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Physical Vocabulary for Digital Worlds

Why the humble game controller is more powerful than you think

Newspeak and thought control

Scene from 1984 by Virgin Films

The Oldspeak word ‘free’ existed in Newspeak, but could only be used in terms of something not present, as in the sentences “The dog is free from lice.” and “This field is free from weeds.” Politically, the word free could not denote free will, because such a humanist concept does not exist in the society of Oceania. The linguistic design of Newspeak is for thought control, by diminishment of the user’s range of thought, which is realised with a minimal vocabulary of limited denotation and connotation; hence words such as: crimethink (thought crime), doublethink (accepting contradictory beliefs), and Ingsoc (English Socialism).

Pulling the strings

Super Mario 64 was played with the “right position”

Survival of the fittest

Atari 2600 Paddle Controller

Motion is the future…right?

Wii Remote (MotionPlus version)
Kinect for Xbox One

New frontiers

Nights into Dreams for Sega Saturn
PlayStation VR with Move controllers
DualSense controller for PlayStation 5
Cover image by Derek Story.



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