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Dvorak, colemak, ergonomic, mechanical !@#%$

Tags:
  • Games
  • Keyboards
  • Peripherals
Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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July 14, 2012 12:19:26 AM

Ok so I need a new keyboard for my new system.
now I'm currently used to using arrow keys for movement in games, and under the qwerty style... but I'm ready to change.

The problem is, I have no idea what to get!
Whatever I get, I will use for years.

I work and I game on my computer, and I have only heard legends of people with social lives.


After much research I thought I settled on the K60 keyboard. I like having something different looking, but I also figured the colored WASD would get me to learn how to use those for movement better. Then I found out that it has an inexcusable problem - The keys will sometimes get stuck down and this is not something I'm willing to live with. The problem is known and they still haven't fixed it after years and years.

So I did some more researching... and found the Filco Magestic touch keyboard... I'm able to choose whatever mechanical switches I want and is probably the best reviewed keyboard I have seen.

Due to how much I use my computer, I figured long term health might be an issue. I know most gamers here will tell you that those concerns only matter when you already have problems, but that is simply not true. You can develop carpal tunnel or other ailments through bad keyboard layouts.
So I started looking at Mechanical Ergonomic keyboards.

Lastly there are the extremely different dvorak and Colemak alternatives.
I figure if I'm already re-learning how to game without arrow keys, I might as well start from scratch, and invest in maybe one of those types of keyboards.

I'm used to QWERTY keyboards, but I don't think I will mind changing all it takes is time I suppose.

More about : dvorak colemak ergonomic mechanical

July 16, 2012 1:17:04 PM

your mind already has memory links in place which serve to allow you to type without conciously thinking about which keys to press. once these links are in place it will be very aggrivating to swap to a dvorak or other layout. for what gain? you might be able to type faster (eventually) but this is not an ergonomic solution just a productivity solution.

as far as gaming with wasd over the arrow keys... i would say there is a negligible ergonomic difference. you might have to reach for nearby keys but this could be a good thing.

mechanical keyboards are better but not necessarily in regards to ergonomics. i would call them equal in this regard.

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what actually works?

propper wrist support and/or ergonomic layout keyboards. to a degree this helps keep a more natural pose.

get up from the computer every once in awhile and stretch and/or do something else for awhile. any, i repeat any repetitive motion will cause issues. social life or not, if you dont want issues then dont sit at a pc without stretching or getting up for awhile unless you want problems.

remember mouse use can give you carpal tunnel as well.

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July 17, 2012 6:29:35 AM

As always your answer is informative =)

Could you explain how reaching for other keys could be a good thing though?
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July 17, 2012 11:50:53 AM

its a double edged blade really...

the arrow keys and surrounding zones are more ideal for button mapping. the location also means less accidental button presses.

i've found reaching around for the keys to be more comfortable as i'm not crunched into a tiny box as most wasd layouts are set up. wasd layouts seem to be about minimal movement.

its a hard call as to whether the stretching out is a good thing or bad. i constantly take breaks to stretch my tendons so for me the layout is purely for an ideal location. the finger movements for a wasd layout just seem alien to me and i'm sure i would either get a cramp or mispress many keys.

for extended gaming sessions i have managed to pull a tendon stretching a pinky towards the ctrl key due to repeated use but i would call this my own fault for not taking a break.

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in the end...

dvorak or colemak mean absolutely nil when it comes to gaming. you map the keys anyways so why would it?

ergonomic keyboards in wave or split designs may help but they are situated for typing. you may not get the same benefits while gaming.

ergonomics is no excuse for not taking a break.

mechanical keys arent any more ergonomic but are better for typing accuracy. some dont like the letoff in games but i do. i also like the clicking sound while typing.

a keyboard and the keyboard layout is something you must be comfortable with no matter what anyone else says. use what you like not what 100 other people want you to use.
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July 19, 2012 9:42:16 AM

Best answer selected by zex95966.
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