Ergonomics and thumbsticks: Could a stationary mouse w/ thumbstick work in pc gaming?

Discussion in 'Gamers' Pulse' started by KGB ate my bread, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. KGB ate my bread

    KGB ate my bread Made you look. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Messages:
    97,661
    Likes Received:
    113
    Location:
    Louisiana
    First off, this is not a Console vs PC thread. At least not an outright one.

    Secondly, this isn't a which is a better controller thread either. There are merits to both sides of that argument that have been beaten to death again and again.

    Lastly, I apologize for any wordiness and my jumping around in ideas. I'm ADD :o



    Anyways, I was thinking about this the other day when I was playing 360 at a friend's house. I hadn't played an FPS on the 360 in months but found myself well at ease with the controller in my hand. Granted, I still use my 360 controller at times on my PC when I'm playing ported games that support it or doing PSOne emulation, but that's fairly rare. This got me wondering



    Now, console controllers are similar to PC layouts in a sense. Your right hand manipulates mostly the vertical axis and your left hand mostly controls the horizontal axis. This would be your right hand on a mouse, and your left hand on arrow keys. But that's where the differences are. One a console, you're using only your thumbs for movement. This means that your right hand/arm are no longer necessary for movement and your left thumb takes over the burdern that three fingers once bore.


    Now, our opposable thumbs are quite the anatomical feature. Without them, life as we know it wouldn't be the same. They are one of the key features of our evolution. Without them, the simplest of tools such as hammers and axes would be unusable. We know from having played 'thumb war' as a kid just how flexible and how much movement we can get out of our thumbs. Using our thumbs for manipulation feels natural and easy. Hell, we're experts at typing with our thumbs on our cell phones. Could our thumbs be why console gaming has become so widely accepted? We can't say. And the reason why is because there are tons of other factors between social views, costs, developers, support, marketing, and so on that have affected console sales.



    And this makes me wonder if ergonomics has hurt PC gaming? Now, most of a mouse's movement can be done with your wrist doing most of the work. However, your elbow and arm do become involved at some point when you find yourself picking up and moving the mouse to a different spot on the mousepad. This is a more involved movement than just pushing your thumb in a certain direction. It's clearly less ergonomic. Yet, when a person looks at how effective a trackball is, someone could start to argue that simply using your thumb to manipulate a cursor isn't effective.


    However, I disagree with this. The fault lies in the design of a trackball. Trackballs are used with a sensor to detect motion and in which direction. THey were replaced with mice once lasers were able to accomplish this and provide a greater level of accuracy.


    So, now I'm at my main question of this thread: How well might a stationary mouse w/ a thumbstick work for pc gaming?


    I think it would work well if the thumbstick offers a good range of motion.
     
  2. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Messages:
    18,615
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, Ont
    i think i'm better with a controller than a mouse/keyboard for FPS games, but i play mostly on 360q
     
  3. Wthermans

    Wthermans What does "New High Score" mean? Is that bad? Di

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Messages:
    28,770
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maryville, TN
    Joysticks use the same method of tracking motion as trackballs did. While you can make a joystick/trackball as accurate as a traditional mouse, there is far more customization needed to get the exact accuracy that a mouse offers. It has nothing to do with the way trackballs sensed motion compared to how joysticks track motion since they basically use the same method for it.
     
  4. Tan_Man

    Tan_Man New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    3,029
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ontario
    doubt it, I don't see a player being able to have the same level of control as compared to a regular gaming mouse

    then again, I've seen people play CS very well using just a trackpad or something
     

Share This Page