Pinball Flippers Are One Form Of Pointing Device

Gestures on iPhone’s screen or MacBook’s track pad

I use both iPhone and MacBook and really feel the gestures on them are designed so well that you can use them with your intuition even if you are just a newbie on mac. First time I touched iPhone, I was so surprised to know how the gesture ‘pinch’ works. That was awesome. They say Apple’s products have good design, but it doesn’t just mean they have fancy looking.
— They are the answer to how tools should relate to human.

Pinball flippers

I have been a pinball game freak since I was a child before entering elementary school, so it’s been almost 40 years player.
Pinball games are abstractive and that excites me and liquidize my imagination. Although most of them have their story, they are never concrete ones visually; you should just imagine those stories with looking at movement of a ball, flashing or blinking lights and sounds.
All you can do during playing are shoot a ball at first, move flippers and sometimes shake. Those actions are not related to any concrete stuff; shooting a ball doesn’t mean shooting a gun, moving flippers doesn’t mean banging down a sword. No other meaning in the real world. They are just abstractive actions.

Perceptual adaptation

As you know, operation of flippers is quite simple. All you can do is just pushing  a button for each flipper. It’s an extremely simple world, only with on or off of a junction. It seems there are no distinguish between good player and not good player because there is only on/off of a junction.
But just look at very good player’s play (or mine icon smile Pinball Flippers Are One Form Of Pointing Device You will be surprised to see that flippers looks just like man’s hands!
It’s not miracle, not supernatural. And even if you used to feel the operation was uncomfortable and inconvenience, sooner or later as you’re getting a better player, you will also getting feel that operation of flippers only with buttons is not so bad. Now it’s got a kind of a pointing device just like a track pad of MackBook. Or you’ll come to feel them even like your hands. But why?
The secret is perceptual adaptation of human beings. It’s the secret of life that human beings can adapt to environment or to tools they bring. So here’s another option for tools to be good design; to force player/user to adapt. And it must be inverse vector of Apple’s beauty.


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