Our article asking why so many players invert their controls provoked a fierce debate that has now caught the attention of researchers into visual perception
It is one of the most contentious aspects of video game playing – a debate where opposing sides literally cannot see each other’s perspective. When the Guardian ran an article asking why a large minority of game players invert the Y axis on their controls – meaning that they push their joypad’s thumb stick down to move upwards on the screen – the response was huge. Hundreds of comments vociferously arguing why axis inversion was the only way to navigate a game world, and hundreds more incredulously arguing the opposite.
The purpose of the article was to discover reasons for this dichotomy in visual perception. Was axis inversion just a habit picked up from playing flight simulators or did it point to fundamental differences in how people perceive themselves in virtual worlds? There was no conclusion, but the argument raged on Twitter for days.