Gaming has been used for naval training and concept development since the 19th century. However, the term has taken a new meaning within the past few years as the Navy and Marine Corps have discovered the value of applying commercial personal computer (PC) gaming technology to meet tactical training and concept analysis requirements.
Introduction of the microcomputer in the 1970s made possible the development and implementation of the first broad use of a computer-based tactical game for training-the Navy Tactical Game. With its red (Soviet) versus blue (U.S.) format supported by a classified platform and weapon system database, it became a tool for teaching tactical strategies and threat familiarization. However, lack of significant graphics and serial play requirements resulted in limited realism and student interest diminished. Military computer games appeared in the commercial marketplace in the 1980s with the arrival of the IBM and Apple PCs. These games were interesting and entertaining to the military gaming enthusiast, but they still had insufficient visual effects and performance realism, and could not be considered as serious tactical training tools.