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June 16, 2021
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Home Upgrades for Gamers and Developers

by Jori Hamilton on 11/24/20 11:03:00 am

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Low-light Photography of Computer Gaming Rig Set

Whether you’re set on developing the next indie darling or you’re tucking back into Ghost of Tsushima for your second playthrough on Kurosawa Mode, there is no reason you should be doing so on a tiny cramped desk or in a frumpy bean bag chair.

Having the right environment is essential to performing well either as a gamer or developer. If you’ve got the funds to make upgrades to your gaming setup you’ll find the benefits go beyond a faster speedrun of DOOM and increased productivity. Many of the home upgrades that you might install actually have the potential to raise the value of your home.

Developing From Home

Video game developers across the country are now working from home due to the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our ability to interact with one another face-to-face. Because of this, it is important to convert an appropriate space into your at-home development station so it will be comfortable, inspiring, and productive. There is no telling when Americans will get back to work "as usual," so you should definitely make sure your home functions well as a workplace.

If you have an extra bedroom, attic, converted garage, or an unused outside structure, you can turn any one of those spaces into your home office. The ideal home office allows you to have your own space to focus on your work while remaining accessible to the rest of your home. It is also vital that you ensure that your home office is comfortable for you as you’ll likely be working long hours. Spring for ergonomic office chairs, desks, and computer peripherals to prevent injury from repetitive motion and long instances of sitting.

While you can put your home office nearly anywhere, you might find that working in the dining room may reduce your ability to focus. Understanding your work style is essential to setting up the right office space in your home. Design a space that will foster creativity, allow you to work the odd hours that developing can often call for, and keep you focused on the clear goals you’ve laid out for yourself.

Your Ultimate Gaming Setup

There is some bleed-over between creating your ultimate home office set up and creating your ultimate gaming set up. Both need some comfort and privacy and both can enjoy similar non-essential but nice to have amenities like a mini-fridge or microwave. Yet, your ultimate gaming setup, while designed to help you stay focused on the task at hand, can vary immensely from a room that you need to get work done in.

When working you'll want to have a good amount of light, preferably natural, to help keep you going through the day. But, your gaming room might get a boost from updated window treatments like blackout curtains that can add a bit of inexpensive flare and color to the room while also setting the mood for a long gaming session. Installing smart LED lightbulbs not only allows you to change the lighting in your gaming room on a whim but also helps to reduce your power consumption which is a must when you’re already overclocking your gaming rig on a multi-hour session of Metro Exodus.

Additionally, your gaming room will likely have more than just you in it at some point, so don’t limit what the space is capable of when designing the layout. When friends or family want to play a round of Smash Bros, they won’t want to sit on the floor while you’re in your comfy gaming chair. Make your gaming room welcoming with a nice couch and inexpensive projector ensuring that your gaming room is not a one-trick pony.

Costs And Added Value

While making these improvements will help you focus on your career and your passions, they can also increase the value of your home over time. Of course, if you want to turn your gaming room into an at-home arcade, you’re looking at spending up to nearly $5,000 per cabinet. Unless you plan on leaving those when you sell the home, the bulk of the added value will come from less obvious places.

For example, if you install modern technological upgrades like built-in surround sound speakers, those can add a huge amount of value to your home. Those are amenities that many homes, new construction or old, do not have. Additionally, constructing a separate dwelling unit to act as either your home office or gaming room can add value as a potential in-law suite or Accessory Dwelling Unit. You would be remiss not to mention the possibility to your real estate agent when looking to sell.

Bt the end of the day, whether you add a perfect gaming room, amazing home office, or a blend of the two, you have the opportunity to upgrade your home in a way that is not only beneficial to you as a source of entertainment and an area to get work done, but also to your long-term financial health as you will likely be able to increase your home’s value.

Image Credit: Pexels


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