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tech: The Cult of Gamepad
Posted on Saturday, December 18 @ 18:12:08 CET by julian

Geek

Looking at the spectrum of gamepad designs, alien anthropologists would assume the hands of humans were vastly varied and mutated; the surgical tools of Cronenberg's 'Dead Ringers' come to mind when looking across a selection of these creatures.

Taken each on their own however, a gamepad is the holy bridge between the worlds of life and game, a shape to which we wrap our will and augment our ability..

Gamepads are totems of a strange religion. Boxed with exploding supernovas or depicted as craft at war in space, they're always marketed as a kind of mythological vehicle. Some gamepads come embedded with glowing LEDs as though they were a magical item of arcane power to be discovered by the player in the flesh.

Regardless of their shape, every gamepad is released in Beta; countless human hours of chafe and blistered thumbs are testimony that we are in a sense responsible for their evolution - wearing at their form until those that make them listen to our cries.

Some however never get it right. Microsoft landed a mothership in our hands with the XBox and un-supersized it a few times in a failed attempt to degeneralise it's audience.



And Intel, believing that people actually liked holding fish gave us the 'Intel Wireless'.



The history of gamepad design echoes the evolution of games through a description of how we play them; in this sense their design is a rich pictogram of action. The same could barely be said of the knife and fork.

 
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