Joypads ! : Le design des manettes Nicolas Nova, Laurent Bolli - 2013

History of videogames (focused book)

Joypads ! : Le design des manettes

Author(s) : Nicolas Nova, Laurent Bolli
Editor : Les moutons électriques
Publication date : 01-17-2013
Language : french French

As the title implies, this book tackles the history of videogames through a quite unique viewpoint: gamepads. This book analyses each and every gamepad released for a home console, from the Atari 2600 controllers to Xbox 360 ones. It is divided in five parts. The first one goes through the early beginnings of game controllers : it analyses the ones created for Spacewar! and Tennis for Two, among others. The second part is dedicated to the evolution of controllers handling, and details how the various existing shapes evolved: the flat and squared NES pad, the round Dreamcast controller, the "two-horns" Playstation controllers... The third part dissects the different controlling modes designed to navigated in space (joystick, directional cross, thumbstick), while the fourth one focuses on the action buttons (switches, triggers, turbo buttons) and the last one on strange stuffs like pads-embedded microphones, screens or fans. The main strength of this book is to continuously draw connections between the analysis of game controllers and the evolution of games themselves: introduction of 3D gaming, of casual gaming... The illustrations at the center of book thus feature wonderful schematics summarizing the various "historical line" of gamepads, alongside with color photographs of every home console controller released. A interesting book with an unusual approach to the history of videogames.


Keywords : joypads, history, gamepads, game design