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September 24th, 2007


Back in the olden days of computing, some of my favorite controllers were paddles. Even in the early 80s, paddles were a bit of a throwback for games like Breakout and Kaboom! (I have fond memories of playing Kaboom! at my friend Joel’s house when I was just a boy because he had an Atari 2600… and I had a VIC-20.)

Paddles (and joysticks to some extent) were more fun to me because they were uncomplicated. You rotated the paddle to move left or right, and had a fire button. That was it. Then again, there weren’t really any games like Halo 3 or Nintendogs back in the day. I guess that’s a trade-off.

The web would be more fun with paddles.

Posted in Childhood Memories

COD September 24, 2007, 1:16 pm

I have disc of old Activision games for the PS2. Kaboom is completely and totally unplayable without the paddle controller.

Dave Walls September 24, 2007, 2:53 pm

Man, I have some fond memories of playing Kaboom!..Games for the paddles were the most fun, especially considering how responsive they were in comparison to the Atari Joysticks.

Paddles were the most interactive controllers around until the zapper came around for the NES.

Joseph September 30, 2007, 1:48 am

I was raised fire & brimstone Catholic. The word “paddle” is one that causes lots of angst. But as a Catholic, the advance in technolgy to the “joystick” was no better–it just sounded sinful and perverted. This is why I had adopted such universal replacement terms for these objects such as “thingy” and “controller” or “that thing” or the “you know.” The introduction of Intellivision’s “control pad” made the playing of video games much more enjoyable and less emotionally charged. Thanks, Intellivision.

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