Originally Posted by Adrir
The problem with some mapping schemes, is that they can create a poor cognitive economy for some users. In particular, where users are forced to recall the mapping rather than use recognition. Although, using location-based mapping rather than a colour-based mapping would be an intuative control scheme because it simply extends our already existing knowledge and semantic (mental associative) networks. We can easily figure out the paddle on the left is the "A" and the paddle on the right is the "D", etc.
Introducing mutating colour-based mappings (based on power-ups any other mechanic) would result in frustration because some people may experience difficulty reacting to unexpected changes and frequently make mistakes. Contributing to this, users will consistantly have to hold an ever-changing mental model in their short-term memory. Although this can be trained, most people can't pick it up easily. This could be bad because the mantra of good casual games is "Easy to Learn, Difficult to Master".
Which is a very good point, and I don't really have a counter :P In my opinion, choosing the paddles makes the game a little 'jerky'. It seems (to me, anyways) that they game should flow smoothly, with the player passing the ball from paddle to paddle with ease, but I can't seem to come up with a control scheme that doesn't have the issues you guys point out.
The best I've come up with so far is to have two mouse states, one with the mouse clicked, which selects the paddle in the direction the mouse is moved (with visual and maybe audible cues), and an unclicked one which rotates the paddle, but such a scheme could constrain level design, and (as most theoretical mechanics do) not work outside of my head.