The world of computer games is constantly growing, birthing increasingly involved and complex games every day. This being the case, the avid gamer is posed with a problem. A more complex game demands a more complex controller. For example, the same controller or keyboard used to play old, popular games like Pac-Man or Tetris is no longer sufficient for today's games.
The gaming industry's solution to this problem is the gaming keyboard. These keyboards are overhauled, customized versions of the factory standard keyboards that can be found at businesses or in many households. Gaming keyboard manufacturers take the design of a regular keyboard and then determine what changes could be made to make controlling video games easier and more convenient.
Many gaming keyboards are equipped with reprogrammable keys that serve whatever function you assign to them. This allows the user to create a one-of-a-kind setup that is specifically tailored to his liking. Additionally, gaming keyboards often offer a built-in joystick. This stick allows the user to easily and seamlessly control several axis of movement at once if used in conjunction with the mouse.
In today's world where comfort is often a deciding factor between purchasing one item over another, many gaming keyboards also make the effort to be more ergonomic for their users. Curving the keyboard to fit a more natural arm position for the user, or providing better wrist support are common ergonomic improvements that can be found in gaming keyboards.
Further enhancing ergonomics is the specific placement of certain keys on the board. Instead of placing important keys in awkward or hard to reach places, the manufacturers of gaming keyboards aim to maximize ease of use. Instead of straining your pinky finger to reach the key assigned to crouching, for example, a gaming keyboard may allow you to reprogram the crouch function to one of the more comfortably located keys.
Another feature of many gaming keyboards is a custom sticker overlay. The overlay is placed onto some keyboards and customizes the labeling of the keys and may include a stylish graphic of some sort. However, some gamers prefer not to clutter their keyboard with these graphics and can easily remember which buttons serve which functions. Whether you desire an overlay or not, an overlay is usually not the decision-making factor that influences a gamer to buy one keyboard over another. Ergonomics, key placement and programmabiliy are the primary considerations when buying a gaming keyboard.