specifically, they sent the one bearing the Akali design - Akali being a masterless assassin champion (playable character) in LoL, who is also a member of K/DA. And before you ask, yes, I know a little about said game - I literally wrote the (a) book on it.
But the look of the chair - pleasant though it is, with an Akali-appropriate dragon design on the rear, that my kids very much enjoy but I don't really look at given its positioning - isn't the selling point, here. What is: butt salvation. Now, I'm no expert on chairs, so I'm going to have to go with the information that Secretlab has provided. But let me tell you, reader: this is a comfy seat.
The chair's made using something called Cold-Cure foam - a creation of Secretlabs' own making, that is cast from aluminium moulds and retains its structure after lengthy use. Now, I've been sitting in this thing for a week, so it's a bit soon to start throwing around expressions like "prolonged plonking down of oneself", but I've got to say: yes, it feels good. When I get up after eight hours on the job, there's no obvious indentation in the seat. Sweat? How dare you.
The chair has 4D armrests - which means they can move in, you guessed it, four directions. Up and down, side to side, front to back, and they can tilt at an angle. Truthfully, my writing position doesn't allow my arms much time to rest on these things, but they're there, and they entirely do the job that's expected of them when I do take a moment to sit back and gaze out of the window. The same can be said for the recline lever, which isn't something I've played with much but my kids certainly have - so, no doubt it'll be broken in another week or two.
Actually, some doubt. Having put this Omega chair together with the tools provided, plugging caster wheels into wheelbase, wheelbase into hydraulics, hydraulics into seat - and then taking it apart again to get it up the stairs (pro-tip: assemble the chair where you're going to use it, or at least on the same floor) - I really felt the weight of everything. I've also stubbed my toes on the wheelbase enough times this week to know that it's pretty solid, and probably not going to break through the tomfoolery of a seven-year-old any time soon.
I got a (really appreciated) lumbar pillow and a head pillow, too, with the chair, and both are made from memory foam that does all the expected memory foam stuff. They fit around your body just fine, and pop back when you get up to make a brew or empty your bladder, since one tends to beget the other. The head pillow contains a layer of cooling gel, which dissipates heat - and NGL, I did notice that when the weather here was on the warmer side. (Glances outside, sees it's peeing down, acknowledges the end of summer.)
And... I'm not sure what more to tell you, here. This isn't an ad, we've not been paid, I'm under no pressure to say anything. Secretlab sent a chair through, which is cool, but people send us stuff all the time - doesn't mean we're always nice about it, if we even do anything with it. But I am very happy to both sit in this chair, and tell you that it's a very nice chair, indeed. If I'd spent my own money on it, I would now be thinking: yes, that was a good investment, and my arse is incredibly thankful.