Yet another random musing (so I save 'em up... big deal...): who else tends to mash keys harder when they really want the computer to do something? This happens occasionally while coding (compile, DAMMIT!), but most frequently when playing older games. I would do this all the time when playing the old text adventure/RPG game DND (not to be confused with D&D, which would be a trademark violation) when I was quite young. I don't remember which key it was, but I would get to a point where I would press the Fight key SO hard... obviously I knew in my mind that pressing the key harder wouldn't make anything more likely to succeed, but it was comforting.
So, I've been thinking—what are the ramifications of this? Is it just some inexplicable psychological thing? Or, is it something simpler? One idea that just popped into my head is that perhaps... perhaps... it's the indication of a simple, effective user interface. The link between that key (probably "F") and actually attacking the monster (represented as an ASCII symbol in classic Rogue style) was so strong that, in my mind, they had become one. Pressing the key was attacking, and if I wanted to attack successfully, I would have to put effort into pressing that key. I don't really have anything to back up that guess, but I'm sure it will have me thinking for a while.