This Thanksgiving I’d like to spend some time to write about what I’m thankful for. Here are few things that I believe should be thanked, whether or not they deserve the recognition.

My thanks go to Atari for proving to me that even if you make a horrible game and take it New Mexico, bury it in a landfill, and then cover it with cement, the fact remains you made a horrible game.

Back in the early 80’s during the Video Game Crash, Atari sent somewhere between ten to twenty semi-trailers full of Atari boxes, cartridges, and systems from their storage facility in El Paso, Texas to a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Atari’s millions of unsold copies the infamous E.T. ultimately wound up in this land fill, crushed and encased in cement. Thank you, Atari, for putting that game where it belongs (I would have burned them myself).

Thank you to the Internet for finally revealing who created the first motion sensitive controller. The answer: Not Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft!

I wonder if Sony enjoys manufacturing motion sensitive controllers and then cramming them down our throats. Many companies have developed a motion sensitive controller but Sony now makes it standard for their console and in some cases a requirement (thanks Factor 5).

Their first motion sensitive controller was made for the PS1 by Pelican Accessories, and was called the TiltForce2. Sony did not distribute or produce this controller, and with a lack of games that supported motion sensitivity it failed.

The NES was the first console to include a motion sensitive controller, with the Power Glove in 1989. Designed by the team of Grant Goddard and Sam Davis for Abrams/Gentile Entertainment, and made by Mattel in the United States, Nintendo was not involved in the design or release, though it was an officially licensed product.

The Power Glove was the first commercially successful peripheral interface controller to recreate human hand movements and sold 100,000 in the US alone. Then again, the N64 motion sensitive controller packs, which also incorporated vibration, were also created by Pelican back in the late 90s. And now of course the Nintendo Wii has made motion sensitive gameplay standard.

Microsoft was the actual first to both develop and distribute a motion sensitive controller: the Sidewinder Freestyle Pro, for PC in 1998. It’s not as though it came without its bugs, however– the motion sensitive function of the Freestyle Pro was not precise enough for some games, like Flight Simulators. The D-Pad had a bad placement,and it was not an overall necessity for the PC gaming scene, so it flopped. Now it seems Microsoft is at it again, this time making a motion sensitive controller for the Xbox360. Hooray, another one!

Thank you Fable for keeping my hope for my future in gaming alive! Lionhead Studios’ Action/RPG Fable: the Lost Chapters was one of the best games I have ever played. And I know what you’re thinking, and yes I had to mention at least one videogame!

Over the years this has been the only game that has held my interest for more than a few
hours. Even now as I play it on Xbox 360 in all its jittery glory, it’s still the best game I’ve played on my Nex-gen console. It’s a real shame, but hopefully by next year I’ll have something to really be thankful for, like Fable 2.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!