That friend being my mouse. T’was a good mouse. He held on bravely. Soldiered through millions of clicks in Diablo III, outlived three computers and four OS upgrades. But alas, the frenzied clicking during D3‘s Season 4, when combined with the fine-tuned work in my graphics projects and the hundreds of random clicks in Clickteam Fusion 2.5 while I attempted to determine what all those fancy buttons did were, at last, too much for the poor bugger.
It was this weekend, as I sallied forth into the Best Buy to replace my fallen friend, that I discovered computer accessories have gone completely insane; right alongside them in the trip to the funny farm are the employees responsible for dispensing such devices to the masses.
Now, I have often bought gaming mice. Not because I’m one of “those guys” who simply can’t prod Battlefield if his DPI isn’t adjustable for precision headshots or 360 noscopes at a moment’s notice, or because I secretly need a mouse button for every potential key combination in WoW. I buy them because they tend to be heavier and more durable, a better shape, and have sturdier and more tactile buttons. For someone suffering from carpal tunnel and multiple severed nerves, having something that’s weighty, fits my big-ass hand and provides an audible and tactile sensation that I can actually detect when clicking is a manifold bonus. The fact that they’re slightly more resistant to destruction if the pets knock them off the table is also worth a few points.
But I did not have the cash to replace this mouse with a similar model – and honestly, don’t think I’d want to, even if I did; going over $100 for something that exists only to click just seems ludicrous to me – so I had to traverse the aisle looking for clearance items. A helpful blue shirt approached and asked if I required assistance, to which I asked if the model I had mostly decided on was on display or if he could open the box so I could be sure it would fit in my hand and I could click it. He complied, then asked what I wanted it for.
“Web browsing, video editing, word processing, Diablo and whatever lame, under $5 on Steam game most recently caught my attention,” I say. He then proceeds to inform me that while the mouse I had chosen was excellent for first person shooters, it was not at all optimal for racing and fighting games – and, just who the hell is playing fighting games with a mouse, anyway? – and as far as productivity goes, I should really invest in a trackball. He continued to explain to me how really what I needed was to purchase three mice with a USB switch, and activate the one most suited to the task at hand. His recommended list would have topped $400, primarily due to his insistence that a Razer Naga Chroma with anti-static rubber grip mouse pad (for $45) was the piece de resistance.
I bought the one I started on. Walked out. Happily went back to work in Final Cut, ran a quick rift in D3, and determined it will work just fine. But I am left mystified.
Why the hell do I need a box of magnetic weights so I can fine tune the precise weight of my mouse? Why are there four programmable DPI settings, ranging from 200 to 8600, that can be shifted on the fly during gameplay? (With selection buttons that are dangerously close to both the “forward” and “left click” buttons, so I am constantly inadvertently hitting them) What is the real benefit to being able to set my scroll wheel to the “normal” ratchety style that has served us well for a decade or more, or go for the amazing “free wheel” mode where one flick will scroll from the top to the bottom of the “Recent Deaths” page of Wikipedia in half a second (and then keep spinning until I stop it)? And just how much more does this thing cost than it needs to, just because it has a glowing “G” on it that I can change the color of?
There were similar concerns when looking at the keyboards and headsets, as I am certain my keyboard is going to give up any day now, probably in sympathetic suicide to the loss of the mouse, and I have needed a new headset for some time (though not for chatting while playing games, as I don’t do that; I need it for voice recording on YouTube and Twitch). Hundreds of dollars these accessories cost, and mostly seemingly because they have function switches and glowing lights and “you can press twenty five keys at once and it will read them all!” features that seem to serve no useful purpose whatsoever. Can we just get something that freakin’ works, does the job it’s supposed to do, and doesn’t have two billion bells and whistles that are completely unnecessary? I’m starting to feel like a curmudgeon. “Back in my day…” I’ll say, waving my cane at the nearest technology sector employee.
Anyway. New mouse. Yay. It works. Double yay. Maybe now I can get something done. Or maybe I’ll get something done because I’m inching back into my actually productive mood swing due to the shifting season and being on less painkillers. One can hope.