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Lamentations of a Lefty

Leftness is next to godliness?

So you probably don't know this, but I'm actually a left-handed person.  If you are left handed as well, you will know the sorts of problems that you can run into in a "right handed world."  This can range from anything from minor annoyances (right handed scissors) to majorly problematic things (most schools only teach writing/cursive for right handed people, which is why I stink at it).

One big exception to all of this right handed madness was gaming.  The controller worked the same way, regardless of which hand you favored, and you had to learn to use both hands together (yet another great part about gaming- it gets you to work both hands in sync with one another).  My right handed friends and I were both in the same boat when we played with our controllers and it was based on skill, not the hand you favored.

I imagine that this is NIntendo's face right about now...

But now, I'm finding myself frustrated more and more as games begin to cater more to right handed people ONLY, and that stinks.   At first, I had no problems- most of the DS games that I've bought that involve a "right handed" control scheme also have a "left handed" option as well (Hotel Dusk is an example of this, as you have to turn the system on its side like a book- so you can use the touch screen easily with your dominant hand to make notes and navigate the game).  Of course, I've been really psyched about playing new games as they come out for the 3DS, and as far as I'm concerned, there's nothing that ruins excitement better than finding out that a game is RIGHT HANDED ONLY.

Cut the Rope: Right Handed Only for 3DS?

I am used to watching the videos for a game before buying it and as I do not have an iPhone, I decided to get this fun little physics puzzler for the 3DS.  Of course, the sample video that I got was for the right handed version, but I assumed that there must be a left handed option, after all, that's been my experience, right?  The game's description didn't mention modes, but most games don't.  Well, it was only after downloading it (and paying!) that I found out that the game is for right handed people ONLY- and I have to hold the system awkwardly on the side to play with my left hand (and any of you who have ever tried to play with your non-dominant hand, you'll know that simply switching to your hands isn't going to help.  

This is supposed to be a 5 star awesome game that mixes adventure/fighting with resource/strategy, and I can't play it because they don't have a left handed mode.

I first ran into this game on Kotaku, where one of the staff writers (who is a fellow Southpaw) was a bit frustrated with the lack of left handed control scheme (even if you play with the second stick add on). You can read it here.  ANYWAY.  So, after taking a look at his play through, it gave me yet another one of those twinges of jealousy, you know the kind- when all the cool kids get to have fun on the new playground and you're forced to just watch from the sidelines (or worse, from a vastly inferior playground with rusty nails and broken swings).  Nintendo itself even confirms that there is no programming or option in the works for lefties to enjoy this game with an altered control scheme, so we either have to suck it up and play it in an awkward fashion, or we don't get to play at all.

The worst part? Well, apparently Kid Icarus is similarly Rightist.

I was really looking forward to this game, largely because I like the idea of flying through the air and shooting monsters out of the sky.  That's just awesome.  Plus, there's supposed to be a cool worldwide multiplayer mode (you can apparently play with Japanese people if you really want your butt kicked).  But apparently in order to play this game, once again, you're going to have to use the touch screen with your right hand and use the circle pad with your left- which means that any fine movement with the stylus is going to be hamfisted at best if you're left handed.  It's one thing to press buttons and jump, but when you're doing complex things on the touch screen, you're going to have some trouble.

Just because I'm part of 10% of the population doesn't mean you should leave me out!

Mirroring game controls, especially with the availability of the second circle pad attachment, shouldn't be THAT difficult for developers to do.  Honestly, I don't understand why this should be such an issue, especially when in many cases, touch-screen only gameplay can be played by people with both left and right handed dominance.  I know that it might be easy to discount this problem if you're a rightie, but the truth of the matter is that it feels bad to be left out, and I'm sure that many of you would be pretty unhappy if your friends and family members who are not right handed were stuck on the sidelines.

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So, what do you think about the "right handed centric" game design problem?

Do you think this is going to be a widespread problem with any games for the 3DS that involve the circle pad?

And finally, are you right handed or left handed (or ambidextrous)?

Remember, you're great, just the way you are- even if game designers leave you out....>_>

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I'll just leave this blog with this very appropriate comic.....

OH AND PS: 

Shigeru Miyamoto

- you know, the guy behind like EVERY NINTENDO TITLE EVER?  HE IS ALSO A LEFTIE!

 

Ok, seriously, Miyamoto, what gives!?  Don't you want to play all the Nintendo games too?

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