As I read the critical analyses of games, a question sprung to mind whilst reading a few of them. Some folks discussed game controllers, and wondered about issues of accessibility and who in fact could play the game in the way its designers imagined. (This, incidentally is an important issue: see the Ablegamers Foundation).
So I asked a question on Twitter:
what game was first to use w a s d for movement, and why those keys? why not i j k l ? a curious thought sparked by a #hist3812 paper
— Shawn Graham (@electricarchaeo) February 12, 2013
And received – instantly – the following responses:
— Kaitlin Wainwright (@hellokaitlin) February 12, 2013
Others took up the question:
And others suggested it was perhaps a work/play balance issue:
For video editing i, o, j, k & l are used heavily @electricarchaeo so perhaps someone wanted to keep work and play separate?
— Ben Halsall (@benhalsall) February 12, 2013
So why am I sharing this with you? I want to suggest to you that by picking apart a seemingly innocuous question, one quickly can be pulled down a rabbit hole that might in fact lead somewhere quite interesting. Who would like to take up the challenge? Who would like to write a history of W, A, S, D?
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