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What's better: left-handed FPS options or a little hand for a cursor?

Vote now as we continue trying to decide the single best thing in games

Holding a gun left-handed in a Counter-Strike screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Valve

Last time, you decided that removing a card from your deck is better than enemies stopping respawning after you kill them loads. The result wasn't close but was closer than I expected, which shows why it's important to ask. We're doing important work here, you and I. This week, it's a question of mitts. What's better: left-handed FPS options or a little hand for a cursor?

Left-handed FPS options

I always respected how Counter-Strike was one of the biggest games on the planet yet for a fair while it defaulted players to the unconventional first-person view of holding guns left-handed. Hell, at first it didn't even have a right-handed option (I like that when one was added, the setting was cl_righthand, still treating left as default). CS lead Minh "Gooseman" Le is left-handed so that's the way he animated holding guns. Good for him! And good for other lefties who found themselves seen in a way few games have to this day.

For righties, it was a different experience. This was more than the wrong way of holding a gun, it was alienating, bizarre, confusing. Why would anyone make a game which doesn't reflect my own experience, the experience of the majority? I'd like to say it inspired a little self-reflection and new awareness about other people's lives but that's probably a generous reading. The main outcome was rude rightie newcomers spamming "WTF MY HANDS HOW DO I GUN PROPER" in all-talk until someone told them "Press F10 to fix it" and the fool followed the instruction to hit the quit key. So I suppose we should also be grateful for the pranks it enabled too.

CS has defaulted to rightie for many years now, and only a few other games have offered optional lefthandedness. When Valve relaunched Counter-Strike: Global Offensive as Counter-Strike 2, lefthandedness was outright removed. A shame.

A little hand for a cursor

Does your heart not soar when you load a game and discover its mouse cursor is a little hand?

Do you not delight in the personality this hand adds? This powerful armoured gauntlet, this evil claw, this bloody severed hand, this hand clutching a tobacco pipe, this s-s-spoOoky skeletal hand? Are you not thrilled when it's a different hand for different factions? And oh how its animations make you giggle!

Some might say the little hand is calling attention to itself, not automatically processed as just part of the interface. To which I say: yes, and isn't it perfect when the little hand taps its own index finger when you click?

Clicking on the training room in a Dungeon Keeper screenshot.
Dungeon Keeper's little hand | Image credit: GOG/Electronic Arts

But which is better?

As a rightie, look, most games see me as the default, so I can enjoy just dragging that little waggling gauntlet about. But what if the hand cursor had a leftie option? Difficult decisions. Which do you think is better, reader dear?

Pick your winner, vote in the poll below, and make your case in the comments to convince others. We'll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.

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