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Video Game Controller Evolutionary Tree Has a Missing Link to the Keyboard

by Lambert Varias

We’ve seen video game controllers cataloged periodic table-style, but I always thought an evolutionary tree would be more appropriate, especially since most controllers are just derivatives of a few classic designs. Finally, someone has come up with such a chart:

evolution of video game controllers by pop chart lab

Actually this poster isn’t an original idea; the artists who made this were inspired by this online chart, which could very well be the first attempt at making an evolutionary tree of controllers. The chart tracks 82 controllers under 9 classifications – analog knob, joystick, number pad, analog stick, control pad, pad, motion capture, gun, instrument. Which begs the question – where’s the keyboard?

evolution of video game controllers by pop chart lab 2

As you can see, the chart claims that the Adam of all controllers is the Magnavox Odyssey, a claim that I can’t dispute because I don’t really know what the right answer is. But if you’re willing to accept this Darwinian account of our much-loved devices, then rejoice, because you can get this poster now from Pop Chart Labs for a mere $30 (USD). It’s actual size is 24″ x 36″, with each copy numbered and signed by the artists who made it. It’s printed in “rich indigo ink” using “100 lb archival recycled stock certified by The Forest Stewardship Council”. I don’t know what that last one meant but it sure sounded fancy. Cheapskates like me can view the high-res picture of the poster here.

[via Rampaged Reality]




Comments (3):

  1. Technabob says:

    It’s a pretty cool poster, but definitely not complete. They forgot about the trackball class of controllers too.

  2. Anon says:

    Awesome!

    The Playstation controllers look very wrong though…

  3. Where isthe FRAGFX says:

    Hey guys,

    The poster is super cool – but it would be even cooler with a FRAGFX :)

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