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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Re: Wolfram Research 2+12 degree-of-freedom gamepad?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg76539] Re: [mg76441] Re: Wolfram Research 2+12 degree-of-freedom gamepad?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Wed, 23 May 2007 05:41:49 -0400 (EDT)
  • Reply-to: jfultz at

On Tue, 22 May 2007 02:52:52 -0400 (EDT), Szabolcs wrote:
> Murray Eisenberg wrote:
>> Mathematica 6.0 allows input via a gamepad/controller, and the 6.0 docs
>> mention the "Wolfram Research 2+12 degree-of-freedom gamepad."
>> Does anybody have information about that gamepad?
> But what is the controller interface really good for? I cannot imagine a
> _Mathematica_ application where a gamepad would provide a real advantage
> over a simple mouse.
> Szabolcs

A typical mouse provides 3 axes of movement (including the mousewheel) and=
buttons.  It's very well designed for that purpose, but shoehorning more=
of freedom into it becomes very awkward.

A gamepad is very well designed for 4 axes of movement (especially when 
adjusting them all simultaneously) and many more buttons.  There are some 
interfaces for which this can be very natural, and for which you don't lose=
by losing the fine precision control a mouse gives you.

I think we have a lot to learn about what kinds of interfaces would benefit.=
you search for 'gamepad' on, you'll see a=
where it was specifically considered.  Also, try using a gamepad to explore=
 a 3D 

There's a little confusion about the "Wolfram Research...gamepad", but we've=
found that the Logitech Dual Action gamepads work very well.  And, of=
we've tested Mathematica with many other gamepads.  However, it seems that=
open secret in the gaming community is that not all gamepads are as=
as you might wish them to be, so your mileage may vary.

John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

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