I Refuse To Regret Spending $750 On A Bright Pink Gamer Chair

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I Refuse To Regret Spending $750 On A Bright Pink Gamer Chair
Image: Secretlab

Gamer chairs have always struck me as an incredibly funny concept. In 2006, a desperate luxury car seat company called DXRacer decided to roll the dice on pivoting to video games, laying down the racing car-esque blueprint for gamer chairs as we know them. So now professional players and streamers achieve maximum performance in disembodied car seats. Anyway, I’ve decided to buy a gamer chair.

Truth be told, I’ve wanted one for a while. Back in 2018, our former managing editor, notorious Polygon traitor Maddy Myers, wrote about her experience with her then-brand new chair, DXRacer’s Valkyrie. Maddy made some powerful points against ownership of the chair. It was a gaudy throne, an expensive monument to the “ugly exclusivity” underpinning the worst elements of git gud gamer culture. “It’s also a chair that I associate with people who think they’re better than I am. I can feel the sting of both my supposed lack of gaming prowess and class consciousness, here,” she wrote.

But she also wrote about how comfortable it was, how it could be customised to fit her exact contours—how it felt like it was “built in a laboratory based on a mould of me.” I was sold.

My skeleton, you see, has been in a state of open revolt since 2013. If other people’s skin and muscles form a rigid casing around their bones, my outer fibres are more of a suggestion—a Slip ‘N’ Slide for the screeching child that is my insides. Every day, my head feels like it’s going to fall off. Every day, I will it into delaying its quest for freedom from the screaming nightmare tower it’s been perched atop for the past three decades. You can see now why the idea of a chair that’s nearly an exoskeleton appeals to me.

For the past few years, I’ve been getting by with a cheap but functionally comfortable office chair that probably hasn’t done me many favours in the posture department. It is now in literal tatters, to the point that every time I sit in it, I come away with one or two little scraps of black fabric stuck to my arms or legs. This in mind, I’ve decided to finally invest not just in my present, but also my future. Gamer chairs are the future.

A few days ago, I spent a couple hours reading reviews and shopping around. I knew I wanted something customisable, because my neck and back are extremely particular about these things. If a chair doesn’t feel exactly right, it’s entirely wrong: I sit down, and pain immediately begins to tingle up my spine. It’s not pleasant! So I need something I can fiddle with endlessly until it’s just right. Many gamer chairs come with neck and lumbar pillows and other peripherals you can rearrange, but I want something that I don’t have to adjust every time I sit down.

That’s why I picked Secretlab’s Titan, which comes with Integrated Adjustable Lumbar Support (TM). You just turn a knob on the backrest until your back is firmly supported. It’s great! The chair is also made of a special soft fibre that supposedly breathes better than the race car leather that typically coats high-end gamer chairs. In other words, I won’t spend all day marinating in my own juices, which I consider a plus.

Oh, and it looks like somebody tossed Overwatch’s D.Va, mech and all, into a trash compactor and then re-moulded her into a chair.

At first, I considered going with something a little more restrained: a light grey “cookies and cream” colour scheme or a black and white “classic” number that looked like a seat in a race car for a king. But in both cases, the designs are only restrained by gamer chair standards. Both are still emblazoned with a giant, unmissable “T” on the backrest and a handful of other logos and decals. Buying either would’ve been like putting a dog in a suit; it wouldn’t have fooled anyone.

So, with some help from Twitter, I decided that I might as well go all the way in the other direction and buy the gamer-est gamer chair of all: the official Overwatch-themed D.Va edition. You want logos and decals? This chair’s got ‘em for days. Also, it is so pink that you could pick it out of a dark, crowded esports arena in a heartbeat, which will be great if I ever decide to host an esports event out of my home office. Lastly, it’s a quiet (read: eye-searingly loud) expression of my secret shame: though my favourite Overwatch hero to play is Pharah, I’m much better with D.Va. And so, I actually, unironically kinda like how the D.Va edition of the Secretlab Titan looks.

This chair will blend in with the rest of my room like an active crime scene. It will weep all day and shriek all night, an impossible-to-ignore reminder of my bad decision making. But I will not regret buying it. I refuse to regret this $US500 ($758) purchase. It’s too expensive for me to simply not use when I grow tired of its insistent pinkness.

It’s too much of a commitment for me to shove into a deep, dark closet after the 80th time I have to explain to a guest that the logos are for fake brands from Overwatch, and I “bought it as a joke, but also sorta not.” So, no matter what happens for the next handful of years after I receive the chair in July, I will grit my teeth until my gums bleed and say, with full-throated sincerity, “I love this stupid fucking chair.”

Comments

  • That’s the spirit

    Part of me was looking at that chair thinking you’re insane, but then I realised that all it takes is something I really like (but in chair form) and I’d treat myself to it

    But as long as they don’t make it, I’m safe from making stupid decisions like that

  • I bought one of these Titan chairs a month ago (umm… different colour though) and it is as good as I’d hoped. Comfy and sturdy. Working from hope at the moment and PC gaming in the evening so i am in it for maybe 10 hours a day.

    Full confession: it can almost flatten right out and yesterday I had a power-nap. Nice.

  • Its was cute while it lasted, but I liked the D.Va headset I bought, even with its design flaws. I still use my D.Va mouse with cycling purple colours. Chairwise I’ve just gone with a regular office chair.

    The only headset I’ve ever regretted buying was a Turtle Beach one, which broke within five minutes of opening the casing.

  • I bought a $500 Vertagear “gaming” chair from PCCG. It was rated to 169kg and I’m vastly lighter than that, yet it experienced a major structural failure in the metal within the first nine months and it took ages with back and forward emails with PCCG to get a replacement part. Nine months after that the entire tilt mechanism failed (different part) and PCCG stopped returning my emails.

    The seat had the worst lumbar support I have ever seen (the crappy Turkish rolls they include in the box and pretend isn’t just a sop to bad chair design) and all the non-seat components (arms, wheels, etc.) were plastic crap.

    Now that’s only my anecdote, but looking around the gaming chair market, as far as I can tell the vast majority are similarly badly designed crap with a premium price tag and a marketing budget to match.

    Pretty much all gaming chair reviews are for chairs just out of the box, not chairs with a couple of years use (and I’d normally expect an easy 5 years minimum out of a $500 chair).

    I’ve now reverted to a $200 OfficeWorks unit and it’s perfect. Plus I know I won’t get any shit from OfficeWorks if it goes bad. OfficeWorks have really improved their higher end offerings in the last couple of years.

    • I’d like to believe that the difference between a $200 OfficeWorks chair and a $750 ‘gamer’ chair is not just marketing and licencing fees. Still, like someone else said above, maybe the ‘feelgood factor’ is worth the price.

      • Pretty sure that the difference is not just marketing and licencing fees, it’s also huge profits for both the retailer and the manufacturer.

        It’s certainly easy to assume that you get what you pay for, except when you don’t.

        I remember a story from a marketing lecture once, possibly apocryphal, about a perfume manufacturer whose mid-range product sold poorly, so they took it off the market, rebranded it and jacked up the price to match the top of the range but made no changes whatsoever to the formula. Sold like hot cakes after that, apparently.

        But far from me to begrudge anyone their vanity purchase.

    • im in 2 minds with officeworks chairs. the quality isnt brilliant, but its also not terrible. i bought a $200 office style chair with a 5 year warranty and one of the castors broke off after approx 1.75 years. but this is where officeworks is brilliant, i just took it back in and they let me pick any other chair on the spot, refund of difference if i chose a cheaper one, just pay the difference if i chose a more expensive one. so at the end of the day i cant complain.

      • Yeah, generally the quality with officeworks is shithouse, but as you say, with officeworks you can play the free replacement game almost infinitely if you need to, which is a big plus. Trying to avoid officeworks, however, is why I went with the Vertagear in the first place… and got burned even worse.

        I’d avoid officeworks, but I literally can’t find a single other half-decent chair for under $1000 anywhere despite living literally around the corner from a major commercial office furniture supplier.

        But as it turns out, I actually am pretty happy with my current chair. The quality seems a genuine step up from what I have experienced in the past.

    • Was logging in to write something very similar to this – I’ve had two gaming chairs and both ended the same way (max lifespan 2 years). I’ve just bought a full-backed mesh office chair as a replacement and am looking forward to never owning a “gaming chair” ever again.

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