I've got some bad news and some good news to deliver. Let's start with the bad.
I missed the August 10 deadline for the "Useless Machine" contest.
The good news is that Macrofab decided to extend the deadline to 31st. Yay!
Neither good nor bad is the fact that my initial efforts at communicating with the joystick, utilizing an Arduino board, were fruitless. The data line is silent, no matter what I do to the stick and buttons. Maybe I messed something up during my teardown?
I should team up with a multimeter and logic analyzer next.