Using the Wonky Video Game Controller Creates a Character


Many family rooms have them: the wonky video game controller that a martyr is always forced to play with, saying something like, “I guess I’ll use the wrong one.” But it’s never the end. No one uses the wrong controller silently. It’s a noisy fight, but worthy of the name.

As long as there have been consoles, basements, and childhoods, there has been at least one worn-out controller that plagues their innocence. Sometimes you can see it when walking into the arcade: there’s tape around the base, a splint holding the trigger, and the surface looks like it’s been dragged behind a motorcycle. Here, a game of musical chairs occurs, although it’s more like Russian roulette, as having the controller wonky means you’re going to be killed pretty quickly.

Suffer silently from the bad controller

He is passed around like a vegetarian dog staying at a barbecue, and the chintzy owner begins giving elaborate instructions. “Press A two seconds before you actually need to press A,” he says. “Just hold down the trigger the whole time and try to ignore the electric shocks. Hold it upside down when spinning. It only works when the controller is completely submerged in olive oil, but we have a large bowl for you to use. »

Initially, you toy with the controller in disgruntled silence and accept your fate in life. “I’m the bad controller and I have to make the most of it,” you think. This positive attitude lasts about 45 seconds, then the passive-aggressive deep breaths and whispering begin. Suddenly the room is filled with a cacophony of “Come on” and “I pressed it” and “I would have won that if it worked.” Someone offers to switch controllers, and you don’t even respond.

It’s definitely the way to go, but it doesn’t have to be. As with everything, remember that having the controller wonky doesn’t define who you are, it’s how you respond to it. Because the only thing more annoying than someone complaining about using the wrong controller is when the person with the wrong controller starts winning.

But there is hope

A gamer holding a controller and shouting victory.
Syda Productions/

As a kid, I just thought I was cursed to be forever left with the substandard controller, so I tried to compensate in every way I could. I was hitting the delay button a little earlier, focusing on what the controller could do well, and doing that thing perfectly over and over again. And if the sticky button had to be pressed so hard to work that it practically left a permanent imprint on my thumb, then damn it I would.

When the wins started rolling in using the hampered controller, I reached a level of heinousness that I hope none of you have ever witnessed. “Does anyone here have a wooden spoon?” I’m pretty sure I could win with this. It was worth messing with the wrong controller. A win with a wonky controller is worth five wins with a good controller, like when Lebron won a championship in Cleveland.

That extra work with the controller turns an excuse into a point of pride, and soon you might find yourself asking for the wrong controller and happily winning despite it. If I have kids, they’ll only know dumb controllers, so when they go to spoiled friends, they’ll completely dominate.

While rickety controllers are mostly a thing of the past with modern technology and redesigns, they still pop up from time to time. No amount of coding and quality control testing seems capable of eliminating them. I’m happy. Can you imagine what kind of horrible world we would have if there were only perfect, ready-made controllers? You did see Gattaca. It would be a characterless existence won by struggle, a safe and harmless place, devoid of common sense and originality. At least, I think that’s what it was about.

So if you have a bad controller at home, try to remember that using it builds strength, makes you a better player, and makes any future struggles pale in comparison.

Or you can just buy a new controller. In both cases.

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