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5:27pm on Wednesday, 5th November, 2014:

Finger Lengths


Look at your hand, and compare the lengths of the index finger and index finger (assuming you have both). For most men, the ring finger will be longer than the index finger; for most women, they'll be about the same length. The cause is something to do with the balance of hormones in the womb when a foetus is developing, but that's not what I'm concerned with here: I'm more interested in the effect.

So, if you play a lot of MMOs, RPGs, FPSs or driving games, you'll be familiar with the WASD input paradigm. You spend most of your time in the game with your left ring finger on the A, left middle finger on the W and left index finger on the D. Your right hand will be controlling the mouse.

That being the case, does having a longer ring finger make this easier or more difficult than having index and ring fingers the same length, or doesn't it make much difference? Do you have to hold your hand at a different angle, possibly affecting your posture and how you hold your upper arm and shoulder, or can you simply move the keyboard left or right to balance it out? Overall, is the use of WASD sexist, and if so, which sex gets the ist?

I'm sure there's an easy academic publication in that for someone...

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).