Could A Big Bean Bag Chair Be My Ticket To PC Gaming Bliss? As anyone who has spent an all night session playing “just one more turn” of Civilization can tell you, sometimes we PC gamers get a little jealous of our console-playing counterparts sitting on that cushy sofa in front of the family TV. While PCs have slowly been migrating into the living room, most of us still sit at a desk or table for long hours as we direct our virtual minions or frag our enemies, which leaves us wondering: Isn’t there a comfier chair for this? Couldn’t I be lounging on a big bean bag chair while I am schooling noobs in League of Legends? The answer is that yes, there probably is a better chair out there, but that no, for PC gaming, it probably is not a beanbag.
Not Your Father’s Beanbag
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Some of you probably think it is crazy to even consider beanbag chairs as a viable option for gaming in front of a PC. You probably have in your head an image of the old chairs that were just big bags of little foam pellets. Well, things have changed. This is the 21st Century, and those amorphous sacks have been redesigned to keep up with the times.
The chairs now come in a variety of shapes and sizes ranging from the traditional ball shape all the way to ones that resemble thrones. One company, Sumo, has really taken this style of chair to the next level, catering to a gamer audience. Gone are the days when you would take a seat only to have your butt resting on the ground minutes later amidst a “skwonsh skwonsh” of styrofoam pellets. Now we have big bean bag chairs in all sorts of shapes, some large enough to accommodate a couple of NFL linebackers, with prices to match.
Some of these chairs cost upwards of $200USD, but with the price increase, so too has the quality improved. No longer are they filled with little pellets, instead sporting soft shredded foam pieces for added comfort. They are covered with materials like suede and corduroy. Some chairs even integrate speakers and vibration much like a traditional gaming chair.
All this translates to a wonderful seat for console gaming where all you have to deal with is a handheld controller, but is it conducive to gaming on a computer? Well, despite the increased comfort level of the newer chairs, there is still a major obstacle to overcome when considering what sort of seat to choose for your weekend LAN parties, which brings us to…
The Keyboard and Mouse Dilemma
The real sticking point for choosing a beanbag chair for PC gaming is that most PC games, even if using your living room television as a monitor, require the use of a mouse and keyboard. Trying to use this setup while seated on a chair made for lounging just does not work. Unless you are using a game controller, it is necessary to have a nice stable flat surface to work with. Trying to negotiate that from a big bean bag chair with little to no back support might be all right for a Minesweeper quickie, but extended game sessions need a little more stability for true comfort.
Even the bigger designs promote leaning way back in the chair, which would be great if you had arms like Plastic Man, but for the average human, a comfortable position would put you well out of reach of your keyboard and mouse. Not such a good thing when you are trying to deal with some Creepers or the occasional zerg!
It is possible to find lap trays for a keyboard and mouse (or even improvise your own), but that defeats the purpose, since you would have to balance your input devices on your lap while trying to enjoy your chair. I personally cannot imagine trying to manage a 25-man raid while also trying to make sure that my keyboard is not sliding off my lap.
The Verdict on Big Bean Bag Chairs-To Beanbag or Not To Beanbag?
The bottom line is that if you are using a keyboard and mouse, you will want a seat that puts you close to your input devices and provides some back support. For PC gaming, big bean bag chairs just do not fit the bill. Purchasing a one that would be remotely comfortable would cost just as much as, if not more than, a very nice gaming chair (see our article on gaming chairs here for some good options) and you would still end up with an inferior experience. For console gaming, it is a wonderful option. For rockin’ your boxes, sticking with something a little more traditional will serve you well.