Do you share your videogame controller?

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?
Written by Denise Amrich, Contributor

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.

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