Last week the wonderful Alice Clarke wrote this piece for Byteside about the weird gaming obsession with RGB and how it seems to be some sort of electric light infestation.
And she’s not bloody wrong.
It’s pretty rare that I come across cool gaming hardware that doesn’t have some weird array of flashing LEDs. It seems so often I’m torn between the choice of plain brutalist designs or UFO rave when it comes to products. Even the RAM in my PC lights up. Why? I don’t bloody know! Because it’s freaking awesome?
Yeah, actually that’s kinda it.
Because while I totally agree that a lot of tech gizmos – especially marketed towards gamers – have a whole bunch of weird and in some cases, problematic ideas, I’m not sure the LEDs are one of them.
I’d love some sleeker, more minimalist devices. But I think they could still have wicked colour coordinated lights in them, especially if you can turn them off.
Because LEDs are freaking cool. Even my peripherals that don’t necessarily match can be brought together by programming them all with the same color scheme. Every now and then I’ll change my vibe and get to have a whole new-feeling workspace with the touch of a few dials.
They’re also truly immersive. Clarke explains our primal desires and reactions to lights in her piece, and once again, as usual, she’s not wrong.
I have smart lighting in my house thanks to some hilariously frustrating miscommunications regarding taxes. While I could have definitely spent that money on something more useful to me, like for example, food, they’re amazing.
Sometimes I’ll set it up with natural colours and sounds like rainforests and oceans while reading and give myself some sense of pretence that travel will be possible again one day. Other times I have them thumping and changing to music for energetic and uplifting vibes.
That’s because one of the best things about the mighty RGB is the ability to immerse.
When playing games and watching films I have my whole room reflect the lights in game around me, surrounding me in the palettes of my screen. You get that one step closer to feeling like you’re truly amongst it.
Like Alice said, I do “want to feel everything all the time as much as possible” and always have.
But she’s also probably right that maybe this isn’t good for humanity at large. We have a tendency to take things too far and then wonder why we’re always unhappy. Unquentiable beings of desire and dopamine.
That said, I’m still stoked to have an Aurora Australis?! At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely within my study!