Back when the all-powerful Reggie Fils-Aimé announced his retirement from Nintendo in 2019, he shared a photo online through his brand spanking new Twitter account, and some eagle-eyed office chair aficionados noticed that Reggie had been sitting his readied body in an outdated 12-year-old office chair – a Herman Miller Mira 1. Sure, this is still a fairly expensive chair – it’s not like the Regginator was sitting in a hand-me-down from his pops (you know, the clunky kind from the department store, where the leather peels off after about a year of use) – but Herman Miller doesn’t even produce that particular model anymore, and the internet knew Reggie deserved better.
So thanks to Jason Cryer and 23,000 fans who signed a Change.org petition, it caught the attention of Herman Miller and they sent Reggie a fully-loaded Aeron chair of his own. The Rolls-Royce, the special edition gold plated Nintendo Wii, the Holy Grail of office chairs. And just like that, this chapter of the internet was closed. We can even see Reggie using it in his home office, thanks to this photo he posted to Twitter during The Game Awards. So why exactly are we digging this up now? Because we’ve recently been able to sample the delight of a Herman Miller chair – not an Aeron, but something new aiming squarely at gamers.
Towards the end of 2020, Herman Miller launched a brand new partnership with gaming accessory brand Logitech, with the goal being to create the ideal chair for gamers. A chair that you’d not only feel comfortable in, but one that would support you while you play, and we were fortunate enough to get our hands (or should that be cheeks?) on the finished product, the Herman Miller X Logitech G Embody Gaming Chair. This is a modified version of Herman Miller’s Embody office chair, with adjustments made to keep you comfy during extended gaming sessions.
The Embody boasts most of your standard office chair features: a joystick-style lever for seat height, a tilt limiter that lets the seat lean back, and adjustable arms that go up, down, and even in and out, but one of the main features of this throne is a lever which adjusts what Herman Miller is calling “PostureFit Spinal Support”. It contours the back of the chair to the unique shape of your spine to give you the perfect amount of support wherever your back needs it.
Every part of the chair is made of high-quality materials, as well. The seat itself is made of durable polyester material with a layer of foam underneath to help keep you cool and evenly distribute heat (ahem), and instead of sitting on a plank of wood (which I’m pretty sure was underneath the cushion of our last chair), your bottom is actually being supported by a springy, labyrinth of cords, that gives your rear end a bit of a bounce when you sit down. And while the cushion is thicker than the mesh of an Aeron, it’s still much more breathable than your typical gaming chair.
The Embody also has quite a bit of heft to it, so if you decide to lean back every now and again, you shouldn’t have to worry about tipping over, which was a major concern for us with our last chair. If you’re the kind of person that needs a bit more room, the seat itself can be extended outwards to better support your legs. And unlike most gaming chairs on the market, the Embody also ships fully assembled, so you don’t have to stress about putting it together wrong as it easily rolls straight out of the box.
Herman Miller has been in the business of making chairs since 1905, so why now did it suddenly decide to get in the business of making chairs for gamers? Why make a gaming chair when there’s a wealth of competition already out there?
Jon Campbell, Director of the gaming division at Herman Miller, had this to say:
I think a lot of people have a monumental moment in their life that kinda sets them on a certain path, and that moment for me was this conversation I had with a pro player. When I was talking with this player, he was turning 24 in a week and hearing his anxiety about turning 24 baffled me. So I asked him “What about turning 24 is so detrimental to your career?” He said “Well, my neck is hurting, my arm is hurting, my shoulder is hurting, my back is hurting. Even after four hours of practicing, I need to go lay down for four hours because my body is just hurting all over.” And that was this moment for me because everything we do on the office side is about health and well being and keeping people healthy. If you’re going to sit for a quarter of your life you might as well be sitting in something that is going to support you and keep you healthy doing everything else you want to do, and that was that moment. We’re not here to build a cool looking thing that people get excited about, we’re here to improve the health of the gaming industry.
The Embody gaming chair definitely has a cool, futuristic look to it, but that style is actually a byproduct of Herman Miller putting functionality first and foremost. So where are the cupholders and leg rest, and what about a tall headrest with a branded pillow for when we want to take a nap?
Every single component of the chair is designed for a very specific reason and that reason is to support the human body. And if there is a part of the chair that doesn’t actually support that purpose, it’s eliminated from the chair. That’s why you don’t have a giant billboard with a logo smeared all over it because that’s not there to support the human form. We’re not out there in a way of creating billboards or advertisements using the chair, the chair is intended to support the player and improve their health.
Before Herman Miller sent over the Embody chair, we had been using a fairly budget (and fairly worn-in) chair we found on the cheap at a local thrift shop, and it turns our back was not happy about it. Even with the equipped seat cushion, no matter how we sat we’d usually end each day with some new pain in our back. We’ve been using the Embody chair for over two months now, 40 hours a week for work and playing games at the desk, and we can’t remember the last time we’ve woken up with severe back pains or even pinches. The way the chair contours to your back is a thing of beauty, and it’s extremely easy to make micro-adjustments whenever you want or need to change things up. The ability to extend or decrease the front of the seat is a really nice touch, as well. Of course, this chair isn’t a cure-all, but we’re surprised just how much a quality chair like this can make a difference in your day to day life.
Anyone who knows of Herman Miller will know of its product’s high asking price, and the Herman Miller X Logitech G Embody Gaming Chair is no different, retailing for an eye-watering $1,495 USD. That amount of money could net you a ton of cool things, like a Nintendo Switch and 20 fully priced games, or even a PS5 and some games on the black market. However, much like a mattress or even a car, a chair like this is an investment, one that you can get a lot of mileage out of – but certainly not a purchase that every gamer can make, especially in the current climate. So really it’ll come down to your own situation to determine the worth of the Embody Gaming Chair.
The Herman Miller X Logitech G Embody gaming chair seems like it’s more targeted at the professional gamer and streamer, but there’s no denying the fact this may well be one of the best gaming chairs money can buy, and Herman Miller’s passion to keep our backs healthy is appreciated and evident. Now the Embody is the only gaming chair in Herman Miller’s lineup at the moment, but when asked if we could potentially see a more widely affordable chair released down the road, Jon simply said:
Yes, absolutely, is all I will give you at the moment.
A huge thanks to Herman Miller for supplying us with a chair for review and to Jon and the team for taking the time to chat with us as well. The Embody Gaming Chair is available now for $1495.00 over on Herman Miller’s website.