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My journey with Gameball: the world's first Gaming Trackball Mouse


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After 29 years of MMORPG gaming and countless computer builds and upgrades, the one peripheral that has always eluded me was a gaming trackball mouse.

 

To combat a digressive back condition, aided no doubt by decades of competitive football, I learned to game in a recliner with my gaming keyboard set atop a laptop cooling pad and a trackball mouse Velcro adhered to the right arm of my recliner.  It’s been my setup for the last 20 years.

 

Trackball gamers have been kind of the lost and forgotten children of the gaming world, with no mice to have ever been designed for a trackball user.  There have been a few offerings here and there over the years, with only a few developed with an extra programmable button or two, but every one of them has been an afterthought and every one of them has been thumb control.

 

To be a competitive trackball gamer, precise control and game situational responsiveness must be maintained by the index finger.  The index finger is more fluid, faster responding and intuitive.  But alas, outside of the office environment MS Trackball Explorer, circa 2001 and no longer in production, no index finger controlled trackball of any significance has ever been available to the trackball gamer. 

 

Enter Eric Andrus and the year 2016.  Eric, not unlike a generation of gamers, suffered years of failing to reach his potential as a competitive gamer due to the limitations of available index finger controlled trackball mice.  There were simply no options.

 

With no options available, Eric set out with a vision to design and build his own, and thus was born Blue Sun Innovations and the development of the world’s first gaming trackball mouse, the Gameball.

 

I remember stumbling across the infant stages of the Gameball website that year during my annual Google scrub of any and all new trackball mice to hit the market.  Though the searches generally ended in disappointment, even the mention of a new gaming trackball mouse gave hope.

 

I reached out to Eric in 2016 through the new Gameball website (www.gamingtrackball.com) to see if this was a real thing or just another tease.  To my surprise, and impressively enough, Eric returned my email inside of 10 minutes.  He explained with quite a discernable degree of enthusiasm that he was indeed developing a trackball mouse aimed almost solely towards gamers.

 

It was pretty exciting.  I had renewed hope.  The original design on the very first iteration of his website looked so promising, ergonomically and intuitively laid out in the perfect hand resting position, a right handed rendering with 6 large and functional buttons and a big, beautiful index finger controlled mouse ball.  It was game on.

 

Over the next two years, updates and information were scarce.  Each updated timeline on the website included the next delay, the next big challenge, the next release date, and the latest expectations.  I was beginning to lose hope.

 

It was November 11, 2018, when I reached back out to Eric with a simple message:  “Gameball … is this still a thing?”

 

Eric responded in what I’ve come to expect from Eric, about 5 minutes.  “Yes, it’s still a thing.”  He went on to explain the delays and the new trackball design and the legalities that his production company had encountered and that he had, in fact, moved the production of the Gameball to the UK.

 

Eric knew through countless email correspondence that I was a serious trackball gamer and had waited so long for someone to develop one.  I was the guy pounding on the window every morning whispering “Open … Open … Open”.

 

We stayed in touch in the year following.  Eric was always happy and enthusiastic about sharing updates and timelines.  And on October 8th, 2019, I received an epic email from Eric:

 

“Hello Michael.  A Gameball prototype has been shipped to you for testing.  Please do not share any details or information until we release the final version.  Thank you agreeing to test the Gameball.  I look forward to your feedback and thoughts on the unit.”

 

He went on to explain to me that the key buttons on the prototype were 3D printed for testing only and not final production quality.  He requested feedback and told me that I could keep the unit for as long as it lasted.

 

As a diehard and hardcore gamer, I take alpha and beta testing very seriously.  I didn’t set out like I had received a free mouse, I set out to put this unit through the rigors of everyday hardcore gaming, intense PvP battles and marathon gaming sessions.  I felt privileged to be offered a prototype and wanted to keep my end of the agreement by being a serious tester.

 

I’ve been testing the Gameball ever since, and it remains Velco attached to the arm of my recliner, in perfect working order, to this day.  In keeping my word, I’ve updated Eric bi-monthly about my experiences with the Gameball.   I had intended to discover flaws, irregularities, functionality issues or discomfort.  Unbelievably enough, I’ve encountered none.  The prototype, even with its weaker 3D printed parts, has been flawless.  I’ve had nothing at all adverse to report.

 

The only design function that I’d reported to Eric several months back was my wish that the scroll touch pad have a slight incline to it rather than sitting flat.  During long gaming sessions, the natural sliding motion with the middle finger along the scroll pad was at an odd finger angle and would ache after several hours.  I assured him it was not a big deal, but the only ‘flaw’ I could find in hundreds of gaming hours I’d used it.

 

Amazingly enough, the angled touch scroll pad made it into the final design!

 

My most recent update to Eric was yesterday, March 5th, 2021:  “Hey Eric, love the design of the new Gameball website.  Looks like it’s all coming together!  I’m 1,607 gaming hours in and have nothing to report.  Still working and operating flawlessly.”

 

I can tell you honestly after over 1,600 hours of gaming, hard gaming, that this is easily and hands down the best mouse, trackball or otherwise, that I’ve ever owned or gamed with in my life.  I’m not a paid spokesperson, I’m just a gamer.

 

The new ambidextrous design (a brilliant move) is intuitive, relaxing and hyper responsive.  I’ve never had an ache or a pain from hours of resting my hand on this mouse.  It’s shaped perfectly in the resting hand position, with effortless fingertip control and amazing feel.

 

This is an amazing product, a world’s first, and probably the last mouse I’ll ever have to use.  If you are a trackball gamer, the Gameball will soon be something that you cannot game without.  Worth every penny and then some, I highly recommend it.  Built by a gamer for gamers.

 

With COVID delays waning and production complete, sales and shipping are moments away.  Join the trackball revolution at www.gamingtrackball.com

 

Paradigm Gaming

 

 

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http://www.trackinggameball.com

 

 

 

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