The article on arcade joysticks got me thinking. Is there anywhere I can get a "rotating" joystick like the kind used for Midnight Resistance and Heavy Barrel. If you don't know what I mean, the joysticks could be used as normal but the handle could rotate and click into one of 8 positions. In games they were used to change the direction you faced regardless of which direction you were heading. Some of the games that use these joysticks are my favorites and you can play them using the mouse or keyboard to emulate rotation but it doesn't work especially well, either you can't rotate fast enough or you can't quite get the position you want.
There are rotating joysticks, you'll probably find some in Tom's reviews on joysticks.
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What you are referring to are the rotating 8-position joysticks featured in arcades. These are nonstandard with PC's--you just don't see them very often, and since they don't really exist as PC peripherals, you won't see PC games using them.
They were fairly common on ARCADE games. And so it is there that you must seek, Grasshopper.
In fact, arcade gaming communities search for ways to interface such things, and there are indeed interfaces for rotating joysticks to a PC. More interestingly, however, are the HACKS that people have done to modify arcade-quality joysticks. Since some arcade-quality joysticks (such as the Ultimarc T-Stik Plus) can rotate about the shaft, you can actually hack a mouse using a gear and a toothed rubber belt to turn the mouse optical sensor. With the right software, this can get you what you desire (although it won't "click" like the Ikari Warriors-style sticks).
You can also actually just buy the joystick parts and the correct interface, too. But it's not as cool (grin).
I direct you, for example, to this thread in the www.arcadecontrols.com forum: