Do you share your videogame controller?

Do you share your videogame controller?

Summary: There are two types of people in this world: the ones who share videogame controllers and the ones who don't. Which one are you?

TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility

It came up again today, the old argument.

My husband, David, and I were shopping at the GameStop, intending to take advantage of their buy-two-get-one-free-on-preowned-games sale.

Since we have both an Xbox 360 (the console he prefers) and a Playstation 3 (the console I prefer), we were trying to decide what platform to get the games for.

Usually if it's a game he wants to play but I don't really care about, it's purchased for the Xbox 360. If it's a game that I want to play but he doesn't really care about, it's purchased for the Playstation 3.

Today, however, the games he had chosen were ones we're both very interested in playing.

Our individual console preferences seem to boil down to controller, although I must admit that I like my PS3 trophy collection because it makes me happy to see all my trophies in one place.

David doesn't care about trophies. He has a slight preference for the Xbox controller (he thinks it's a little better for a beefy guy's hand).

I, on the other hand, absolutely and completely heart the Playstation controller (it's lightweight and fits my smaller hands perfectly). I love my PS3 controller to the point where I kind of avoid the Xbox (for which we have two good controllers).

He's actually perfectly fine with playing PS3 games. I'm cool with that. I'm happy to share the console. But I don't like anyone touching my controller. Period.

Yeah, we have two PS3 controllers, but the one that sits in the back of the wireless charger is the crappy older one that usually gets upgraded when it starts acting up.

It's way more fun to use the nice, attractive, reliable satin silver DUALSHOCK one I splurged on last time I was in the market for a new controller. And I get all tense when he uses it. It just feels creepy when anybody else uses it.

Especially if that person is snacking on anything. I get exasperated and accuse him of "schmutzing up" the controller. I clean it with alcohol preps and give him dirty looks. I am the same way about sharing computer mice. It just gives me the willies.

This hurts my sweetheart's feelings. He is offended. He takes it personally. He thinks its insane. This from the man who won't share a bar of soap. Seriously. Why not? Soap is self-cleaning, isn't it?

I do have to admit that it is neurotic. I mean, I love holding hands with him. I'm thrilled to have him touch me, so why can't I stand his hands on my videogame controller? It makes no sense, but I would sooner lend him my toothbrush, and I think that's nasty.

Control freak

I embarrass my husband by getting everyone's attention and taking an informal poll of the customers and employees of the GameStop on whether they like to share their controller.

The reactions of the folks in the store ranged from apathy, "Why would I care?" to outright disgust, "No way!" and "I don't want anyone else's hand juice on my controller." Hey, I didn't say it, the store clerk did. I mean, I never thought about it in exactly those terms before, but it gave me the shivers when she said it.

Yes, it's true, in terms of health concerns, videogame controllers are a hotbed for germs. If you don't believe me, Google it. If your kids invite their friends over and frequently share controllers, be sure to disinfect those items regularly. But for me, I guess it's really all about the hand juice, and its resulting residue (whether real or imagined).

We left the store with three preowned Playstation 3 games, and a new, shiny, red DUALSHOCK controller for him. Our wallets were $50 lighter, but you can't put a price on the security of knowing your controller is your own. Or the peace and goodwill that comes from no longer arguing over the controller.

If the special someone in your life is schmutzing up your controller, Christmas is coming. It's a great time to get him (or her) a shiny new one of their own.

All these control issues have me wondering if this is a big thing for people. How do you feel about sharing your controller?

Please share more about how you feel about this personal preference in the TalkBacks below. It's fascinating.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility


Denise Amrich is a Registered Nurse, the health care advisor for the U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, and a mentor for the Virtual Campus at Florida's Brevard Community College.

Nothing in this article is meant to be a substitute for medical advice, and shouldn't be considered as such. If you are in need of medical help, please see your doctor.

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  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    "I do have to admit that it is neurotic. I mean, I love holding hands with him. I???m thrilled to have him touch me, so why can???t I stand his hands on my videogame controller? It makes no sense, but I would sooner lend him my toothbrush, and I think that???s nasty."

    You're right, it makes no sense. A total stranger, I would understand. Your husband? Eh, yeah, you need help. Unless he's really sick with something deadly. In which case, the last thing either of you should be touching is a game controller anyways.
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    I let my cousins play in my Nintendo DSi and I don't really care about it, I just want they wash their hands after eating something for example for keeping the console clean of "oil".
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    Yes a thousand times...though that's more because I've seen what people can do to controllers than anything like oil buildup. Every time I see a joystick that no longer has the resistance to even center itself, I die a little more inside.

    Well, that, and I use an awesome, overpriced, Razer professional controller.
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    How about a third type? Those without VGC's. Have no VG, ergo no controllers.
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    I could care a lot less since I don't/won't use them and see no use for them. This artcle s, however, a great example of spending dollar after dollar for no good reason and simply because you can. You should be taking most of that money and planning your golden year together instead of this impsh crapola, really. You guys really need to step back and take a look at your lives and where you're headed.
    • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

      @tom@... golden year? Booo. Come on old dude. If gaming consoles arent your thing just sit in your rocking chair and keep quiet. Sounds like they have something in common that they enjoy doing TOGETHER. We should all be so lucky. What do you enjoy doing w/ your free time Ole'Timer?
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    I would have to say the writer maybe has some issues going on. As a gamer I have never heard anyone who has to have their own controller with exception if they bought a very exspensive after market upgrade controller but for just a stock controller or color varied version no thats just crazy.I do mind if your hands are filthy or your eating and trying to use my nice white controllers though but if your clean and food free go ahead if you break it you replace it.
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    Lucky for me, I have an XBOX 360 only...with 2 controllers (we do have a Wii and it also has 2 controllers, but we don't play it much anymore). And my wife doesn't really care too much about playing video she usually reads a book on her side of the couch and I play my Halo games on my side of the couch. Every once in a while, she'll look up from her book if I'm getting to a particularly intense part of the game...and then smile a little when I die in some horrific manner.
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    [b][i][u]I DON'T MIND SHARING MY CONTROLLERS...[/u][/i][/b]

    Unless it's the only controller in good condition. Sorry, but if you don't BYOC, you get stuck with the crappy ones. My own personal console rule that few of my friends have ever had the courage to protest. Most of them observe the same rule with their own consoles/controllers.

    The rule does encourage people sharing consoles to obtain their own controllers...especially if you've had the console long enough to actually own a(n) broken/inferior/older/stock controller. Because not all games require all buttons on a console's controller, a sticky button or a joystick going soft doesn't mean the controller is immediately trashed...just mothballed for the next sucker who failed to bring their own controller when only one controller in working condition exists.

    [b]I do believe in an exception for "Personal controllers"[/b]
    But only when said controller is [i][u]NOT[/u][/i] a stock controller, or a manufacturer "replacement" controller. Said controller [b]MUST[/b] have extra features, functions or buttons that are not included with the controller which is supplied with the system. Personal controllers should ideally cost more than an original replacement controller in retail price terms, but this is not required, as many 3rd party controllers can actually cost less than an official manufacturers' replacement controller for a console.

    [b][i][u]Non-stock colors, patterns or skins DO NOT COUNT AND DO NOT DISTINGUISH A CONTROLLER FOR THIS TREATMENT IF IT HAS THE SAME BUTTONS, FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES AS A PLAIN CONTROLLER OF THE SAME SYSTEM![/u][/i][/b] Sorry, I think it's just asinine to argue over who gets stuck with or without that pink and flowery girly gamer controller if its only difference from a normal controller is it's appearance. It's fine if you prefer a certain color but don't be stingy if circumstances dictate that they should use it because it's the only decently working spare controller around.
  • LOL Get yourself Kinect

    No touching end of argument.
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    you people are all weird, I can't play well if someone else is using my controller. the worse part is I HAVE to have the new one, unless there is something weird about it... I can tell by looking at 4 Xbox 360 controllers (all the standard white ones), which is the one I use all the time. Whenever other people come over and I see someone going for the controllers, I have to rush in and find mine and get it out of the pile FAST! I get distracted if someone else has mine, to the point that I am looking at their grubby little hands all over it instead of paying attention to the game. on one glorious Halo night about 10 years ago, I even had someone pause the game and they "offered me my controller back!" we swapped, dropped out of the game and came back in with our correct gamer tags, everyone else (it was a full game of 16) was kind of weirded out about it and pissed that we had to stop the game. After that I moved my xbox into my bedroom and only certain people were allowed to use my controllers. I'd rather have a network cable running halfway across the house to the gaming room, than have someone else using my controller! (also the TV in my room was 10" larger, 4:3, than the one I had to use in the gaming room)
  • RE: Do you share your videogame controller?

    Caution: Pregnant and Breastfeeding women use them.Keep out reach of children .Do not give to children.