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Cri De Joystick


The day before yesterday, I broke down and bought my boys a new computer game, Star Wars: Battlefront. After the usual glitches—I swear, it’s impossible to install a new piece of software in less than two hours—the game actually worked. Did I leave well enough alone? No I did not. Thinking to give my deliriously excited sons still more pleasure over the Thanksgiving weekend, I bought a joystick, the “Logitech Attack3.” Again, glitches. But again, the device finally worked.

“Dad, the joystick isn’t really any good.”

“Yeah, Dad, the joystick is sticky. You can’t aim with it. All my men are getting killed.”

“Dad, I think we need a gamepad, not a joystick. Either that or we’ll just go back to using the mouse.”

For the readers of this happy Corner, a few questions. Are joysticks supposed to be sticky? I mean, are they designed for one kind of game—say flight simulations—but work poorly on shot-’em-up games such as Battlefront? Or did I happen to buy a lemon? Would a gamepad work any better? What is a gamepad?

Please place “joystick woes” in your subject heading. And fear not. The boys are only allowed on the computer after they’ve finished their homework, practiced the piano, cleaned up the kitchen, and taken out the garbage.


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