Rachel Berger is a designer in California. Lately, she’s been into current events, reading and writing, architecture, technology, cities, politics, identity, and fiber.

Toys and Play, Weapons and Warfare: Militarizing the Xbox Controller

for Cumulus

In 2017, the U.S. Navy made headlines for using Microsoft Xbox video game controllers to operate its newest submarines. This paper examines the cultural implications of the United States military’s use of commercial video game controllers as contemporary battle equipment. 
current eventsreading and writing, technology


The Xbox controller’s seeming innocence is the key to its danger—its use by the military represents the final dissolution of the fragile boundary separating toy from weapon and game from war.

Thumbnail image: Detail from a photograph of a sailor using an Xbox 360 controller to operate a new Virginia-class submarine’s photonic masts, by Steven Hoskins/U.S. Navy