The joystick in your video game console was first used as a lunar rover

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The joystick in your video game console was first…

Gamer culture cannot be understood without it. The joystick is, for those unfamiliar with videogames, a device that allows moving around a computer or a video game console screen. Its operation is not too complex: the stick pivots over a base and transforms angle and direction into movement of the device it is handling.

The joystick dates back to 1944. It was used in Germany for a purpose not that different from the one that made it popular later on: driving missiles. Real missiles, though, during the Second World War! Over the years, the entertainment industry discovered a gold mine in the joystick and companies such as Atari or Nintendo integrated it into their video game consoles as a device to control the game action.

Many people, young and not so young, have used a joystick, all around the world. What is less well known is that the joystick has travelled out of that world: believe it or not, the joystick visited the surface of the Moon, as it was one of the main control devices in the Lunar Rover, the vehicle used by astronauts to move there.

A relic like this could not be forgotten, and in 2014 one of the Apollo joysticks was sold at a public auction for an impressive $610,000! This is the highest amount ever bid for an object used in a space mission. The most real and spectacular video game ever was played with a joystick worth its weight in gold!