It isn't an issue of annalogue verses digital devices. it has to do with
how operating systems and programs recieve input from those devices.
Keyboards return a key pressed or key released state back to the
operating system or program polling it. Since a key can only be held
down or released there isn't any other state the key can be in. This is
different from a joystick that has a wide range of motion and movements
left, right, back, foward, or a combination of these. Obviously, since
the joystick has such a wide degree of movement you can program much
more complex tasks for it.
If you wanted a player to run using a keyboard pressing up arrow might
start him walking. Add a shift or control key and he breaks out into a
run. This works, but you don't get a lot of control over speed other
than a walk or a run because a key can only be pressed or released.
Now, on a joystick since the y axis has a range of -5000 to 5000 you can
speed up or slow down based on the y axis. If the axis is 0 the player
is stopped. If you push the stick foward or backward the closer you get
to -5000 or 5000 you can continue adding speed and momentum until the
player reaches the proper speed. This gives you a huge advantage over
the keyboard because you have a steady increase from standing still to
an all out run. Much smoother, realistic, and advance than the clunky
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