Peace Time: September 2, 2002


It's lonely, and often boring, on U.S. nuclear submarines, which have traditionally gone out on cruises lasting up to three months. In the last few years, the subs have gotten limited access to email (limited by how often the sub could come close to the surface and lock in a satellite for sending and receiving messages.) This has been a major morale booster for sub crews. Also welcome has been the introduction of DVD movies. Movie studios contribute DVD versions of their movies to the navy and each sub carries about 400 movies. Increasingly, sailors have been bringing their own laptop computers on board. A popular activity with the laptop is playing games. Noting this, a trade group representing console game manufacturers has donated enough game consoles so that each nuclear sub can have one. For different types of console were donated (PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube) plus 1700 games (76 different titles) so that each boat will have a wide selection. As soon as the navy sorts out which games go with which type console, the goodies will be distributed. The games will be more appreciated than the consoles, as sailors often bring those to sea with them as well. One game console per boat might hurt morale more than help it ("hey, I'm almost finished, just one more level")


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