A joystick is a personal computer peripheral or general control device consisting of a handheld stick that pivots about one end and transmits its angle in two or three dimensions to a computer. Most joysticks are two-dimensional, having two axes of movement (similar to a mouse), but three-dimensional joysticks do exist. A joystick is generally configured so that moving the stick left or right signals movement along the X axis, and moving it forward (up) or back (down) signals movement along the Y axis. In joysticks that are configured for three-dimensional movement, twisting the stick left (counter-clockwise) or right (clockwise) signals movement along the Z axis. These three axes - X Y and Z - are, in relation to an aircraft, roll, pitch, and yaw.
Joysticks are often used to control games, and usually have one or more push-buttons whose state can also be read by the computer. Most I/O interface cards for PCs have a joystick (game control) port. Modern joysticks (as of 2003) mostly use a USB interface for connection to the PC. The term joystick has become a synonym for game controllers that can be connected to the computer since the computer defines the input as a "joystick input".
Apart for controlling games, joysticks are also used for controlling machines such as elevators, cranes, trucks, powered wheelchairs and some zero turning radius lawn mowers.****************Certain input devices (originating in arcade machines) are available for computers and console games are designed to look and feel like a steering wheel, and are intended for use in racing games. The more inexpensive ones are just paddle controllers with a larger wheel, but some go so far as to employ force feedback to simulate the tactile feedback a real driver feels from a steering wheel. This good feedback from the steering contributes to steering "feel" and is one of the hallmarks of a true "driver's car" or sports car.