How Complex Controllers Ruined Everything

sfii.jpgGuest writing at N'Gai Croal's Level Up, Bill Harris offers a brief history of the game controller and its evolution. Harris argues that it's the fault of Street Fighter II that arcade games, and later console games, changed from pick up and play (accessible to everyone) to complex (accessible to a select few).The Wii is the counter example, but before you start thinking, "I've heard this all before," Harris continues to argue that game reviews haven't figured out what to do with the Wii. Games like Carnival Games have sold well despite terrible reviews because, well, they're just easy and fun to play.

Harris doesn't mention this, but it was Nolan Bushnell's original mistake of including complex controls in the Spacewar! adaptation Computer Space in 1971 that lead to the pick up and play values of coin-op, starting with PONG.

How the Videogame Industry Shot Itself In the Joystick—and Why the Wii Has Stopped the Bleeding [Newsweek: Level Up]


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