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Innovation Comes from the Controller

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Interesting article on Wired today, suggesting that the Wii controller will revolutionize video games. I agree to a degree ...

But me, I'm a harder-core gamer, so I'm wondering something deeper: Will the Wii's new-skool controller create new styles of gameplay?

Because I don't see any yet. Much as I enjoy the existing Wii games, they're really just well-known game mechanics -- sports titles, swordplay games, first-person shooters -- that have been haptically reskinned to use the sensing input. All these forms of play existed long before the Wii. They may be more intuitive to play with the nunchucks, but as games, they're nothing you wouldn't have previously encountered.

Yet if you look at the history of controllers, the Wii ought to be the locus of much more radical innovation. That's because new forms of controllers exert a powerful influence on the design of play. Controllers are our meatspace interface into the ether -- they're our way of "being" inside the game world. So controllers, far more than increasingly way-kewl graphics, determine the range of style of games that get made. As controllers evolve, so does gameplay.

Want proof? Consider the impact of several epochal console controllers...

posted by Joshua Griffin @ 10:47 AM |

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At 11/20/2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boy, am i looking forward to the analogies of teh Wii controller and the way church is done.
there are tons. and i've been thinking about them, but i have yet to get my hands on a Wii controller and the time to sort my thoughts into some real relevant discussions...

but it IS there.

i'm so proud of nintendo for thinking outside the box on this.
it's just mind-boggling to me!


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