The End of Baby Tickling?

For as long as i can remember, the universal sign of a video game, or the act of playing one, has been what i like to call “baby tickling”. You know, that little hand gesture that symbolizes pressing buttons wildly on a controller? I obviously call it that because it makes the person look like (a fool, as well as) they’re tickling a baby to death. This is something i have always found absolutely hilarious and is one of the longest lasting effects of the NES that’s still around today.

When the DS came out last year, i wondered if people would start scribbling on their open palms to let others know what they were talking about. Alot of people have bought DSs since then, but i have yet to witness this in action, aside from myself. Presumably, this is either because the DS still has the standard controller buttons or it’s not widely accepted enough. So then i got to thinking, with the Revolution remote, will baby tickling end? After all, it will be the main input source of the new system.

A console has a much more prevalent spot in the home than a handheld, therefore, more people are sure to encounter it. Along with that, Nintendo is positioning Revolution as an entertainment device that family members of all ages are encouraged to use. That right there ratchets up Revolution’s audience exponentially. Everyone in your household will get their hands on that controller at some point or another.

The Revmote effectively deconstructed and reimagined what a videogame controller could be; and with it, might have started to change how we silently communicated our fervor for games. Do you think Revolution will change videogame sign language? Will we start “playing ping pong” instead, or are we fated to air button mash into eternity?


  1. Nice little article. I for one have on more than one occasion done the ‘scribble in palm’ gesture when asked what I do on my 2hr commute.

  2. Did people in the late 70’s do an “open the jar” motion when they talked about Pong?

    Thinking about the old Atari 2600 joystick, the hours I played Pitfall, and the extreme non-ergonomic design of that controller, I don’t think the Revmote (nice one!) won’t be too hard to get used to using.

    Other rambling thoughts .. I can’t wait to see a steering wheel/flight control snap on shell for the Revmote. Imagine playing a cockpit based space shooter with a 42″ screen and the immersion that will produce. *drools*

  3. calmWaters said…

    I for one have on more than one occasion done the ‘scribble in palm’ gesture when asked what I do on my 2hr commute.

    Ha ha .. that’s funny .. I have often done the “feed the geese” gesture when asked what I do at work all day.

  4. My girlfriend and I (both DS owners) have used the scribbling on our open palms to signify playing games.

    “What did you to today?”

    “oh, yah know….*scribbles in palm*”

    But recently the last few games I played haven’t used the stylus at all. Mario Kart, Tony Hawk, Mario and Luigi: PiT. Which, I actually like, they didn’t force anything on you and make things all crazy like.

  5. Baby tickling! LMAO!

  6. Thanks for the love, brothas.

    When my friends ask what i’ve been up to i do the about-to-roll-the-dice motion.

  7. …I can’t believe no one got that.

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