Benefits of Gaming With a Keyboard on Your Lap

Finding the best position for gaming is crucial. If you’re a gamer, then you’re not a stranger to trying out different positions to find one that is comfortable, yet allows you to use your gaming gadgets optimally as you play your favorite FPS game. For as long as computer games have been around, gamers have always had to go through the same struggles, and position styles have been coined based on their popularity. One of those styles is gaming with a keyboard on your lap, called “Russian Style.” 

Gaming with a keyboard on your lap is also called “Russian style” gaming. It reduces pain in the wrists and forearms compared to a traditional gaming setup. It also allows gamers to play games on a TV while sitting on a comfortable chair or in bed.

This article will address all issues related to gaming with a keyboard on your lap, including how common the method is, the era that made it popular, and being labeled the “Russian style.” We’ll also look at the different reasons why you might have to consider gaming with your keyboard on your lap and the possible disadvantages of doing so. Our gaming keyboard recommendations provide some handy tips for choosing the right keyboard for your gaming needs. We will also discuss lap desks and tips to guide you through choosing one that will suit you. 

How Common Is It To Game With a Keyboard on Your Lap “Russian Style”?

In this section, we’ll be looking at how gaming with a keyboard on the lap became a thing and why it’s called “Russian style.” We’ll also look at whether or not it’s still popular in today’s gaming world. 

Gaming with a keyboard on the lap was popular among gamers in Russia in the nineties while they played the popular FPS game, Quake, due to the small desk sizes in internet cafes. This style is still used today among pro gamers of that game, but isn’t really popular, in general.

Speaking of keyboards, make sure to check out our article that talks about the 10 best gaming keyboards under $200.

How Lap Gaming Got Started

Playing games with the keyboard on the gamer’s lap was very popular in Russian Internet cafes. Specifically, while playing the earliest version of Quake, a first-person shooter game, players had to place their keyboards on their laps as internet cafes usually had small desks. There wasn’t sufficient space for gamers to play with their keyboards on the desks. 

Is Lap Gaming Popular?

Gaming with your keyboard on your lap is, first and foremost, a thing of preference and isn’t considered a big deal in itself. However, as explained above, the method is tied to a time when a particular FPS game used to be played in cafes that featured tiny desks, a lot of them cramped into a small space. 

However, today, the method isn’t considered popular as a gaming style but more as a means of playing games while sitting on a chair or in bed, for which lap desks exist to make it easier. However, it still remains a dominant gaming style among pro gamers who play Quake.

Benefits of Gaming With a Keyboard on Your Lap

The need for gamers to be able to play games comfortably, irrespective of where they place their keyboard, will always be their main objective. However, when it comes to playing games with the keyboard on the lap, there are a few benefits.

The benefits of lap-keyboard gaming include relief from sore wrists and forearms from a typical gaming setup, being able to play games while sitting on a chair, and gaming using a TV screen.

Check out the benefits of using a keyboard on your lap:

Benefit 1. Relief From Sore Wrists and Forearms From a Typical Gaming Setup

The typical gaming setup requires gamers to rest their hands on a desk and punch the required keys on the keyboard. However, over time, the effect of remaining in that position for long periods of time often results in discomfort in both the wrists and forearms. So, why not intermittently change the position of your keyboard? Simply place your keyboard on your lap allowing your hands to be free since they aren’t resting on anything.   

Benefit 2. Gaming While Sitting in a More Comfortable Chair 

It isn’t common for a gamer to want to sit on a more ergonomic chair, attempting to adjust the height of the chair to a comfortable position relative to a desk; all the while trying to use the keyboard effectively. There are, however, lazy days when you just want to sit on your couch and play games. On days like these, placing your keyboard on your lap might be the only way to go.

Benefit 3. Using Your TV Instead of Your PC Monitor

Having to stay close to a computer monitor, and stare into it for hours while playing a game can be fun. However, it can also be tiring. Sometimes, you might want to kick back and run your game through your TV. Doing this would adversely affect how you would play since your TV is probably hung on a wall or is sitting on a shelf. Sitting opposite your TV on your sofa is the most likely comfortable way to play, in which case the only place your keyboard can be set is on your lap using a lap desk setup like this

Playing from your sofa may also be tricky with a wired gaming mouse so check out our article that compares wireless gaming mice vs. wired to choose the right one for you.

This video tutorial by CS Studios explains more about how to set yourself up for couch gaming. 

There are times when you will appreciate the benefits of gaming with a keyboard on your lap using a special lap desk that is suitable for use on your sofa.
Sometimes it is more convenient to play games from your sofa in which case you will need a couch gaming desk. Image Source: Amazon.

You may also want to take a look at our e-gaming keyboard layout tips and tricks for additional information. You may be surprised at what you learn! Also, at some point in time, you may need to fix a key that's not working on a gaming keyboard. When you do, be sure to bookmark our related article to learn how.

Disadvantages of Gaming With a Keyboard on Your Lap

Computer games are immersive and can be addictive based on each gamer. Gamers often spend several hours, every day, playing games, which translates to hours sitting and repeating muscle movements countless times. This, alongside retaining a specific gaming position, makes gaming an activity quite dangerous to a gamer’s health. 

Some disadvantages of gaming with a keyboard on your lap include posture-related injuries as well as computer-related injuries specific to the arms and fingers.  

Unfortunately, these injuries can also be a result of using keyboards as explained in this article from the Journal of Occupational Health, even when placed on the lap.

Below are some disadvantages of gaming with a keyboard on the lap::

Disadvantage 1. Gamers are Vulnerable to Posture-Related Injuries

Placing your keyboard on your lap means overriding the suggested posture, as explained in this article by MyHealth, for using your computer. With your keyboard on your lap, you must crouch more, arching your neck downwards while sitting. Over time this will lead to posture-related injuries, which include back and neck pain, headaches, and shoulder and arm pain.

Disadvantage 2. Gamers are Vulnerable to Computer-Related Injuries

As stated earlier, gaming is immersive and gamers could end up with computer-related shoulder, arm, wrist, and hand injuries. Unfortunately, placing your keyboard on your lap increases the chances of you sustaining these injuries because placing the keyboard on your lap means not using most of the ergonomic features of your gaming peripherals.

Tips to Choose a Gaming Lap Desk

We have established that placing your keyboard on your lap isn’t entirely safe; more specifically, doing it goes against suggested sitting positions to avoid health issues. However, as is the nature of the gaming industry, there is always an ergonomic device, piece of equipment, or gadget to help gamers game in a natural position. So, if you love to game with your keyboard and mouse on your lap, then a lap desk is what you need. 

Purchase a gaming lap desk with a built-in keyboard if it will only be used for gaming. To use the desk for gaming or work, look for a basic lap desk. For added comfort and less pressure on legs, buy a couch gaming laptop that stands on its own, or look for a completely stand-alone couch-side desk.

The benefits of a gaming lap desk, as explained in this article by Uncaged Ergonomics, are numerous. Apart from making putting a laptop on your lap less detrimental, it reduces pain in the body, from your hands to your shoulders and neck. With a lap desk, you can customize your gaming environment making it more comfortable. Have you ever wanted to play games all day while in bed? Well, with a lap desk, this is possible, and, depending on the type, you have more space to keep items, like your pen, a cup of coffee, a mouse, and a notepad within your reach. More importantly, some lap desks like these have cool features, fast charging for your smartphone or tablet, and a hidden compartment to store cables neatly. 

Consider these tips if you are looking at buying a lap desk:

Tip 1. For Gaming Only, Choose a Lap Desk With a Built-In Keyboard

For a gaming experience that’s comfortable and exciting, go for a lap desk like this that has a built-in keyboard. One of the benefits of this type of lap desk is that it’s specifically customized to suit your gaming experience. This is better than just going for the more typical work desk built just for work.

There are various benefits to using a lap keyboard like this while gaming from your sofa.
A wireless gaming lapboard allows you to game comfortably from your couch. Image Source: Amazon.

You might also be wondering how to change your gaming keyboard light settings. If so, be sure to take a look at our related article to find out more.

Tip 2. Buy a Basic Lap Desk if You Want To Use it for Both Gaming and Work

Where there are specific lap desks designed with gamers in mind, there are also lap desks like these that can be used for gaming and working. Such lap desks are large enough to place a laptop, mouse pad, and mouse. You can kill two birds with one stone by getting an awesome lap desk that can be used for working and gaming. 

Incidentally, you may find our article about using a gaming mouse as a regular mouse interesting if you do both and don’t want to swap your mouse out when changing from one activity to the other. Similarly, our article explaining the differences between a gaming vs. a regular keyboard should help you decide which keyboard to use as well.

The benefits of using a lap desk like this are that you can work and game comfortably with everything on your lap.
A basic lap desk, like this extra large lap desk from AUWOD, can be used for both gaming and working. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 3. Try a Couch Gaming Lap Desk That Stands on Its Own

If you want a lap desk, but one that won’t rest on your lap, there are lap desks designed with legs that are free-standing. So, if you don’t want a lap desk that rests on your legs, get a couch gaming lap desk that stands on its own as this one does.

The benefits of using a lap desk like this, when gaming, include your keyboard and other equipment not resting on your legs directly, and foldable legs for convenient storage.
A free-standing lap desk is ideal if you don’t want the desk to rest on your legs. Image Source: Amazon.

Tip 4. Try a Couch-Side Standing Desk for Ultimate Flexibility 

Do you want a lap desk that can also be adjusted to the full height of a desk? Then an adjustable standing desk like this that can double as a lap desk would be ideal. We were serious when we said the gaming industry is dedicated to developing equipment to fit gamers' and computer users' needs. 

Lapdesks that can be raised to be the full height of a desk are really handy for gamers and digital workers that need to work and game from different areas of the home.
A couch-side standing desk, like this one from SHW, is a lap desk that can also be adjusted to the full length of a desk. Image Source: Amazon.

Summary of Gaming Lap Desks

What Do You Require? What Kind of Gaming Lap Desk Should You Get? Product Example from Amazon
Using a gaming lap desk for gaming and work Get a multi-purpose lap desk Extra Large Lap Desk
A lap desk for gaming Get a lap desk with a built-in keyboard Razer Turret Wireless Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
A lap desk that won’t rest on your legs Get a lap desk with legs Folding Lap Desk for Bed and Sofa
A lap desk that can also double as a standing desk Get a lap desk with adjustable legs Preset Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk


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