Controller as an Even More Literal Term: Looking at Controller Design as Territorialization

Timothy Georger


Controller design is one of the most crucial steps in the development of a console. Each generation, we see some controller features which solidify themselves as standard, while we see other features which push the envelope for what it means to interact with a game itself. However, the design of a controller is a territorializing process. It not only decides what games are possible on a particular console, but also who is physically able to play said games.

The questions of who and what are left out of a controller's design are the subject of this paper. Through an analysis of odd and unique controls, I discuss problems that arise when controllers are used as their own tools of expression, and provide potential solutions to rethink how controllers can be used to enhance the expressive dimension of games.