Gaming chairs are not the first thing that a person thinks of when he buys a new PC or upgrades his old rig. It does not feature in the top ten things that a gamer wants in their life. Surprisingly, this industry is one which is valued at over 32 Billion US dollars and is projected to grow at a rate of 7% every year. Bonkers, isn’t it?
The first chair that was designed specifically for gamers was brought in 2006 by DXRacers, a racing car seat manufacturing company. It was a synergistic bond as no other sport in the world consisted of sitting at one place for extended periods of time.
Now the market has grown to accommodate manufacturers from around the world, increasing the competition in the sphere and giving gamers a fair deal. Gamers aren’t the only community being targeted by the chair manufacturers. IT professionals who spend an equal amount of time, if not more, in front of the computers are the other large segment that is targeted.
The initial growth in the segment was driven exclusively by consumers in North America and Europe. But now, one of the areas where this sector will have the most growth in the near future are the Asia Pacific (APAC) regions.
India is one of those countries in the APAC region which will be leading the charge in this segment. Cheap internet data plans and increased internet market penetration has allowed a whole generation of Indians to come online. And there are large number of people who love to play games online.
The human body has not evolved to deal with the sedentary lifestyle of a gamer or a coder. The most common ailments that affect serious users who do not have access to a good gaming chair are shoulder pain, back pain and neck pain. Sitting still for long durations of time will have adverse health implications- doesn’t mean that a person with a good chair can sit for hours in a single stretch.
The problem with Gaming chairs and the average Indian consumer is that they are priced in the upper five thousands, which is a steep price for most Indians. The gamers here work on a shoe string budget and assemble a PC that can usually run a game that was released three years ago without a hitch.
Indians have always found a way around complicated things, it is one those very Indian things that have been coded into the DNA of the people- jugaad. Before the invent of broadband, when multiple games were squeezed into one unit and delivered on CDs, gamers had no access to ergonomically designed chairs.
Gamers from that era used the extra chairs that lay around the house, the trusty plastic chair that was a common sight in all Indian households, which is still used by many India. It is one expenditure they wouldn’t have to bribe their parents for, and it can be used by everyone in the family and can serve as an extra seat should guests come calling, win-win for all. But, there is change in the air.
A small but growing population has grown up in between dial-up and unlimited internet. This new generation has begun entering the work force, the young kid who used to gawk at the breath-taking visual of the original doom now has a job, and can afford a gaming chair that gives him full lumbar support as he plays extended hours of his favorite game while screaming in the most chaste language into the microphone.
It’s no small wonder that India is one among the countries where the gaming chair manufacturers of the world expect huge returns. Increased internet penetration and a growing middle class with time to spend on games is one of those reasons. Gaming chair manufacturers have joined forces with other OEM’s to sponsor gaming events across the country, to increase their visibility in a tightly competed space.
No wonder that India will be an exciting place to be in for the next two years if one is in the gaming industry. Fingers crossed!
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