Are video game controllers scary?

Nick Burton from Rare reckons that people find joypads scary. Apparently, controllers have become 'convoluted' and have way too many buttons, resulting in an object that is totally alien to new gamers. He also says that people are scared of pressing the wrong button. That's understandable - my mum, for instance, refuses to play some games because she says she'll press the wrong button. Well, that or that she'll "only fall off". Hmmm...

So are they actually scary? Let's have a look:

Above: Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii!

Above: Think back to the first time you saw it. The girl's reaction isn't that far off, is it?

Above: In fairness, we've seen reactions similar to this when motion control is mentioned in the office

OK, so maybe those are quite scary. But I beg to differ with Nick over the possibility his assertion that Kinect could never be scary:

Above: You can have alternative speech bubble by the soles of her feet if you prefer. It just says 'BAM'

Do you wanna see something scarier than controllers? OK, but don't say I didn't warn you...

Above: Once you've seen the Ring, you'll be forced to pick up the phone. What's that? A week? Noooooo!

15 Jul, 2010




  • philipshaw - July 16, 2010 11:41 a.m.

    I don't get how they find controllers scray, they are the same people that have to deal with TV remotes that have a lot of fuctions on them
  • JayBeat - July 16, 2010 10:22 a.m.

    But seriously, calling a controller "convoluted" is like calling cars dashboard unnecessary. Press a button for a command, nobody should have trouble with that..
  • Thuperman - July 16, 2010 6:05 a.m.

    I still remember coming home from school to my RROD..... Luckily my dad was the last to play it so he felt that he had something to do with it breaking and he felt bad so bought me a new one. Ive never gone from so upset to happy faster than that
  • waffledragon33 - July 16, 2010 1:41 a.m.

    omg awsome
  • Rowdie - July 15, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    Bloodstorm; these folks you know that can't seem to work the dual sticks not matter what. See if they can wink one eye then the other. Srsly, do if for science.
  • oryandymackie - July 15, 2010 8:19 p.m.

    If you find yourself working for a game company but are scared of controllers, you have clearly gone wrong somewhere down the line.
  • cart00n - July 15, 2010 7:45 p.m.

    Fabulous use of PS, the last one is my favorite, the caption is classic and spot on! Have to agree with JADEN, Xbox 360 controller is my favorite, especially with a couple KontrolFreek sticks on 'em! hate the damned digital pad, tho'. Anyone know of a decent fix?
  • Defguru7777 - July 15, 2010 7:02 p.m.

    Favorite part of the whole article was the "BAM!" by the levitating lady's feet. Oh how Internet memes live on.
  • D0CCON - July 15, 2010 6:14 p.m.

    When you think about it, there is a lot. RB, LB, LT, RT, A, B, X, Y, Start, Back, Left thumbstick, Right Thumbstick, L3, R3 (pressing the button down, since I decided its better named for PS3). Compared to the controllers many gamers started with (NES for example), the number of buttons is huge. I remember having to memorize what the buttons did for my first few gamecube games. Each genre tends to have its own button layouts. Now, there may be some changes to controls (Pushing the tumbstick down may aim instead of using LT), so once you've learned the controls, you forget how daunting they once were.
  • cj12297 - July 15, 2010 5:59 p.m.

    that kinect pic is funny
  • mdhammer - July 15, 2010 5:27 p.m.

    very nice.
  • 510BrotherPanda - July 15, 2010 4:45 p.m.

    Even though I've used lots of controllers in the past 15-18 years, I think it's fine for a controller to be slightly uncomfortable or off-putting. It's like a small reminder to put it down and take a break every once in a while. If there was the "most comfortably shaped controller EVER" people all over would die of malnutrition, dehydration and fatigue from sitting around and not noticing they are wasting away, because "This controller is SO RIDICULOUSLY COMFY"...
  • LizarDAZZLE - July 15, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    In before someone references PC keyboards. I love them little guys. :3
  • JADENkOTOR - July 15, 2010 3:22 p.m.

    I still like the Atari joypad, Genesis controller, and N64 controller... but those are a combo of nostalgic value and functionality. The best controller by FAR is the... wait for it... 360. It is the most beautiful, comfortable, functional masterpiece of all time, bar none, can't argue with it.... its a fact of life
  • BadCompanyBrik - July 15, 2010 3:16 p.m.

    Love the last picture. Well done, really funny.
  • Spunkweazle - July 15, 2010 2:42 p.m.

    Joypads are scary to non gamers, the same way that sausages are scary to vegetarians, Why isnt anybody trying to find a way of making sausages more user friendly
  • pin316 - July 15, 2010 2:18 p.m.

    people found the N64 controller scary???? i thought that thing was badass when i first opened up that shiny nintendo box - it just seemed so much more full of awesomeness than any controller i'd used before.
  • ThatsWhatSheSaid - July 15, 2010 2:11 p.m.

    clever uses for each one! very good justin
  • Metroidhunter32 - July 15, 2010 2:01 p.m.

    But the gamecube controller can never be scary. It's just to comfortable.
  • KnightDehumidifier - July 15, 2010 1:56 p.m.

    I'll tell you what's scary, that John D. Rockefeller gent. They say his cold stare could peel lead paint from a shed, then again they say he can make anyone varnish! I seem to be at my own execution up here, play me out Johnny!

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