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Oh Joystick! We’ve Got Control!

usbjoystickI’m guessing that most of  you nerds out there just LOVE  joysticks, and really enjoy handling them, talking about them and keeping them in top condition (and hopefully cleaning them). So in tribute to all of your joysticks, I have compiled a Joystick Web Walk. Please note that I am a fan of painfully out-dated web pages that act as history lessons. You’ll be seeing some dinosaurs of the interweb along your journey today. Lets get started!

thecontrolroom

Stop 2. 1998’s The Control Room. If you like graphics, forget it. The screenshot sample image above is as close as you’re gonna get to eye-candy, unless you count the controllers he badly snipped and used in the title font. Oh good lord. But don’t give up yet. Stay with it… go visit and you’ll find hidden gems. Here’s a quote from this textytexty late 90s page: “For those who have tasted the rarefied air of guided flight know that you can’t fly with a mouse. Likewise, keyboards and cockpits are strangers. You need to have a joystick, plain and simple. Rudder pedals are de-regeur. Got an engine? Get a throttle. Your machine may only go 4.77 MHz, or it may go 400 – but to fly you will likely use the Gameport, Joystick and all.”

joysticktree

Stop 2. 2004’s Sock Master (yes, Sock Master) put together a “Game Console Controller Family Tree”  that I’m sure will give you some satisfaction. I wonder how long till he notices he’s getting traffic and updates his labor of love. You have to bet this guy ruled the AV department….and stole everything he possibly could for photos.

nytjoystick

Stop 3. 2005’s New York Times Article outlining the history of the joystick. This article notably references the E3 Gaming Expo that brought gaggles of nerds to Los Angeles each year and played a key role in me meeting my now husband. But enough about you, this article is about joysticks. So brush up on your history and meet me back here for stop 4.

pongStop 4. Videotopia’s Arcade Game Page from 1997-98 shows off the wicked HTML tricks of the time…kidding. But this page does have some great info and photos that really do give me arcade flashbacks. Hurry…go get the kids. You can tell them how life used to be when your pockets clanged with quarters on the way to this crazy place called THE ARCADE! And I know Pong had no joystick…but seriously…its Pong. Forgive me, I can’t help but use the image.

Atari8000Stop 5. Final Stop on the Joystick Web Walk: The Atari Museum. This is one of those sites that has lots of cool stuff, but its like being in a pitch dark room looking for doorknobs. Just keep on clicking and clicking and I promise you’ll get lots of info and eye candy. Guaranteed to bring back memories. If you had an Atari, you’re going to find the first Joystick you ever used to play Pac Man at home. Perhaps listening to ELO or Zeppelin.

“Only five stops on the web walk?” you ask? Well yes. We’re nerds and not only do we need a break for inhalers and crust-cut-off sammiches, but we also have not checked our WoW auctions in like 20 minutes. Later Nerds!

Category: Nerd Culture, Videogames

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