Self-isolation paradise: awesome ‘battlestations‘ to kill some time with
The pandemic can sometimes feel like a low-security prison. However, not all are sour about the new setting. Gamers, of all people, seem to be the best prepared for the occasion. Just take a look at some of the dandiest gaming battlestations our eyes came across.
For the uninitiated, a battlestation is a complete desktop computer setup including a tower, monitor, mouse, keyboard (mechanical, of course), audio playback, recording devices, and even wires and cables. Such an arrangement is expected to provide the owner with comfort and ample space to spread the equipment.
There’s a caveat, though. A true battlestation can hardly bear such a title without custom additions, a neat set up and, of course, gaming aesthetics. Don’t be fooled though, the time when gamers’ walls were crammed with armies of collectibles is mostly gone.
An era of minimalism, akin to a picture taken from a designer’s catalog, is here. Green plant leaves contrasted with snow-white walls, wooden tabletops Niander Wallace would envy, and of course, a pedantic display of gadgets presented in a manner one would expect from an antiques collector.
Even though some use Blade Runner-esque lighting to show off their setup, non-LED rigs are standard too. In these cases, RGB lights are reserved to illuminate the fancy insides of the computers’ ‘engine’ covered in see-through glass, not to hide the muscle that powers the latest games.
Custom made PCs, keyboards, switch boxes, and cabinets make every setup unique. Looking through dozens of photos, it’s impossible to spot two that look identical. Some prefer to integrate console and PC gaming, while others go to extreme lengths by building special compartments to hide every cable from view.
The DIY approach to building a gaming rig creates incentives to communicate, exchange ideas, and, of course, to show off. Hundreds of YouTube videos offer a steady supply of “how-to” content not without sponsorship from major tech corporations.
Some of the key mingling spots for battlestation enthusiasts are the r/battlestations subreddit boasting 2.2 million members and the dedicated Discord server bearing the same name.
Because equipping a battlestation thoroughly usually takes up to several months, users regularly share updates on their rig building progress. The ‘trial and error’ approach allows adjusting leg spacing or the perfect positioning of the mouse, reminiscent of perfectionism seen in autophiles a few decades earlier.
There’s also another reason for a prolonged construction period: the cost. Redditors discuss battlestations that can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000, which is why they're usually assembled piecemeal over several months.
The investment is worthwhile, however. A recent report by Limelight, a content delivery network (CDN) service provider, shows that on average, gamers spend over 6 hours a week playing video games, with 17% spending over 12 hours. With the prolonged work-from-home indoor-based lifestyle, a true eye candy for a setup might be just the right thing for a much-needed pick-me-up.