Don’t Touch: The Story of the U-Force

//Don’t Touch: The Story of the U-Force

Release Date: September 1st, 2021

On November 3rd, 2020, in honor of Election Day here in the United States, I put up a poll on Patreon for a new episode topic. The theme was “weird controllers,” and the options were LJN’s Roll & Rocker, Broderbund’s U-Force, and the Sega Activator. The winner was U-Force, with 163 votes!

I started working on this video right away and was able to secure interviews with three people involved with the U-Force, including Dave Capper, the inventor of the U-Force. Unfortunately, the project was put on hold due to graduate school. But after the semester, I picked it back up again. In total, I’d say this video took about three months to make.

One of the more challenging parts was the actual hardware. I had to learn how the U-Force worked. I actually bought a spare U-Force so I could take it apart and see the inside. The technology is pretty clever, and I was honestly surprised by how well it performed. I heard horror stories about the controller and how it just didn’t work. But that was not my experience. As far as functionality, the U-Force works fine. But like other experimental controllers, it’s just not a great way to play video games. I think it really shines with certain first-person games like driving and flying games.

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