Written by Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)
Gaming is a great hobby on the whole as the cost of playing games can be as low as a console and the games you want (or a games subscription service) or as high as a high-end PC build with top-notch peripherals.
For a lot of gamers, they probably sit somewhere in the middle.
Having said this, no matter what sort of gamer you are, there’s one thing all video gamers have in common: a need for a display! I say display at this point because some people are satisfied by the small screen that comes already equipped on a Nintendo Switch and others are happy to just play on whatever TV they have available.
Then there are the gamers that want to play on a monitor. I’m one of them.
I enjoy playing games on the telly when I’m kicking back with my feet up but for the most part, whether I’m playing the Xbox One or the PC, I love to use a monitor. In fact, I recently upgraded from a 5 year old, 24 inch 1080p BenQ TN panel to a brand new 27 inch 4K LG IPS panel and the difference so far has been incredible: brighter colours, sharper imagery, a better refresh rate, the lot!
Monitors are an interesting accessory in gaming. They’re often not as cheap as other accessories, and when they are cheap, there’s a good chance you might miss out on key features, for example, the resolution might be lower or the refresh rate might not be as high.
The first thing to note is that you don’t have to buy a ‘gaming monitor’ to get a decent performance for gaming. It’s more about the specs and looking for something that offers you what you want and if the only way to get it is by investing in a gaming monitor, so be it. I don’t want to stray into providing advice on specs for a monitor as there are plenty of resources out there that cover it in far more detail than I can!
So instead, I want to just reflect a little bit on how great an experience a decent monitor can provide and how bad-ass a gaming monitor can look, if not a little vulgar.
Let’s start with aesthetics! If you’ve spent much time browsing the internet for gaming monitor or if you have a gaming monitor, you’ll have noticed that they’re often designed to look a little aggressive with sharp edges and random features to suit gamers. On the whole, they can look pretty damn cool!
From the Asus Predator range to the BenQ ZOWIEs, there are some awesome looking monitors out there that fit the whole gamer vibe, especially for the PC gamers who take a lot of pride in how their kit looks.
I went for a boring but sensible looking monitor (although I think it looks lovely!).
In all honesty, I think the reason I love to play on the monitor is because it makes me feel a little bit like a pro. When combined with all of the other accessories I use for gaming, sitting up at the monitor and indulging myself into a world of gaming brings on full-nerd mode and builds a bit of self-identity.
As previously mentioned, it’s not a cheap accessory but much like the mighty headset, it can make a big difference to how you game, especially if you’re using a decent panel. I’m already noticing details I didn’t see on my old monitor and it makes the whole experience so much more interesting and engaging.