Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Big Red Potion

I mentioned it in passing yesterday, and now I'm happy to post the link to Big Red Potion Episode 20, "Out of Our Hands."

I joined hosts Sinan Kubba and Joe DeLia, along with guest and friend of Insult Swordfighting, Michael Abbott, to discuss game controls. As N'Gai Croal has said, we see games with our hands. The controller is the nexus of intention and action. Yet most discussions of games skip right over this topic, or approach it with no more insight than "the control was good or bad." Or maybe we make a snarky comment about waggle.

With that in mind, we tried to take a broad view of play control. We talked about notable successes and failures in the history of peripherals (somehow without mentioning either the U-Force or the Sega Activator in the latter category), what effect the Wiimote has had on game design, and what the future holds for Project Natal and Sony Motion. And we wondered whether standard control inputs are limiting gameplay possibilities, or whether new controller types will lead to a bunch of shallow gimmickry.

It's always hard to judge one's own performance on these things (plus, the sound of my own voice gives me hives), but I can say with confidence that Sinan, Joe, and Michael all said fascinating things about this most important of videogame topics. Have a listen!

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