This profile series aims to bring some realness to the work-from-home conversation and hopefully, a bit of levity as we navigate the new normal of social distancing. At the end of the day, we are all in this together trying to do the best we can.
This is my battlestation. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Sure, you may call it a home office, but I needed something more than that. I spend my days working for a technology company as an Enterprise Architect, helping customers transform their IT operations. At night I am a filmmaker and streamer. I needed a space that was presentable for a Zoom call that also functioned as an editing suite, TV studio and video game paradise, with a heavy emphasis on the video gaming part.
Don't know what streaming is? Everyday millions of people globally create a live interactive TV show from their homes on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and Mixer. Not only do I stream, I made a docuseries about it that was edited in this very room.
The Desk and Chair
I am the type of person that can't sit all day, blame it on my ADHD. I opted for a motorized standing desk. Standing and using a balance board help me concentrate, especially during those never-ending Zoom calls. When I feel like being lazy, I lounge in my gaming chair. When saving the human race from demonic forces who occupy a hidden base on Mars, you want to be as comfortable as possible.
Nerdy weapons, or more commonly known as a keyboard and mouse, must have RGB lighting. How else are you going to see in the dark while gaming if you don't have RGB? When it comes to keyboards, for me, it's about the mechanical CHERRY switches. I want something tactile and reliable. Keyboards are often overlooked, but if you make a bad decision, everyone will notice. I am currently rocking a Logitech G502 gaming mouse but have been toying with the idea of moving to something lighter. Maybe I am getting old. I think writing this just convinced me to buy the Glorious Model O mouse (matte black).
Gadgets maketh a Battlestation. Yes, a desk and chair are essential to any home office, but gadgets are what turn a boring home office into the ultimate Battlestation. The lights that sit to the left and right of my desk are the Elgato Key Light Air. They are controlled via an app allowing me to set the brightness in addition to turning them off and on. They provide the right amount of light for my camera, which is above my monitor.
My sound mixer, the GoXLR, helps me manage all of my sound levels, and my stream deck allows me to switch scenes quickly. What once cost several tens of thousands of dollars is now $400.
Whether you're on Zoom or streaming to the world, what is in your background will subtly tell people who you are. Yes, that wall framed with every degree and certificate you have ever achieved will make me wonder what you're compensating for. Since I don't have kids, I opted for a light-up infinity gauntlet and painting of Stan Lee signed by him.
Recently I began my journey into cyberpunk lighting design. I went with a Nanoleaf and two LED floodlights. Both are app controlled and allow me to change their colors.
Cable management is a must. Nothing kills the vibe of your new setup like a mess that resembles the Well of Souls in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
And make sure to stop at Staples and buy proper cleaning supplies. You don't want your equipment ending up on reddit.com/r/TechSupportGore.
If you need some inspiration when building out your Battlestation check out Reddit.com/r/battlestations