With hundreds of highly-sophisticated gaming PC accessories in the market, it’s often easy to overlook the simple ones and their role in enhancing your abilities. That’s right! Gaming mouse pads need their moment in the spotlight. This basic accessory enhances the usability of your gaming mouse by providing an intuitive surface that improves movement accuracy and minimizes jitter.
However, gaming mouse pads have come a long way since their inception. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of the history of this popular gaming accessory. If you're intrigued to learn more, you’re at the right place.
In this post, we’ll talk about the evolution of gaming mousepads. Let’s get scrolling!
A “Scroll” Down Memory Lane
The first mouse pad was invented by Jack Kelley in 1968. It was nothing more than an insert to support the recently invented computer mouse by Douglas Englebart. Jack didn’t think much of his invention at that time as he couldn’t fathom the impact it would have in the business and gaming world.
Flash forward 20 years, the mouse pad rapidly became a commodity as Apple introduced the Macintosh, which included different accessories, many of dubious value. However, it was Bob McDermand, the founder of Moustrak, who made the mouse pad famous in the 90s through his rounded rectangle rubber design.
The 90s was a breakthrough decade for PC gaming mainly due to the impact of 3D graphics combined with more powerful processors and displays. Although games like Pong, Oregon, Trail, and SimCity were around for a long time, they didn’t have a real impact on the PC gaming industry, which was dominated by arcades at the time.
The Rise Of First-Person Shooter Games
The mid-90s was a great time for PC gaming due to the influx of first-person shooter (FPS) video games based on gun and other weapon-based combat. Thus, there was a great rise in demand for gaming mouses, and the popularity of first-person games fueled it. Some of the most popular games during this period up till the early 2000s include:
- Halo: Combat Evolved
- Hostage, etc.
Gaming mouse pads became an important accessory for gamers as they allowed them to use their mice without scratching their desks’ surfaces and improved their overall lifespan. The mousepads also enabled them to enjoy more friction due to the rubber or spongy cushion material and improve their in-game accuracy and control.
Moreover, larger pads enable them to sweep their cursor across wider arcs on the display screen.
How Gaming Mouse Pads Have Evolved Since their Inception
Durability & Enhanced Performance
Modern gaming mouse pads like the MouseOne Thasis are made using premium quality materials for enhanced performance and durability. These mouse pads are designed to facilitate smoother mouse movement across the surface. Some also include anti-sweat coating in place to minimize moisture during intense gaming.
Modern gaming mousepads are designed to enhance comfort, especially when playing first-person shooter games. You can find options in different sizes (small, medium, large, or extended) from leading brands like Logitech, Razer, Corsair, Novelkeys, etc., that use high-quality materials like fabric, sponge, rubber, plastic, and even aluminum.
Fabric cloth and cushion placed at the bottom offers the smoothest experience. In contrast, hard gaming mouse pads promise the best grip and in-gameplay accuracy.
Mouse Wear & Tear
Whether you have a simple PC mouse or a higher-end gaming mouse, a modern gaming mouse pad can help reduce the risk of mouse damage, especially if you play on glass desks. Not using a mouse pad can affect your mouse’s sensors and affect the overall performance.
And there you have it – the evolution of gaming mousepads. Although mousepads were going to be a thing of the past, the exponential rise in PC gaming and first-person shooter games has made them a staple within the industry.
So, if you’re planning to set up the perfect gaming PC with powerful gear, make sure you equip your mouse’s bottom with a stunning mouse pad to optimize your performance.