Beyond the Gamepad: HCI and Game Controller Design and Evaluation

  • Michael BrownEmail author
  • Aidan Kehoe
  • Jurek Kirakowski
  • Ian Pitt
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of computer game-focused HCI research, but the impact of controller-related issues on user experience remains relatively unexplored. In this chapter, we highlight the limitations of current practices with respect to designing support for both standard and innovative controllers in games. We proceed to explore the use of McNamara and Kirakowski’s (2006) theoretical framework of interaction in order to better design and evaluate controller usage in games. Finally, we will present the findings of a case study applying this model to the evaluation and comparison of three different game control techniques: gamepad, keyboard, and force feedback steering wheel. This study highlights not only the need for greater understanding of user experience with game controllers, but also the need for parallel research of both functionality and usability in order to understand the interaction as a whole.


Content analysis Critical incidents technique Game controllers Game pad Steering wheel Key logging Usability User preference 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Brown
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aidan Kehoe
    • 2
  • Jurek Kirakowski
    • 1
  • Ian Pitt
    • 2
  1. 1.People and Technology Research Group, Department of Applied PsychologyUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.IDEAS Research Group, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

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