Codex Gamicus

Basic Information

A term used as reference to the four keyboard keys: W, A, S and D. These keys have become the de facto standard in first-person shooter video games to move around.

  • W - Moves forward
  • A - Moves to the left (strafe left)
  • S - Moves backwards
  • D - Moves to the right (strafe right)

History overview[]

In the closing years of the 20th Century, game engines became more and more complex. As gaming technology improved, games were capable of offering new ways to view the digital surroundings, up to a level where a full three dimensional world was available to explore. These bold events brought about a new, never-before faced problem: How should a gamer interact with these believably realistic game worlds?

At that time, game designers were dealing only with 2D painted backgrounds, and had the gamer press the four easily identifiable keyboard arrows to move around. Later, a new way of interaction was introduced - the mouse. The mouse was a hit; with it gamers could change their now 3D view with ease, eventually being coined "Mouselook" or free look. Few groundbreaking games were introduced to the new 3D genre, and users were left to use the traditional four-arrows interface.

In response, gamers became upset, in order to make a comfortable space for one's hands to use both the mouse and keyboard, it was necessary to move the keyboard or position ones self uncomfortably. In response, the WASD method was introduced, and remains popular among gamers to this day. Gaming communities have emerged using the WASD acronym such as WASD Gaming Community.