Originally Posted by Gon
Games are a bit different. They don't use anywhere near as many buttons on average than productivity apps use for shortcuts, and they strongly encourage you to learn the key by touch. It's easier to do so because of the high frequency of their use in the game, it's more necessary because looking away from the screen usually hurts your game performance, and it's not half as much work because gamers bring in their preferred control schemes from past games by keymapping and that usually leaves them with only minimal new controls to learn.
You have to be proficient with the keyboards in all of these apps. But there is a learning curve. Don't forget that each game can have its own special keys. They are not all alike. After you finish that game, which can take from a few days to a few weeks, you go on to another. This type of keyboard would be very helpful. there could be special keys that you can use for special items. How many games make you cycle amongst the weapons you carry? Or amongst the stuff in your backpack? In a situation where you needed something very quickly, it would be better to just go to the key and click it, rather than to have to click through all your stuff.
I'm all for putting money in good keyboards, and that's well within reasonable to pay for a good one... but I have messed around with Photoshop on 100% amateur level when it was at version 4 and I was fifteen (I went through one of the thicker PS guide books and did the exercises), and had all shortcuts down just with my normal system of shortcut learning.
Yeah. Well, I've been a pro user, beta tester, and teacher of PS from when it first came out, and I know the program pretty well. But, still, I appreciate my PS keyboard.
I have long entertained the idea that when you learn shortcuts in more than one app, it might be a good thing that your memory doesn't map them directly from function to physical key, but from function to character to key instead, because the physical act of pressing the key without thinking about it is hard and memorizing function to character is really easy in comparison. When split to the two parts, the harder character to key part is shared between all apps. The function specific keytops work against this. Thoughts?
Everyone is different, but editors, as a group, would not agree with you.
Going back in time to the old hardware word processing computers, such as the Wangs, the keyboards, which had extra keys (and the function keys were actually used back then), all had as many keys as possible labeled as to their functions, so this idea is nothing new.