When playing the original Mario Party, wear gloves.

In some minigames in the original Mario Party for Nintendo 64, players must move the joystick in a circular motion (think Zangief's moves on steroids) to build up power. Many try moving the joystick with their left thumb, or between the fingers of their dominant hand, but it's never fast enough; in most minigames, you need 5 Hz just to survive, and it's tough. Others try moving the joystick with their palms; this gives more Hz and more points but causes blisters. Enough cases were reported to the media that Nintendo was investigated by the U.S. Attorney General (http://slashdot.org/articles/00/03/08/2332240.shtml), issued a warning about rototorture (http://www.nintendo.com/home/features/caution.html), began to supply free gloves with Mario Party, and removed the rototorture from Mario Party 2, replacing it with straight torture.

The technique

  1. Place your subdominant hand with the thumb on the outside and the fingers wrapping around the center bar of the controller. Right-handed Mario's thumb would be close to the + Control Pad; lefty Link's thumb would be next to the right C button.
  2. Place a padded glove (3M Thinsulate works well) over your dominant hand and center its palm over the Control Stick.
  3. Put both shoulders into it. Move the joystick with one hand and the controller body with the other. Get your 8 Hz. (The theoretical maximum here is 20 Hz, the Nyquist rate for phase modulation on a 60 Hz carrier.)

The only other game I've seen that uses rototorture as such is Bomberman 64, where you have to spin the joystick to wake up from being stunned, but it only lasts about two seconds at a time as opposed to the one-minute rototorture marathons of the original Mario Party.

Update, July 2003

Some of the games in WarioWare, such as "eat the spaghetti" and "raise the flag", are based on rototorture of the Control Pad. Luckily, these games are much less demanding in terms of Hz than Mario Party was.

(There are two reasons Nintendo should never have made Mario Party 3: "MP3" initials and the confusing 3 on the box art of the original.)

suggested by Rainfire

All you need for many hours of fun (compile with Allegro):

#include <allegro.h>
#include <stdio.h>

int joypos, spins;

void joyloop ()
  poll_joystick ();
  switch (joypos)
    case 0: if (joy[0].stick[0].axis[0].d2 && joy[0].stick[0].axis[1].d1) joypos++; break;
    case 1: if (joy[0].stick[0].axis[0].d2 && joy[0].stick[0].axis[1].d2) joypos++; break;
    case 2: if (joy[0].stick[0].axis[0].d1 && joy[0].stick[0].axis[1].d2) joypos++; break;
    case 3: 
      if (joy[0].stick[0].axis[0].d1 && joy[0].stick[0].axis[1].d1)
        joypos = 0;

int main ()
  printf ("Spin the joystick as fast as you can!\n");

  allegro_init ();
  install_joystick (JOY_TYPE_AUTODETECT);
  install_timer ();

  joypos = spins = 0;
  rest_callback (15000, joyloop);

  printf ("You spun the joystick %d times!\n", spins);

  return 0;

And there you have it - your own personal blister generator.

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