Atari’s Battlezone Military Simulator

Ian, aka Historical Nerd just released a video about how Atari created a tank simulator for the US military. There’s other similar stories out there, like with a Sega-made war trainer, but a few things really stood out about this story (and Ian’s excellent visuals!).

First, I had no idea the controls in this simulator were the origins of the Star Wars Arcade controls!  It makes sense, as it’s a pretty unique design that most people like;  If Atari spend all that money making one for the simulator, why not use it again for Star Wars!?  Also, I loved the footage of Colonel Robert Harington talking about buying a bunch of these games to put in the break room and help soldiers unwind.  It was great to see someone of that era embrace video games with an open mind.  Everyone involved in this truly seemed ahead of their time!

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