How Things Work: The Ouija Board
Think of a shipboard chess game with airplanes instead of pawns.
- By Mark Wolverton
- Air & Space magazine, November 2008
MCSN David Danals, USN
(Page 2 of 2)
The ouija board system has been around since World War II, when the aircraft carrier came into its own as a warship, and hasn’t changed much since then. While practically everything else aboard the Navy’s warships is operated with state-of-the-art computers and digital technology, there’s a compelling reason that the ouija board remains so low-tech.
“Computers are nice, having electronic equipment is nice, but if you ever take any sort of battle damage, the first thing that’s going to go out is all those powered systems,” says Shoaf. With the ouija board, “if ship’s power goes down, you don’t lose a thing. It’s still right there in front of you. It’s cheap, it’s reliable, and it’s been working for the last 60 years. It’s an effective system, there’s no real reason to update it and make it computerized, so nobody has.” Anyone who has lost a document on a computer can appreciate that thinking.