Throughout the ‘noughties,’ consoles reigned supreme. The decade saw an unprecedented range of consoles hailed as the ultimate gaming machine – only to quickly become obsolete when the next generation model or a superior offering from a competitor was released.
The mightiest warriors in the battle for supremacy have long been Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox – with the PlayStation 2 released in 2000 being overtaken by the Xbox 360 in 2005, which in turn was knocked from the top spot by the PS3 only one year later. Other lesser champions have briefly flourished and fizzled, including the Dreamcast, GameCube and Wii. Throughout all the excitement, PCs have maintained a quiet popularity, though recent years have seen a huge resurgence in PC gaming. PCs can be seen as the domain of the most dedicated gamers, as they are often chosen thanks to their incredible potential for customisation in terms of both hardware and games.
Customisation of hardware goes way beyond the monitors, CPU and mouse you choose. Serious gamers know that creating the perfect setup extends to the entire environment in which your PC is housed. Gaming is a lifestyle choice; it involves time and dedication. It is essential that your gaming environment provide the ultimate in comfort, convenience and style as you will be spending hours, if not days in there.
Lighting and ventilation
While natural light can help you to feel energised and prevent you from mutating into a creature resembling Gollum, large windows can cause screen glare. Blackout curtains are often a great choice, giving you the option of letting daylight in or shutting it out. Ambient lighting from below is optimum, with overhead lighting best avoided. Ventilation and temperature control is important for keeping yourself and your PC cool, and enough oxygen circulating for your reactions to remain sharp.
Equipment such as a yoga mat, weight bench or treadmill can be an extremely beneficial addition to a gaming hideaway, allowing you to take breaks and stretch out your muscles. Ultimately, this will help your mind remain focussed and functioning at a higher level.
One thing that is incredibly important to get right is your desk. Gaming desks can have almost as many features as the PCs they house and support. Building the ultimate gaming desk can be an interesting project to undertake, and it can lead to big rewards. Corner desks are the ultimate choice as they take up minimal room, while also providing a perfectly shaped surface on which to place multiple monitors and surround sound speakers angled for the best audio-visual experience. With the recent development of curved PC monitors, it seems that going into the future there could not be a better setup.
It is essential to have your monitors, mouse and keyboard or joystick placed at the correct height and distance to prevent strain and injury. A raised screen is best, and while you can invest in specially designed ergonomic desks, the same effect can be achieved on a lower budget using a corner desk unit. Some simple additions will transform a basic flattop desk, lifting your monitors and providing storage compartments for headsets, mice, cables and other equipment.
Designing the ultimate gaming hideaway involves planning and purpose; think of it as a strategy game with achievements to be unlocked with every aspect you complete. Your gaming desk will provide the centrepiece of the room, so this is the best place to start. With some creativity and time, you can build your gaming environment around your desk and PC setup to create a space you never want to leave.