Learning from the world's best gamers
It's the depths of winter in Sweden and something big is booming in the woods. Amidst giant strobe lights, loud music and hundreds of computer screens, the world's best gamers have come together for a competitive gaming event. Amongst the crowd a group of IKEA co-workers ask players about how they set up a game station, as well what they need to feel comfortable and supported while playing.
It's from this research the FREDDE desk was born, our first desk specifically designed for computer gaming.
Finding the right person for the job
If you've never played a video game, gaming is something that's next to impossible to design for ¬¬– you have to be an enthusiast to understand just how important each element is. For a few years IKEA struggled to get a complete gaming station right, that's until FREDDE designer and gamer David Wahl joined the company.
A fan since he was a kid, David's followed gaming's rise around the globe.
“When I started playing video games you'd have to make sure your friends were free, and someone’s house was free, then make your way down the street, console in hand to play,” David says. “Now, it's just as likely that you're playing with people in Shanghai or Sydney or Stockholm.”
An immersive experience
One of the advantages of gaming's move beyond the TV or the family computer is that gamers are free to make a space customised to enjoy each game's full potential.
“A big part of gaming is the immersive experience,” David says. “So my first move when designing FREDDE was to make a cut out in the desktop so that you could be closer to the screen and have almost a command central sort of feel, while also getting a support for your arms at the same time,” he says. An important feature considering the long hours that can go along with gaming.
Made to be customised
Next David worked how to make the desk more customisable. He made sure gamers can fit speakers, a big 32" TV screen, or a couple of smaller screens on a shelf that can be adjusted to a comfortable viewing height.
He also had a personal wish he wanted to include.
“I'm not sure how many people have noticed this - but I used to love playing driving simulator games where you would often use pedals, the same as a car,” he says. “I always found it annoying if you had cables or other things in the way when you were driving so I made sure to design the desk with an unobstructed space for pedals on FREDDE.”
A designer's proudest moment
In the years since we've first made FREDDE it's been exciting to see the gaming community has been making the desk their own. Which is something that makes David extra proud.
“If you do an image search for FREDDE it's fantastic to see how people are adapting it to create their own perfect game space, which is exactly in tune with what I hoped.”