Can you put a price on comfort gaming? The company behind Hendrick’s gin certainly believes so because it is selling a single chaise lounge designed for boozy board and card games and costing a whopping £2,999.
The Gaming Chaise is a baffling, seven-foot-long exercise in frivolity upholstered in green and copper velvet. Underneath the cushioned seat are compartments for storing game boxes, cocktail supplies and bottles of alcohol. Retractable arms that can grasp bottles or a hand of cards extend from the back, looking all the world like things that would deploy from Inspector Gadget’s shoulder blades, and the whole thing is topped by a horn ostensibly meant for summoning refills.
The press release from Hendrick’s apparently understands how ridiculous this thing looks on its face, calling it a “light-hearted response to the global gaming boom and subsequent rise of functional and performance driven gaming chairs”. The chaise is intentionally designed to discourage screen-based entertainment in favour of cardboard and meeples. An aside: whichever PR employee sent Dicebreaker the email with the subject line “instead of PlayStation, how about LAYSTATION?” deserves a pizza party or paid week off.
Not content with simply slapping an image of this monstrosity, the sales pitch goes on to compare the Gaming Chaise against contemporary chairs, point for point. The breakdown specifically denounces the lack of bev storage in your average gaming chair, along with a ubiquity of “garish racing stripes” not suitable for the discerning customer and a severely limited leisure potential.
“We’ve taken a more Renaissance approach,” said Sarah Berardi, Hendrick’s UK brand ambassador. “Our contrarian outlook begins with our unique chaise design, which actively — perhaps I should say, leisurely — discourages the user from looking at any kind of a screen. Instead, it offers the perfect angle and environment for sipping on a cocktail whilst deliberating on what signature wordsmith move should come next (other board games are available).”
Those included titles are a trio of Victorian-era games (though these classic title alternatives are worth considering), along with a deck of playing cards and a chess board. It’s also stocked with a sizable collection of barware, mixers and teacups - vital for a decidedly British preparation of the spirit that disturbs and delights this previously clueless American writer.
Hendrick’s is only selling one Gaming Chaise through partner company Clink, so anyone with a notable empty space in their tabletop room/smoking lounge/exotic game trophy are on the clock. Whether this thing actually exists or is a cheeky Photoshop job paired with some winning advertising copy is up for debate.
Anyone who ponies up the £3,000 and attempts to finish a game of Brass: Birmingham, Tiddly Winks or Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective in dubious velvet comfort can contact Dicebreaker to share their singular experience and attest to the efficacy of those silly extendo-arms.