The Fine Line

There is a fine line between “enthusiast” and “wanker” — and I seem to do my level best to skate a wavy path alongst it. Case in point: my “friend” Alex made me aware of the MonsterGecko PistolMouse FPS the other day.

At first glance, it looks like a cheesy gimmick devised mainly for the purpose of separating gullible wannabe badasses from their money. Closer inspection, however, reveals disquieting signs that actual thought, care, and attention went into its design. For instance, one of the drawbacks of regular mice for games is the placement of the scroll wheel: either you move your index finger off the primary mouse button to use it, or you manipulate it with your less-dextrous middle finger. (No comments from the peanut gallery, please: my middle finger is more than up to the task of dealing with the likes of you.)

MonsterGecko’s design puts each control under its own finger, with the scroll wheel under the strongest and most nimble digit, the thumb. In addition, they’ve placed the optical sensor far forward, so that a little yawing of the wrist will let you rotate your view to one side or another. Finally, the triggers, at least, are made of anodized aluminum. Leaving aside for the moment the fact that I seem to have a crow-like fascination for the stuff lately, this further belies the notion that this thing was slapped together to make a quick buck. True shysters would have used the cheapest plastic they could find and had done with it.

So, of course, I had to order one. We’ll see whether this makes me a wanker or a badass in mid-September, when it’s supposed to ship.

(No, wait, it’s official. I’m definitely a wanker. Otherwise I’d have ordered mine from ThinkGeek, who actually have them in stock. Damn.)

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