Joysticks were originally used as aircraft controllers, but they also can be used as video game controllers. Joysticks are commonly used for flight games. They are also used in fighting games because the characters need to move quickly in the game.
Starting with the Magnavox Odyssey, home consoles used analog joysticks to control objects in a 2D environment. After a long period without joysticks being used in home consoles, control pads have evolved to use one or two joysticks in order to control both the camera and the character.