Re: [IxDA] RE: [IxDA] Is the mouse dead?

29 Jul 2010 - 9:01pm
6 years ago
3 replies
885 reads
Moses Wolfenstein

There's absolutely no doubt that for certain types of gaming (First Person Shooters for instance) mouse and keyboard is far superior to a dual stick game controller (I think there's actually been more than one study on this). That said, we have yet to see what competitive gaming will look like with a multi-touch pad (ahem, Apple) and keyboard. With Valve now providing cross platform support for their games through Steam, we're likely to start seeing just what that looks like in the not too distant future . . . should be interesting.


Moses Wolfenstein
Games and Learning Researcher
University of Wisconsin, Madison


30 Jul 2010 - 2:34am
Eric Reiss

Curious. How can this be applied to other situations. For example, can you pilot an aircraft with a mouse instead of a joystick? Is there research that suggests which type of input device is best suited for a particular generic application?

30 Jul 2010 - 1:09pm

Keeping in mind the effect that the entrenchment of interfaces can have (millions of pilots use joysticks and like them) the only technical impediment I can see to this is the need for the mouse to roam a geographic area. You'd need to provide a surface area large enough to ensure that the plane's controlling surfaces would have their full range of motion.

There is also a potential downside to a mouse not being self centreing but it really all depends on how you define the input parameters (and there's no reason you couldn't design a mouse like control system that *was* self centring, of course.)

30 Jul 2010 - 3:30am

@Eric - interesting thought, but a control stick let's you 'feel' the aircraft, it's responses etc, it gives you feedback, it's much more physical than an input device like a mouse and is perfectly suited to its application.  About the mouse versus joypad, the joypad uses our thumbs almost exclusively, whereas with the mouse/keyboard we're using our stronger fingers making it more effective and enjoyable.  Hard to imagine how the track pad will rival the speed and ease of a mouse but like Moses, am looking forward to see! 

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