The design process has always been about more than aesthetics and functionality. For us at Razer, and for me personally, it’s about recognizing and addressing the diverse needs of our global community of gamers. As a tribute to Left Handers Day, I wanted to share a reflection on our journey in pioneering left-handed mice—a project close to my heart.
In our right-hand dominated world, left-handed individuals like myself, often find themselves adapting to tools and technologies that aren’t inherently designed for them. This challenge extends to the digital realm, where default settings for devices, especially the ubiquitous mouse, lean towards right-handed users.
Celebrating Left Handers Day: Recognizing Uniqueness and Challenges
Left Handers Day is an occasion close to our hearts at Razer, reminding us of the importance of inclusivity in design. As we mark this day, we’re proud of our ongoing efforts to serve the left-handed gaming community.
Since the computer mouse’s advent in the 1960s, left-handed users have grappled with devices tailored for right-handed individuals. As technology became ubiquitous, the call for inclusivity grew louder. Several manufacturers attempted to produce left-handed mice in the late 1990s, but these often lacked the sophistication and ergonomic design that right-handed models boasted.
Razer’s Leadership in Left-Handed Mice: A Designer’s Pride
One of our proudest moments was in 2010, when Razer introduced the Razer DeathAdder Left-Handed Edition. It wasn’t just another product; it was a testament to our commitment to inclusivity. This commitment was further solidified on Left Handers Day 2020, with the release of the Naga Left-Handed Edition, a piece of tech that resonated deeply with MMO gamers worldwide.
For left-handed gamers, these innovations were transformative. Challenges in setting up gaming rigs, and intricacies in gameplay, were eased. And in our commitment to design and inclusivity, we’ve helped level the playing field.
A Conversation with the Community
We often reach out to the gaming community for feedback, and to truly understand the impact of our designs. It was in this spirit that we engaged with left-handed gamer and Twitch variety streamer, Krysellia.
Krysellia is an architectural designer who enjoys cosplay, video games, and traveling. We wanted to know her thoughts on both the gaming peripheral scene, as well as being a left-handed gamer:
Q1. As a LH gamer, what is your gaming setup like, and how do you tailor it to suit your gaming preferences?
Good question! There’s actually no fundamental differences between my setup and everyone else’s. It is, however, mirrored where my mouse is in my left hand, and my right-hand rests on my keyboard. I do prefer a full, ten-keyless, and 60% boards as it’s more comfortable for my hand since it doesn’t cramp up as much.
Q2. What adjustments have you made to enhance your gaming experience and performance?
Oh, quite a few. I always used my mouse in my left-hand, but that had to change when I first started playing FPS games. It was very difficult to readjust to my right hand as my aim felt off and shaky. It was just a weird experience. Since most mice were made to fit the right hand, I had to look for an ambidextrous mouse if I wanted to continue playing with my left hand.
Default keybinds were also a problem. I had tried using the same keybinds as everyone else with my right hand, but it was never comfortable. That’s when I had the idea of flipping the controls – using PL;’ instead of the typical WASD.
Q3. What has been your experience with Razer’s efforts to cater to diverse gaming styles and needs, particularly for left-handed gamers like yourself?
I’m definitely glad that gaming companies are starting to offer accessories catered to different gaming styles. Gaming should be a past-time, and a competitive experience fit for everyone. As a leftie, I used to have a hard time finding gaming accessories, but increasing awareness of the left-handed struggle is a step in the right direction. I’m very happy about how much more accessible it is now.
Thank you for sharing, Kyrsellia!
Moving Forward with Design at Heart
Today, as we reflect on Left Handers Day, our commitment at Razer—and my personal mission as Global Head of Design—is to continually innovate for all gamers. We are not just creating devices; we’re crafting experiences. The future holds endless potential, and with each design, we hope to touch lives, inspire gamers, and drive the industry towards greater inclusivity.
To all our left-handed gamers, and to everyone who champions inclusivity in design: Here’s to more left turns in the world of gaming!