Thursday, May 26, 2011

Just thinking about game controllers

Utah has a few arcades. The one I've been to in Orem used to be called Nicklecade, and now it's  called Nickle City. In addition to the equivalent of slot machines for children, they have a selection of arcade games, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Mrs. Pacman. Even though many of the machines are broken or only sort of work, I find that there is a special charm to a game that has customized controls. I like having a steering wheel and a gas pedal; I like using a plastic gun to kill on-screen thugs. It seems like the Wii games have tried to revive this "controller as simulation of real-world object," but it doesn't feel right to me (there's nothing to push against or hold the controllers down).

Also along the lines of controllers, I was thinking about DDR. Before I got married I had played a little with one of those soft mats (a nice introduction to the game), but the experience isn't the same as using my husband's particle-board heavy-duty mats. Since playing DDR is a lot like reading music, it reminds me of the difference between playing music using a cheap instrument or a nicer one. Sure, you can get by using a cheap one, but you can go faster and do more with the nice one.

Maybe I should give the Wii wheel another chance.