First Time I played a Video Game

At the Armed Forces Day exhibition at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD in May 1963, I flew a flight simulator for a Surface-to-Surface wire-guided anti-tank missile. There was a hand controller (joystick in today’s jargon) and a CRT display from an oscilloscope. A dot appeared on the screen and I had to pull back to make the missile (the dot) rise or push forward to descend, plus left and right control. There was a target dot on the screen but no distance indicator. I over-controlled and crashed on both of my attempts. The soldier at the training device showed how to run the simulation, being careful to make small controller inputs. This was an analog simulation.

Later, two real SS-10 missiles were fired on the main front and the two demonstration flights had the same results as my simulator runs.

Modern virtual reality software would have flight instruments, perspective view of the missile, and video perspective from the missile. Modern micro electronics and digital computers make earlier technology look very primitive.