A short time back, in a Accessibility & The Casual Gamer, we looked at how veteran gamers have an edge over “newbies” in playing certain games. This edge comes from experience with similar games over time. But there’s another aspect, too: the controls.

Over at gamecareerguide.com, Amy Addison details her tribulations with trying to play console games, specifically the Nintendo GameCube. Now, Amy was not totally new to games; she had played a few in her youth.

But those had simple controls that were easy to learn. The Gamecube defeated her. After reading the explanation given by her son how the controls worked for a game, I can see me being defeated. It sure looked complicated to me.

However, Amy found salvation: the Nintendo Wii. That Wiimote was a snap to learn, and now she’s looking for more games to play. She even got her mother hooked on Wii Bowling.

So here we have someone who wanted to get into gaming, but found the controls just too much. Personally, I think she ought to have started with PC gaming; a mouse and keyboard is so much better.

Regardless, the article is a strong pointer to fancy controls being a barrier to entry-level gamers, at least on the consoles (of course, some PC games are bad in this respect, too). I suspect that there are many players labeled “casual” who would enjoy playing more “hardcore” games, if the interface wasn’t so difficult to pick up.

This is something developers should be studying with care. They talk about getting more people interested in playing; more would play if the controls didn’t require a huge learning curve.

Confessions of a Non-Gaming Mom on gamecareerguide