Dabe Alan

A visual history of game controllers, care of the Digital Game Museum

A visual history of game controllers, care of the Digital Game Museum

The Penny Arcade Report was invited to take a tour through the history of video game controllers at PAX Prime, and the collection on display from the Digital Game Museum was fascinating. The controller is our method of interaction with the games we play, and a bad controller can ruin a system; there are fewer more important pieces of design when launching a new console. There have been some interesting concepts tried through the years, and many companies have deviated from the expected designs of the day. While not an exhaustive look at the world of game controllers, the display was a fascinating look at how controller design has evolved. There are some interesting specimens here, including the Novint Falcon, which Ben reviewed for Ars Technica. NeuroSky actually makes a variety of products with many partners that use brain waves, including a set of kitty ears that are supposed to move according to mood; those actually seemed to be popular sellers at PAX Prime. Let's open up the conversation for the weekend: what is your favorite controller that ended up being an evolutionary dead end?