OK, so my 10-year-old kid could board an advanced U.S. Navy submarine and operate the periscope? That seems to be the pretty cool assumption based on the fact that sailors are now using Xbox 360 controllers to perform functions aboard some vessels.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper reported that the Microsoft game-console controllers have replaced the helicopter-style stick used to control the periscope on Virginia-class submarines.
The periscope itself is not the rotating tube most people think of thanks to Hollywood movies. Nowadays, the Pilot reported, subs are equipped with two photonics masts that rotate 360 degrees. High-resolution cameras send back images that are displayed on large monitors that everyone in the control room can see.