Most of us have (or want to have) a dedicated gaming space where we can go to escape reality for a little while, enjoy some quality retro (or modern) titles, and just have fun. A separate games room gives you the freedom to enjoy your gaming whenever you like, without having to fight with those you live with over who gets to use the TV.
Instead, you can enjoy hours of fun on your PlayStation Classic, Raspberry Pi, or other gaming machine while your partner, friend, or housemate catches up on their favourite TV shows in the living room.
However, there’s a lot to consider when designing the best gaming space. Of course, you’ll likely spend a lot of time thinking about the gaming machines you want to include, whether they be original retro consoles, a stand-up arcade machine, or a single computer for you to install emulators on. But there’s a lot more besides this that needs some attention.
For example, if you’re going to invest in a quality 4K display so that you can view your games in full ultra-HD, you won’t want that ruined by too much glare because you put it in the wrong place.
Similarly, you won’t enjoy your gaming as much if the space is uncomfortable or your games lag due to poor connectivity.
So, if you’re planning a new gaming space, make sure to consider these factors.
Factor in Ergonomics
We all have different preferences when it comes to how we play games. Some of us prefer to be sprawled across a sofa, others like sitting in a gaming chair that envelopes you and promotes good posture, while some like to stand. Whatever your preference, it’s important to ensure your setup will keep you comfortable for your hours-long gaming sessions. After all, there’s no enjoyment in a stiff neck.
If you’re planning to recline on a sofa, you should raise your monitor screen up higher than normal and angle it so that you can keep your head and neck straight. If you’re planning to sit, you’ll want to ensure the screen is around arm’s length from you and the top of it is inline with your eyes. Your chair should allow you to sit up straight, your arms bent at right angles, and your feet on the floor.
If you’re planning to stand, you may want to consider a special mat that can reduce the pressure on your feet and legs, or, you might want to buy a stool so you can sit and rest on occasion.
When you’re engaging in long gaming sessions, it’s also important to remember to take regular breaks. Just getting up and walking around can make a big difference, though Lauren Gasser, a London-based yoga instructor also recommends a few simple stretches that you can perform in between games. With this in mind, it’s worth making sure you have a little bit of room to perform these in.
Make Sure You Get a Good Internet Connection
If you’re planning to play multiplayer games online or download a lot of titles from the internet, you’re going to need a good internet connection.
However, if your game room is going to be located far away from your router, you may find that your speeds are slower than ideal or that your connection drops out occasionally, causing lag.
There are a couple of ways you can fix this. The most effective solution is to run an ethernet cable through your home, but this requires lifting carpets, drilling holes, and some other DIY. If you don’t fancy doing that, using a powerline adapter will deliver similar results by running the internet data through your home’s electrical wires. When using a powerline adapter, all you need to do is connect one to your router and the other to your computer, plug them both into the wall, and wait for them to begin talking to each other.
Consider Lighting and Ventilation
You don’t want your gaming to be interfered with by glare from the sun, nor do you want the room to be dark and dingy. A well-lit room and a bit of fresh air can help you feel more awake.
Position your screen so that you can leave curtains and blinds open without light from outside shining directly on it, and try to keep the window open when it’s warm enough.
You may also want to think about a desk lamp or ceiling light for gaming during the evening and night as, if the room is too dark, it can put strain on your eyes.
Additionally, some colour-changing LED strip lights can add a bit of ambience to your room if you want to recreate more of the traditional arcade atmosphere in your gaming room.