How developers are learning to use intuitive movements and gestures to create a whole new generation of interactive experiences – and where this is all heading.

This article titled “Touchscreens, smartphones and the haptic future of games” was written by Keith Stuart, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 2nd June 2011 14.35 UTC

The arrival of touchscreen technology must be one of the most intuitive computer interface transitions in history. From the Nintendo DS to the iPad, people have just got it. Physically manipulating onscreen items with our fingers is natural. It delivers users from the tyranny of abstract button operations.

But it's telling that games developers took a while to adapt to this new era. For 40 years, interactive entertainment was about joysticks; design was governed by switches and buttons. Consequently, when touchscreen smartphones and tablets started to arrive, the initial instinct for many studios was to transplant those legacy systems onto the new devices – hence virtual joypads.

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