Your gaming chair is doing it wrong. That’s the key takeaway from all the promotional material about the new EDGE GX1. The now-traditional gaming chair is based on the classic bucket seat design used in racing cars, but EDGE claims the popular racing seat aesthetic “is a poor choice for a gaming seat.”
Ergonomically Designed Gaming Equipment (EDGE, for short) has been set up by two gents, one Chartered Ergonomist and one ex-Corsair sales director, with the plan to create and market a fully hand-crafted gaming chair “using true ergonomics expertise to enhance gamers’ performance, health and wellbeing.” The EDGE GX1 is the company’s first product and is being built and designed in the UK, comes with a hefty £900 price tag, and a healthy five year warranty.
The main bone of contention is about those racing bucket seats which are seemingly all-pervasive in the PC gaming chair market, and if you’re a Human Factors Specialist, like co-founder Clyde Crawford, that’s going to stick in your… er… craw. The issue is that while the bucket seat is great for a driving position – with your legs kicked out front and leaning back, maybe with an elbow resting casually on a wound-down window – it’s not so hot for gaming.
As a gamer you’re normally going to be sat in a more upright, or ‘engaged forward’ position, and the lack of genuine support for your body is highlighted by the fact many gaming chairs provide lumbar or neck cushions. EDGE says that’s a “clear indication that the chair lacks proper ergonomic support. Cushions simply compensate for and highlight fundamental flaws in the design.”
The whole point of the racing bucket seat is to restrict the movement of the driver, using wide shoulder and side supports, as well as lateral restrictions caused by the deep-sided seat itself. For gamers though that restriction of movement can be uncomfortable, especially when you’re locked in a long-term battle for your life in Black Ops 4 or against relegation in Football Manager 2019.
So what does the handmade EDGE GX1 do differently? Well, for a start it’s not so all-encompassing, offering a seat that doesn’t lock the legs in place, and a head rest that looks like it would have me sleeping like a baby sat at my desk. And what about your poor, twisted gamers’ spine? Inflatable lumbar support. Yes, you read that correctly: inflatable lumbar support.
But then when you’re paying three times as much for the EDGE GX1 as a traditional gaming chair you’d hope for inflatable lumbar support as a minimum entry point. I’d also like a heated beverage dispenser and massage functionality too, if I’m honest.
EDGE is keen to point out, however, that a gaming chair is an investment – on par with a good gaming monitor – and one that could potentially be good for your health. Depending on how much time you spend sat on your tail playing games, that is.