Video games, neuroscience and habits: why do some players reverse the Y axis?

Video games, neuroscience and habits: why do some players reverse the Y axis?
An age-old diatribe that has held sway for decades in the gaming universe: to reverse or not to reverse the controls in a title that offers the possibility? There are not a few players who prefer to change the order of the controls before starting a game, but what are the deep reasons for this choice?

The editorial staff of the British Guardian recently asked decided to consult some experts in the neuroscience sector. There are not many researches in this regard, but teachers and researchers have offered some interesting considerations related to the possible reasons for this preference. An important role, indeed, seems to be played by simple habit. In fact, the inversion of the Y axis seems to be a well-established trend among those who started playing video games in the 1980s or early 1990s, a period in which this set of controls was quite widespread, especially among flight simulators and shooters, suffice it. think of Microsoft Flight Simulator or GoldenEye and Turok. Over the years, the brain adapts to the tools we use frequently, including the controller: by starting to play with the inverted Y axis there is therefore more chance of retaining the habit even later.



A particularly interesting approach instead involves the player's level of identification with the protagonist on the screen. In that case, however, the results of the studies are mixed. In fact, some of these indicate that those who do not reverse the controls would act in the shoes of the alter-ego, while those who modify the commands would act on it. Other researches, however, indicate the exact opposite, also showing how the inverted Y axis replicates in a more realistic way the movement that the human being makes with his head to look around.



And what do you think: do you reverse the controls before starting to play? And if so, why do you do it?



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