Why Do Gamers Use Inverted Controls?

A group of scientists is conducting a study to investigate why some players use inverted controls and some prefer default controls, and what this means for human visualization and perception.

If all this is unfamiliar to you, let’s make sure everyone is on the same page. Inverted controls are specific to controllers, joysticks, and flight sticks; essentially anything with the stick that controls the camera in the game. If you choose the inverted controls, when you push the stick up (or away from you), the camera in the game moves down. When you push the rod down (or towards yourself), the angle swings up. Another way to think about this is when you look at the ceiling, your head is technically tilted towards the floor.

The project, run by a team at Brunel University in London, was originally inspired by an article by The Guardian that asks why people prefer to play games with the Y-axis, and so caused a stir. One of the scientists interviewed for this article, Dr. Jennifer Corbett could not resist taking her first steps in passionate discussions about reversed controls. He and his colleague Dr. Jaap Munneke specialize in vision science and cognitive neuroscience and aim to enroll volunteer players aged 18 to 35 to participate in behavioral and psychophysical experiments at a distance.

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