A vote for mouselook.

I'm in the middle of reading a short essay by Nathaniel Dorsky called Devotional Cinema for my senior seminar film studies course. It's mostly full of what I'd charitably refer to as "wank" so far; Dorsky fails to take a direct stance out of what seems to be fear of contradicting himself.

However, he makes an interesting point about camera movement that made me think of the arguments between looking in, say, an FPS with the mouse versus an analog setup.

In the section titled "Intermittance," Dorsky says:
"...even our vision appears to be intermittent, which explains why, in film, pans often feel artifical or forced. This stems from the fact that one never pans in real life. In truth, when we turn our heads we don't actually see a graceful continuum but a series of tiny jump-cuts, little stills joined, perhaps, by infinitesimal dissolves."

You can't really get that with an analog stick. Even on high sensitivity, the experience is similar to a camera spinning very quickly. A game with analog control could partly rectify this with methods of quickly turning both 180 degrees and 90 degrees in both directions, but even that can't compare to the straightforward act of pointing your head.

I've heard it argued that mouse-aiming quickly with a machine gun robs the weapon of its feeling of weight. That holds a grain of truth to it, of course, but then the issue present is the lack of separation between where your eyes go versus your gun. The flipside of weightlessness is oftentimes more distracting; it's more apparent when something as basic as looking is impeded versus the more involved act of aiming being unimpeded. Soldier-sims (where this would be an especially outstanding issue) tend to be good about separating your eyes from your ironsights.

On that note, it's a touch bizarre that Halo was lauded for its control scheme when none of the games allow you to 180 quickly. The classic-style Resident Evil games solved this issue in the 90s but are often remembered for having wonky controls*.

Now then, it's time to finish some reading. I may edit this if I change my mind about Dorsky being a wanker, but his chances aren't looking good so far.

*You'll never convince me that a game with "tank" movement and a quick-turn function controls poorly by default.

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