I saw this timely, little gadget on Joystiq yesterday. The Fling, by Ten One Design, is a translucent joystick that attaches discreetly to the surface of your iPad via suction cups and allows you to play games with considerably more ease. I can’t speak to the effectiveness or the sales prospects of this device, but, boy, does it take me back.
In the mid ’80s, when my notoriously stern father purchased a Commodore 128 for my brother and I, it was with the caveat that we could only use the shiny, new home computer for educational purposes. That meant learning BASIC programming and typing up book reports — no games!
Now, remember, in addition to more raw power (128 kb of RAM!) and super-awesome graphics (80 column RGBI!), the C128 had a fully-functional C64 mode which let you play the machine’s more popular predecessor’s famously vast array of games. By my dad’s decree, I was doomed to miss out on everything from “Arkanoid” to “Zak MacKracken.” As a teen dude, I was devastated.
Then one day, as if prescribed by god — whom I believed in strongly at the time — I found, in some store, a tiny joystick shaped like a key that roughly matched the bland beige of the C128, clipped perfectly to the side of the deck, and plugged neatly into the external port. It seriously looked like part of the keyboard. I used it to play “Parallax” and “Flimbo’s Quest” for some time after that and dad didn’t have a clue.
That’s probably not what the Fling is for. But if it helps some kid out there slip one past their parents, great.