The Evolution of Video Game Controllers
By James Grahame
Here's a link to a nifty look back at some popular home console controllers from the (not so distant) past. I'm still partial to the ominous creaking sound the original Atari 2600 joystick makes when shoved around just a bit to hard, perhaps because I'm a 107 year-old Luddite. The author disses the Atari stick, but I suspect the only ones he's ever used were 25 years past their best-before date.
Also be warned that the list only includes four control pads/sticks that pre-date the 1990s. There's no mention of the Magnavox Odyssey's dual-knob design, the Pong consoles from the Seventies, the Intellivision, or even the fantastic Colecovision. Geez. Almost like it was written by someone under the age of 65. Now where did I leave my walker?
For more about video games, download a free chapter called The Magic of Videogaming from my book.
[Update: Thomas just sent me a fantastic link to Syntax Error's Joystick and Control Pad Archive. It's filled to the brim with dozens of wickedly funky controllers, including personal faves like the TAC 2.]