Open letter to Red Octane and Harmonix

I spent an hour or so playing Guitar Hero II at a friend’s place the other day. It’s a great party game, but there is something that tends to slow things down ever-so-slightly: Left-handed players need to set the “left-flip” option when it’s their turn to play (and right-handed players need to remember to turn it off when they take over!).

There’s got to be an easier way… then it hit me… and I decided to write an open letter to the hardware and software developers of the Guitar Hero series:

Dear Red Octane and Harmonix,

Please consider integrating automatic handedness detection into your guitar controllers and guitar games.

A simple mercury switch should do the job. It could be mounted such that when the switch is on, the guitar is being held in the left-handed orientation. This could automagically set the in-game handedness option at the start of each song. (Then left-handed people won’t have to worry about manually setting the “lefty-flip” option.)

You could also consider making your controller more symmetrical, or at least including alternative mount points for the strap. (The guitars sit a little weird when used left-handed.)

Best regards,

– Nick Lowe

The fact that having to set the lefty-flip option slows down gaming must have occured to the developers. They moved the option from the main menu (in Guitar Hero) to the in-game menu (in Guitar Hero 2); this saves a lot of time, but it could be even better!

Update: I got a cautiously positive response from Harmonix:

Hey Nick,

Thanks for writing in with your ideas. I’ll post this to our internal
boards and see what people think. We have a few lefties here.


Sean Baptiste
Manager of Community Development
Harmonix Music

2 thoughts on “Open letter to Red Octane and Harmonix”

  1. Maybe we’ll see it for Guitar Hero III? When I think about it, you can probably modify the guitar you have with a switch and get something to electronically flip the buttons automatically. Maybe we’ll see “the Lowester GH controller mod”? 🙂

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