Gamepad ergonomics: Nintendo controller and 3 years old

This button makes you go up: three-year-olds and the Nintendo controller by Erik F. Strommen, Setareh Razavi and Lisa M. Medoff in Applied Ergonomics 1992, Vol. 23, No. 6, (pp. 409-413).

Abstract: Forty three-year-old children used the Nintendo controller in a simple cursor-placement task, with two different software interfaces. The directional interface required children to map specific directions of movement on to specific buttons on the controller. The non-directional interface simply advanced the cursor in a clockwise direction to the next placement location, regardless of the specific directional button pressed. Results indicate that while the youngest three-year-old children find the non-directional interface slightly easier to use, older three-year-olds are more successful with the directional interface. In addition, all three-year-olds actually experienced problems using the simpler, non-directional interface - and problems increased with age.

Why do I blog this? I am always interested by research about gamepad. This paper is a bit old but we can still consider some of thre results + the methodology since some gamepads are still similar (the Nintendo DS pads is very close to it).