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Left-Handed Gamers Getting Left Behind?

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the sorry-'bout-that-dad dept.

GUI 426

An anonymous reader writes "As the stylus becomes a contemporary equal with the controller and joystick, it is a bit surprising to notice a game developer overlooking the simple fact that there are a lot of southpaw gamers out there. But the creators of Base 10, a mini-game on the DSi, did just that, making it impossible for the game to be played by anyone who isn't right-handed. Seems pretty silly for a game developer to just cut out a slice of their potential audience right from the start."

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...draobyeK yM (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33589984)

...melborp emas eht sah...

Impossible? (5, Insightful)

curunir (98273) | about 4 years ago | (#33589994)

...making it impossible for the game to be played for anyone who isn't right-handed.

That seems like a bizarre definition of the word impossible. It may be impossible for someone who doesn't have a right hand, but it is possible to build dexterity in your off hand. Just hold the thing like a right handed person. It might take some time to get used to, but it's still possible.

For instance, the current holder of the last 3 tennis grand slams is naturally right-handed but plays as a lefty. He built the muscle memory necessary be good at it and now it's not a problem for him. I see no reason why tennis would be easier to master with your off hand than a video game would be.

Re:Impossible? (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 4 years ago | (#33590044)

Perhaps, but you shouldn't need to do all that just to play a video game.

Re:Impossible? (4, Insightful)

RazorSharp (1418697) | about 4 years ago | (#33590354)

Yeah, but he was just being pedantic. I agree with him that it was a completely inappropriate use of the word "impossible." It's like when people say, "I literally exploded into a fit of rage" when in fact they mean that they figuratively exploded.

While I agree it was quite an oversight on the developer's part, I also think this is a non-story. A mini-game for the DSi doesn't have the production value to expect them to take every little thing into consideration. There were probably like 2-3 developers, if that, and they were all right handed. And then some left-handed journalist found out about it and tried to make a big deal about it. Lefties have a tendency to believe they're being discriminated against when they're really just occasionally not taken into consideration on accident.

From the beginning of the DS, high-revenue games have all taken lefties into consideration. Just because ONE mini-game neglected the left-handed minority doesn't mean that "left-handed gamers are being left behind."

Re:Impossible? (0)

Pandur77 (1172799) | about 4 years ago | (#33590092)

That game will be old news by the time I'll be any good at it then, if this story is true. I'm having a hard enough time trying to teach myself how to use a computer mouse righthanded after having used it lefthanded for 25 years-ish. Most people won't bother putting enough hours a day into teaching themselves to do something "wronghanded" like your tennis example. The benefit is just not that great, unless it means you'll win the grand slam.

Re:Impossible? (4, Insightful)

gknoy (899301) | about 4 years ago | (#33590278)

I mouse with my left hand at work, and my right while playing games or surfing the web at home. I've been doing this for almost eight years, now that I think about it. I found that NOT swapping the buttons, but merely changing which hand I hold the mouse with, works beautifully. May I ask what problems you are having with learning to mouse with a different hand?

For me, it started when I was playing Counter-strike enough to make my wrists hurt. So, at work, I started using a pen tablet with my right (dominant) hand. However, some thing just seemed to work better with a mouse, so I kept my mosue on the left side of the keyboard. Eventually, I just kept using it that way. It helps that I don't think of using the mouse in terms of which finger I press, but rather which side the button is on.

Re:Impossible? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#33590116)

Why does he play left handed? I understand guitarists playing right-hand guitars when they're left handed (more availability)....

Re:Impossible? (2, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | about 4 years ago | (#33590222)

Well, if it is anything like baseball it can catch the opponent off-guard. I imagine that most tennis players don't practice as much returning left-handed serves/etc. In baseball the right-fielder usually is stronger than the left-fielder, so a left-handed batter can hit the ball towards a less proficient opponent. Switch hitters are particularly prized since they make it even more difficult for the defense to react. Left-handed pitchers have similar advantages.

Basically, your opponent has spent thousands of hours practicing one particular scenario. If you can force them to react to a scenario that perhaps they've only spent hundreds of hours reacting to, that can give you an advantage - in any sport.

Re:Impossible? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 4 years ago | (#33590358)

I read somewhere in baseball it has a lot to do with eye dominance too.

Most lefties are right eye dominant (as are most righties). The crossover has an advantage when hitting.

Re:Impossible? (2, Informative)

curunir (98273) | about 4 years ago | (#33590560)

As I understand it, his coach identified high-bouncing balls to the opponent's backhand as the most difficult to handle and tailored his player/nephew's game to hit balls with an absurd amount of top spin towards the majority of players backhand side. Over the course of a match, reaching up to hit that shot will also cause the player to expend a lot of energy. His game has evolved to rely less on that, but it was still an incredibly effective strategy that he used to win titles immediately upon turning pro (he won the first 4 French Open tournaments he entered.)

Re:Impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590126)

I'm left handed and I can say without a doubt, anyone who puts the mouse on the left hand side of the keyboard is stupid. I think this is probably the same.

Re:Impossible? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33590276)

I know two people who are right handed and put the mouse on the left side of the keyboard.

It took them a fair amount of practice but now they are up to speed with it and can take notes with pen and paper while using their mouse (for example).

It doesn't sound stupid to me. Sure not worth the bother for me personally...

But yes a left handed person putting the mouse on the left side is likely being silly - they can both get access to a larger number of "ergonomic" mice and free up their prefered hand with a reasonably small amount of practice.

Re:Impossible? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 4 years ago | (#33590292)

>>I'm left handed and I can say without a doubt, anyone who puts the mouse on the left hand side of the keyboard is stupid. I think this is probably the same.

Ditto. I'm left handed and I've learned to use a mouse with my right hand, right-handed scissors, throwing right-handed, etc. Confuses people when I take a southpaw stance when fighting, or when they see me writing left handed for the first time.

Re:Impossible? (1)

zn0k (1082797) | about 4 years ago | (#33590132)

Roughly one in ten people on the face of the Earth is left-handed. Affectionately referred to as "Lefties" or "Southpaws", there are those of us who possess a genetic predisposition from the day we're born to use a hand most people out there would forget about if it wasn't for certain activities and personally, it is pretty fun to be unique for the most part.

He also has an interesting definition of 'unique' - one in ten apparently qualifies. Generally speaking the quality of writing in that article is lacking.

Re:Impossible? (4, Insightful)

Haffner (1349071) | about 4 years ago | (#33590506)

I'm inclined to agree - he sensationalizes the whole time, yet never explains why the game is impossible to play with one's right hand.

Re:Impossible? (1)

SocialEngineer (673690) | about 4 years ago | (#33590162)

Did said Tennis player spend most of his life playing tennis with his right, though?

I myself am a south-paw, but I learned to do many things right handed from the start, such as guitar, or shooting a gun. Re-training yourself to utilizing something akin to a writing/drawing utensil, after having done it for 10 or more years, can be a little difficult, I'm sure.

Re:Impossible? (1)

fruitbane (454488) | about 4 years ago | (#33590188)

This is true, though difficult for someone who just wants to play a game. That said, I read somewhere that most lefties are better with their right hands than most righties are with their left. Whether this is innate or a result of learning to interact in a right-handed world I know not.

Re:Impossible? (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 4 years ago | (#33590192)

That seems like a bizarre definition of the word impossible. It may be impossible for someone who doesn't have a right hand, but it is possible to build dexterity in your off hand.

I've known left-handers whose right hand might as well have been a withered stump flapping in the breeze. I'm no longer surprised that there are those who lack the ability/will to adapt to a different setup.

Re:Impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590382)

I've known left-handers whose right hand might as well have been a withered stump flapping in the breeze. I'm no longer surprised that there are those who lack the ability/will to adapt to a different setup.

As a righty who has always had very limited dexterity with my left hand, the reverse is also true.

Not everybody can easily use their non-dominant hand. And it's not always through lack of trying -- there's just certain tasks I have never been able to master with my left hand. My brother (a lefty) can do quite a few things with his right hand because the world is built that way, but there's a couple of tasks he's never been able to accomplish with his right.

The GP is basically being an insensitive clod in suggesting that lefties can easily do things right-handed.

Also it doesn't seem like the author tried to play (1)

hellfire (86129) | about 4 years ago | (#33590218)

I read the whole article, and the author's main complaint seems to be that the game itself doesn't have an in game "left hand/right hand option." He didn't actually attempt to play the game, he just poked around in different menus trying to configure it. Maybe it was symmetrical enough that no option was needed? I don't have a DSi and I'm right handed, but if someone wants to convince me that a game is unplayable left handed, wouldn't you have to at least attempt to play it? Clarification would be nice.

Re:Impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590424)

The best thing I ever heard a lefty say about another lefty complaining about being southpaw in a right handed world. "What is this your first day being left handed?"

Re:Impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590440)

Some more anecdata:
My piano teacher is a lefty but he practiced his right hand so much that it is stronger in technique than his left hand.
I'm right handed but I mouse left at work and have done so for years.

Re:Impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590548)

I see no reason why tennis would be easier to master with your off hand than a video game would be.

Wow - so I take it that you don't masturbate?

Re:Impossible? (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 4 years ago | (#33590648)

Because when I play a video game, I want to have fun, not put in the same amount of effort it would take to win a tennis grand slam. I already write fine with my left hand, I don't want to learn to write with my right hand just to play a video game. Actually I might, but that's just because I'm more obsessed with video games than some people. But I don't WANT to.

Re:Impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590660)

No game should ever make the user feell unconfortable. Ergonomy says that the product must fit the user, and not the opposite.

I am left-handed and I can't play any game on Wii that needs both wiimote and nunchuk, because my left hand has always been used to control directionals and my right hand for commands. When I use a wiimote on my right hand, I feel so unconfortable, as it's not my main working hand. If I try to change, my laft hand is able to use the wiimote perfectly, but my right hand cannot be used to control direction.

Nintendo is stupid for not thinking of so many left-handed users. I was a big nintendo fan, but after Wii I really dislike Ninetndo.

I'm confused (5, Insightful)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33589996)

How do you play Base10 and why does not having a left handed mode ruin it?

Even Rock Band/Guitar Hero was operable with Lefties before they added Lefty mode, you simply needed to associate colours to positions instead of directional left and right.

Re:I'm confused (2, Insightful)

DarkIye (875062) | about 4 years ago | (#33590228)

Pretty much my thoughts. Additionally, the author of the article is a long-winded, uppity nerd.

Re:I'm confused (1)

hardburn (141468) | about 4 years ago | (#33590654)

Good demo [youtube.com]

Numbers pile up in "digital alarm clock" style. You have to connect up numbers so they add up to 10. Since it's "digital" number style, 2's can be reversed to become 5's (and likewise 5's into 2's). The numbers continue to pile up in Tetris-like fashion, and you lose when the numbers fill up the top. Connecting up sums of 10 will remove those numbers.

The game is played with the DSi on its side with the numbers coming from the left and sitting on the right. I could see how this might be somewhat difficult for a lefty.

lulwut? (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33590004)

I find it odd that TFA focuses on the Nintendo DS...which is possibly the most left-handed friendly system out there, aside from the Nintendo Wii. Most DS games that require one hand on the stylus and one hand on the system either duplicate the controls on both sides, or allow you to swap controls from one side to the other.

You would think more focus would have been on shaped gaming mice, which are almost exclusively made for righties.

Re:lulwut? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33590156)

I know eh?

Then again, people have been going after Nintendo for their non-left-handed controllers since NES/SNES/N64 controllers (despite no one having a solid controller for it till like 1998, and games not supporting it till 2000)

I think its that people wrote a glorious article way back which actually brought attention to the issue and it was mostly fixed. So when they want to relive those days so they are rehashing their article.

The DS and Wii are singlehandedly the most ambidextral systems to date.

Re:lulwut? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33590244)

>>>since NES/SNES/N64 controllers (despite no one having a solid controller for it till like 1998, and games not supporting it till 2000)

Which "solid controller" are you talking about?

Re:lulwut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590712)

I know eh?

Then again, people have been going after Nintendo for their non-left-handed controllers since NES/SNES/N64 controllers (despite no one having a solid controller for it till like 1998, and games not supporting it till 2000)

Who are these twits and where do they live so I can give 'em the back of my left hand?!

Seriously, I'm a left-handed gamer and I've had no problems with the controller layout for the NES/SNES/every other system to follow their lead. They also seem to forget that the brainchild behind many of Nintendo's series is a Southpaw as well. You need to use both hands for a controller anyway, so why would it be so difficult to use your left thumb for the d-pad compared to the right thumb? The standard controller layout has been so ingrained into my mind that having the d-pad on the right seems foreign to me. Oddly enough, this logic doesn't apply to the Wii controller. For games that use the remote and nun-chuck, I find it easier to hold the remote in my left hand, meaning I am using the analog stick with my right thumb, contrary to my usual left-thumb-d-pad scenario. This, of course, makes the world flip they did in Twilight Princess Wii completely counter-intuitive.

cutting out a market chunk surprising? (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | about 4 years ago | (#33590010)

Surprising how? Developers did this to Mac users for years.

Re:cutting out a market chunk surprising? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33590054)

And Linux users now. Nothing new here.

Re:cutting out a market chunk surprising? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590112)

Except that lefties are more than a statistical anomaly unlike Loonix users.

I thought controls favored Left handers (5, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33590032)

The joystick or joypad is on the left side, my non-dominant hand, ever since the NES days.

Re:I thought controls favored Left handers (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33590180)

To clarify:

I grew up playing Atiari/Commodore with right handed sticks. Then suddenly the joystick/joypad was moved to the left side: my "wrong" hand. But you don't see me whining about it. Well... I did whine a little bit back in 1990, but then I adjusted.

Re:I thought controls favored Left handers (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#33590286)

I believe the DPad was put ont he left side to account for the growing popularity of WASD for movement controls on computers - as less people were using Arrow keys.

OR I have it backwards, and wasd came about because of the switch in DPad location.

Re:I thought controls favored Left handers (1)

chronosan (1109639) | about 4 years ago | (#33590386)

The default PC controls for Unreal Tournament used the arrow keys for movement. That was back in 1999. The DPAD has been on the left side since at least 1985 (in NA).

Re:I thought controls favored Left handers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590540)

WASD is far, far more recent than DPad.

2D games on PC like Commander Keen, Jazz Jackrabbit, all that stuff used the arrow keys as the controls. FPS games before Quake used the arrow keys. I think Quake was the first to support WASD as an option, but the defaults were still arrow keys.

WASD became popular when Quake added full 3D worlds to FPS games, and people started to realize the mouse made sense for controlling them. WASD gained favor over the arrow keys because if you only had one hand on the keyboard, that made a lot of buttons easy to access.

The DPad is on the left because sliding your fingers around on it is easy to do with your weak hand. Rapid button pressing, especially combos of buttons, is a lot harder to do with your weak hand.

Re:I thought controls favored Left handers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590682)

Neither one of those statements are true. The D-PAD was around in at least '83. (NES) While WASD wasn't really around until the mid-90's (Quake). WASD came about because of mouse-look. The arrow keys were not ergonomic for use with a right-side mouse, and additionally there are other keys around WASD that you can map other game commands to.

Re:I thought controls favored Left handers (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | about 4 years ago | (#33590740)

>>>I believe the DPad was put ont he left side to account for the growing popularity of WASD for movement controls on computers -

NES with its left-handed joypad was first released as the "famicom" in 1983. Back then computers were barely an issue. The #1 selling computers of the time (Radio Shack TRS-80 and Atari 400/800) only sold 1 million units versus 30 million for the Atari console. It would have been more logical to copy the right-handed controls of the console.

I'm not sure why Nintendo made a left-handed joypad, except possibly to cripple gamers and therefore make it harder to play. (Same reason a few arcade machines had left handed controls, or buttons instead of sticks.)

Easy fix (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#33590038)

Nintendo should just update the BIOS with a config option that swaps the meaning of the d-pad and button array. Lefties can then use the X-B-Y-A instead of U-D-L-R.

Re:Easy fix (1)

seebs (15766) | about 4 years ago | (#33590340)

That would be a great idea for solving a problem completely and totally unrelated to the problem at issue.

Here's a review of Base 10:

http://ds.ign.com/articles/100/1004859p1.html [ign.com]

Have a look at it, and then tell us whether swapping the button controls that are never used in the game would have any impact on its accessibility to lefties.

Re:Easy fix (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#33590532)

I don't follow. A stylus is symmetrical, it should be usable by both lefties and righties.

Re:Easy fix (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | about 4 years ago | (#33590742)

Did that reviewer really complain about the difficulty of adding numbers up to 10? Is he 5 years old?

Idiot. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 years ago | (#33590052)

A lot of left handed people buy right-handed guitars when the guitar they want comes in left-handed. You can learn to play a damn game right handed if it's not possible. And what would they do for left-hand mode here anyway? Switch to left-aligned text? Mirror?

Re:Idiot. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590152)

A lot of left handed people buy right-handed guitars when the guitar they want comes in left-handed.

That's because a guitar is primarily controlled by the left hand (on the fretboard) anyway. So it makes little sense to switch to a left-handed guitar (even though they do exist) when a regular guitar is already suitable to left-handed people.

Re:Idiot. (2, Insightful)

edremy (36408) | about 4 years ago | (#33590226)

Seriously. Ever seen a left handed violin or viola? If you play in an orchestra, you're going to play right handed. Doesn't matter if you're a lefty. Out of curiosity I flipped my guitar one day to play like Hendrix. (He played a right-handed Strat upside down) I could do it- I was really, really bad, but I wasn't any worse than when I picked up a guitar for the first time. I'm certain I could relearn the muscle motions to finger right handed and strum left, it would just take time. But it wouldn't take any longer than learning how to do it the other way.

Re:Idiot. (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | about 4 years ago | (#33590476)

A lot of left handed people buy right-handed guitars when the guitar they want comes in left-handed. You can learn to play a damn game right handed if it's not possible. And what would they do for left-hand mode here anyway? Switch to left-aligned text? Mirror?

Restringing a right handed guitar to make it lefty friendly is quite a bit different than swapping a digital control scheme. Especially when the DS has y,x,a,b buttons on the other side of the screen that could easily be swapped with the control pad.

That's why I play guitar right-handed, thats why I taught myself to use a right-handed mouse, thats why I've had to learn to use most power tools right-handed. Physical goods can't be flipped easily, it requires it's own assembly line, smaller production runs mean higher prices, so lefties adapting to right-handed things is necessary. But with a digital device-with software, there is no excuse for not including a simple switch between left and right hand modes. It's a few lines of code that can expand the market by 10%

Lefty (1)

alanmeyer (174278) | about 4 years ago | (#33590068)

I'm left handed and I'm accustomed to having to play some games that were made for right handers anyway. I mean, the location of the D-Pad on a NDS (as well as many other gaming controllers) is basically easier for a right hander to play. I still enjoy using / playing it.

I guess I've just adjusted to living in a (mostly) right-hander's world.

On-going problem esp. on Wii (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 4 years ago | (#33590070)

since handedness is significant when wielding a sword / pistol / tennis racket / ping pong paddle &c.

While Nintendo has been very good about providing the option to select handedness, other companies haven't been as acommodating --- Red Steel 2 in particular requires right-handed sword-wielding and some of the combinations seem to be difficult to enact (and visually confusing on-screen) when done left-handed.

William

Re:On-going problem esp. on Wii (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 4 years ago | (#33590430)

Twilight Princess made on the Wii made Link right handed

Cost analysis (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about 4 years ago | (#33590072)

If the revenue from left handed market cost of developing for left handed people then it makes sense from a business perspective. Keep in mind that there's probably left-handed people who buy it and play it right-handed anyway if they really want it, so the market they're cutting out may not be as big as you'd first assume.

Re:Cost analysis (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about 4 years ago | (#33590148)

Preview fail (and I did preview):

If the revenue from left handed market < cost of developing for left handed people then it makes sense from a business perspective.

Left Behind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590086)

Someone had to be buying that shit. No surprise that it's the defective people doing it. Where's the story?

Really? (1)

pantherace (165052) | about 4 years ago | (#33590098)

Everyone I know, including left-handed and ambidextrous people, use their mouse with the right hand. They use controllers as laid out. If anything, a stylus should be even more easy to use left handed.

The article makes no mention of how the controls are laid out, so that's it's difficult for left-handed people. All it says is that there's no left handed mode. If the person actually described a problem, I'd have some sympathy, but as it is, the article lays out absolutely no reason for even a complaint.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590248)

Hi! Lefty here and I use the mouse with my left hand. I can use a mouse/trackball/whatever with my right, but it just feels weird. A bit like jerkin' it with the the wrong hand, ya know?

Left-handed folks are used to adapting to the situation, so I'm not too concerned about being ignored by yet another industry. It simply forces us to adapt and overcome. :)

Re:Really? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 years ago | (#33590504)

Everyone I know, including left-handed and ambidextrous people, use their mouse with the right hand.

Both my GF and I are lefties, and we both "mouse" with our right hands. She is a graphics artist, so that is even more amazing, because when she draws on paper, she only uses her left hand. However, as I was growing up as a lefty, I recognized that some things were easier with my right hand. Like scissors, or dialing an old style wheel telephone. I play racket sports with my left hand (which freaks some people out where I live), but for instance, I play Frisbee with my right.

I think most lefties that I know have learned how to deal with a right hand world.

Re:Really? (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 4 years ago | (#33590598)

However, as I was growing up as a lefty, I recognized that some things were easier with my right hand. Like scissors, or dialing an old style wheel telephone. I play racket sports with my left hand (which freaks some people out where I live), but for instance, I play Frisbee with my right.

It's interesting to compare what lefties do with each hand. I can write legibly with my right hand, but it takes probably 5 times longer than with my left and still comes out worse. I much prefer left-handed scissors (to the point of sometimes using scissors that are shaped for right hands with my left), but I play racket sports (during the extremely infrequent cases I do that) with my right. It's also always amusing when I go mini-golfing or something and I have to figure out whether left or right is more natural. (I think that's left, but I'm not sure.) But I also throw a frisbee with my right hand. (I can also snap with my right hand but not my left, and my right hand is probably more dominant during rock climbing.)

Re:Really? (1)

jewps (800552) | about 4 years ago | (#33590620)

Yes that may be true but it's still inconvenient. I remember there were a couple of games on the DS similar to Base 10 that had a leftie menu. I thought that was great being so considerate and all since like you, I too am a leftie.

It's kind of fun isn't it. I bat with my left, throw with my right, racket sports I use my right, etc..

Why? (4, Insightful)

javelinco (652113) | about 4 years ago | (#33590110)

Does anyone understand WHY the writer of this article can't play the game left handed? I read through the FA multiple times (yes, I know - hard to believe), but I don't see any explanation of what specifically the game requires that cannot be done by a left handed user. Any further clarification would be welcome.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Verdatum (1257828) | about 4 years ago | (#33590182)

4 seriously. Why did that guy need so many words to write so little? All I know from TFA is that it's a puzzle game. Because he did not support his argument with details, I had to re-read it just to check and see if it wasn't some unfunny gag article. If you're gonna bitch about crappy games, do it right. Watch some of the better episodes of The Angry Video Game Nerd for guidance.

Re:Why? (2, Informative)

Captain Spam (66120) | about 4 years ago | (#33590564)

Does anyone understand WHY the writer of this article can't play the game left handed? I read through the FA multiple times (yes, I know - hard to believe), but I don't see any explanation of what specifically the game requires that cannot be done by a left handed user. Any further clarification would be welcome.

I'm just taking a stab in the dark here, but knowing the DS, chances are what happened with this game is that it requires one hand on the stylus and one hand on the D-pad at all times (sure, it's worse than "one hand on stylus and press D-pad or face buttons once in a while", but it's certainly better than "both hands on D-pad and face buttons AND be able to switch to the stylus quickly"... the DS Viewtiful Joe game, I'm looking at you...). That is, this particular player plays with the stylus naturally in the left hand, but the D-pad is also naturally in the left hand, which throws them off.

The thing is, this problem, all in all, is uncommon among DS games with that control scheme. Most games I've seen like that also allow the face buttons (A/X/B/Y) to act like the D-pad (they're arranged in a cross shape, too) for just this sort of occasion, or at the very least have it as an in-game option. Nintendo themselves are very good at that, for instance, even with games using the Wiimote (you generally set what hand your player uses)*, so I'm sort of writing this off as a short-sighted decision by this developer, and nothing at all to raise this much ruckus about.

*: Besides Twilight Princess, of course.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590632)

I found this video of Base 10 on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpDtj3l64oE

I'm also left-handed, and the only real problem I can see is that your hand would cover some of the numbers, and the entire right side of the screen where new numbers are entering.

Re:Why? (1)

sorak (246725) | about 4 years ago | (#33590778)

I have the exact same question. Someone in the comments said that you can't play it without your left hand covering one of the screens, but from the game play video I have seen it doesn't look like that screen is used anyway.

So, I guess slashdot has come up with a new idea; TFA-teasing. They tease you with the hint of a story, and hundreds of interested readers beg for the actual story.

How about most mice/trackballs. (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 4 years ago | (#33590164)

Unless you look for a generic unshaped mouse/trackball. You're out of luck.

I was forced to learn to use a right handed trackball, since I wanted a shaped one. It was easier to learn to use my right hand than try to find a left handed or one of the crappy ambidextrous ones.

Logitech [logitech.com] out of all their trackballs, only makes one that is ambidextrous, and it's crap.

Re:How about most mice/trackballs. (1)

JazzyJ (1995) | about 4 years ago | (#33590624)

Logitech makes 'thumb marbles'...not trackballs... I don't care what they call 'em, not a single one of them are a full sized trackball.

Kensington's Expert Mouse trackball has always been ambidexterous and provides for switching the buttons in the drivers/companion software. Love these things. Have used 'em for well over a decade.

http://us.kensington.com/html/2200.html [kensington.com]

In fact, -all- of kensington's trackballs are ambidexterous.

Re:How about most mice/trackballs. (1)

ajlitt (19055) | about 4 years ago | (#33590640)

You're [razerzone.com] welcome. [newegg.com]

Business Idea (1)

tool462 (677306) | about 4 years ago | (#33590168)

Design video games exclusively for southpaws. If they're anything like the rest of humanity, they'll be happy to pay a premium for the exclusivity.

PC platform (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 4 years ago | (#33590176)

I don't imagine keyboard gamers on the PC have this issue, it takes equal parts coordination to use the mouse and the keyboard simultaneously. Most Joysticks

Re:PC platform (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 4 years ago | (#33590216)

(continued from before) Most Joysticks can be played with either hand to my understanding as well.

Not a useful article at all (2, Insightful)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | about 4 years ago | (#33590186)

So I spent the time to read that overly long article, and the author doesn't even say why he can't play the game with his left hand? I understand he looked through the menus for an option and didn't find one, but what specifically is going on in the game that makes it impossible to play with his left hand? This seems like the central point of the whole story, and yet it is left unexplained.

Re:Not a useful article at all (1)

narkosys (110639) | about 4 years ago | (#33590346)

I very much agree that the article is short on any good explanation. My only guess is that it plays much like the Brain Age series where the DS is held vertically. If this is the case then the player's left hand would be covering one of the screens making it hard to play the game as you cannot see much of the information passing by on that screen. i am sure that you can adjust your hand position but that would stifle your wrist flexibility causing slower response times (being a lefty for writing i can attest to that one). Thankfully the Brain Age series had a 'lefty' option where all it did was rotate the information in the windows 180 degrees. simple enough fix.

hopefully the author will give a better explanation as to why. until then all we can do is speculate.

It's the rapture! (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 4 years ago | (#33590204)

Left-handed Gamers Getting Left Behind?

I always knew left handers had no souls.

Re:It's the rapture! (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | about 4 years ago | (#33590360)

Left-handed Gamers Getting Left Behind?

I always knew left handers had no souls.

You say that like its a bad thing

Seriously? (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about 4 years ago | (#33590220)

Most controllers require a similar amount of dexterity from each hand. If the NES had put the buttons on the left and the d-pad on the right, we'd think that was "normal" and "right-handed" today. I think this is less about left-handed gamers and more about a guy who had personally become used to one control layout having to switch to another (and writing a rant about the harrowing ordeal).

Simple solution (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | about 4 years ago | (#33590236)

Sit upside down (or turn your TV upside down), and turn the controller upside down.

Voila! You are now holding the stylus with your dominant hand!

A large amount... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33590266)

a game developer would overlook the simple fact that there is a large amount of gamers out there who are Southpaws.

It's roughly 15% of the population. It's far from the majority, but I guess it's up to the manufacturer whether or not they want to cater to this population. Certainly lefties are adaptable people and used to living in a right hand world... aren't they supposed to be the creative ones?

Re:A large amount... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590544)

Besides the fact that we don't measure gamers by weight, so he meant 'a large number'.

Difficulty for left handers (5, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | about 4 years ago | (#33590268)

It's hard for left handers because you hold the DS sideways and write on one of the screens. Since you have to write on the right screen, lefties can't see the left screen through their hand.

http://gofanboy.com/nds-reviews/407-art-style-base-10-review [gofanboy.com]

Re:Difficulty for left handers (1)

FrostDust (1009075) | about 4 years ago | (#33590370)

Thank you.

For all the words in his rant, it was confusing that the author simply didn't state WHY it wasn't leftie handy. I guess he'd have to invest in a glass prosthetic hand, or something.

Re:Difficulty for left handers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590452)

CrossworDS for the ds solves this by allows you to use it right handed, or by flipping it around like an upside down book, left handed. The touch screen would be on the left in this later case.

This is a true WTF (1)

mmaniaci (1200061) | about 4 years ago | (#33590280)

I remember every gaming system that had a controller with a joystick having said joystick on the left side of the controller. Some also had joysticks on both sides. The DS is incredibly lefty-friendly and just because one game blows it doesn't mean the entire platform, no, the entire industry is biased towards right-handers. This article is nothing but FUD and I wish I could retract the click I gave TFA.

Re:This is a true WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590580)

This article is nothing but FUD and I wish I could retract the click I gave TFA.

Why did you click TFA in the first place when you clearly had no intention of reading it?

And you DIDN'T read it, as proven by the fact that you think it's saying that "the entire platform, no, the entire industry is biased towards right-handers" when in fact there is absolutely nothing of the sort is even remotely implied.

Now comes the part where you try to cover for yourself by cherry-picking something out of the article that you can take out of context in a fruitless attempt to make it look as if the article were expressing something vaguely like the strawman position you invented and assigned to it. This will, of course, require you to actually read the article, but it will be the first time you have done so.

Different perspective (1)

danmart1 (1839394) | about 4 years ago | (#33590300)

The majority of gamers are right handed and that's that way games have been developed for decades, that's right decades. Atari 2600, video arcade machines, the Jaguar, they were all designed for right handers. Not only that, they were all designed the same. Joystick on the left, buttons on the right. That is how most of us learned, and it took a bit to be able to do it all correctly. It's the learning curve that comes with picking up a new game or system. It's tradition, and a bit of economics.

Re:Different perspective (1)

sqlrob (173498) | about 4 years ago | (#33590636)

Not only that, they were all designed the same. Joystick on the left, buttons on the right

That's funny, your first example has the button on the LEFT.

How is it impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590326)

I am confused no one has explained how it is impossible. No one has described how this affects left ganders.

Re:How is it impossible? (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 4 years ago | (#33590556)

Don't waste your time with the emo bitching in the Blog. I feel dirty giving its lack of material a page hit. From reading a review I found at http://gofanboy.com/nds-reviews/407-art-style-base-10-review [gofanboy.com] , it seems as though you hold the DS 90 degrees counterclockwise to the standard orientation. The numbers scroll from the left to the right, with the right being the touchscreen on which you hit the numbers. You hit the numbers that add to 10 on the screen to make them go away, before the screen fills, similar to any number of flash games online. The orientation of the screen might make it admittedly hard for a lefty to play, but the thing is: The numbers are rotated. They don't always come down in the proper orientation. With this in mind, I say that as a simple workaround, you play the game with whatever-the-fuck orientation you feel like, and your numbers will be no worse than they were before. I've never actually played the game, so I'm just basing this all on the review, but this seems like "I need a left handed coffee mug" whining to me.

pretty lame (4, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 4 years ago | (#33590380)

As if left handed people didn't already have to deal with can openers, measuring cups, drill presses, soup ladles, catcher's mitts, rulers, spiral bound notebooks, pens with slow drying ink, and countless other devices that are made for use by right handed people.

Get a clue, we deal with these things. We CAN do stuff right handed.

Re:pretty lame (1)

PocariSweat1991 (1651929) | about 4 years ago | (#33590500)

pens with slow drying ink

I compensate for this by writing in Hebrew.
Try adjusting to that, righties.

If you think lefty is hard... (3, Interesting)

axismundi (997660) | about 4 years ago | (#33590388)

I once knew a guy who worked as a video game tester in Baltimore (for Absolute Quality). He had no right hand, just a stump. I'll never forget getting my arse completely stomped by him in any and every game we played together. The advent of the mini joystick (versus 8-way D-pad) on the N64 forward allowed him to play on the same level as anyone else.

any card-carrying leftie ... (1)

farble1670 (803356) | about 4 years ago | (#33590498)

... has long since learned to do various task right-handed. it's a right handed world. i seriously doubt there is any leftie that is completely inept with their right hand.

Why couldn't he play it? (5, Informative)

wbav (223901) | about 4 years ago | (#33590570)

Here's why [ign.com] .

If you look, the game holds the DSI sideways. There are important values on the left, while picking numbers on the right. If you're playing, you're constantly covering the left screen with your left hand when using the stylus on the right side.

Flip it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590588)

Why not just flip the whole game? Make each level or whatever a mirror image of the right handed version?

--
  Open 6 zip file [6zip.com]

Tro0lkore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590606)

baalots. You could are looking ver7 If you do not

no left handed people in Japan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590676)

I have lived in Japan three different times (during college and later for work) and all the students there are right handed, either naturally or by compulsion. This is due to the writing system in use. I guess they could also play games right handed as well with that training. Are there natural left handed people there? Sure but I never noticed anyone as being left handed. It is strange to point out this topic with a Japanese design as a subject...

Left hand advantage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33590722)

...when looking at pr0n online.

yet one more way where pc gaming is better (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#33590760)

yet one more way where pc gaming is better.

Most pc games let you remap keys and when the game does not there is 3rd party software that will let you.

Pinball also is not fixed to left or right hand play.

So what? Learn (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 4 years ago | (#33590786)

It's not *that* difficult to learn right-handedness, at least for video games. It might take a month or two, but keep at it, you'll get it. It's sort of like learning to touch-type, it's tedious work but pays off in the long run.

A fun dinner party trick I learned was left-handed chopsticks. When I moved to Asia, I had really never used chopsticks before, but it only took about two weeks to learn. Then, I learned that I had learned wrong. I had to re-learn the correct grip, and that was another two weeks of eating frustration. For a lark, I said how hard can this be, and taught myself how to use chopsticks left-handed, resulting in another two weeks of clumsiness and dropped food. Now, I have a fun trick. I'll change the dinner topic to left-handedness, because there is some superstition that lefties are more clever. I switch the chopsticks to my left hand, eat a few bites, and get a compliment. I follow this by challenging my hosts to use THEIR chopsticks left-handed, and hilarity ensues as nobody can do it. Ganbei!

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