Missing Titanic Tourist Sub Under Scrutiny for Using Wireless Game Controller

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(Photo: Ocean Gate / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images  )

The company responsible for the missing Titanic tourist submarine known as the Titan is facing heavy criticism after it was discovered that it is piloted via a wireless gaming controller. Video games are a pretty big piece of modern culture and although they're influenced a lot by things outside of gaming such as life experiences, cinema, and more, they also influence the world in their own ways. While a big piece of that is just how crucial they are to the entertainment industry, things like the Unreal Engine, a tool used for making games, have also become vital tools for films and other things. The technology is so powerful, it extends beyond just gaming. 

However, it may surprise you that gaming controllers are also used by major organizations such as the military. They've been used to control drones, tanks, and yes, submarines. As noted by the Washington Post, a big part of this is because younger generations are intimately familiar with how these controllers work and require far less of a learning curve for operators. To take it a step further, Xbox controllers are also frequently used for these things as well because they work well with Microsoft's Windows operating system. However, you'll also find that the controllers that the military uses are wired, meaning there's no risk of them disconnecting unless they're unplugged. That's not the same for the currently missing OceanGate tourist submarine. In 2022, a CBS News report noted that the a gaming controller was used to operate a sub that takes tourists down to the wreckage of the Titanic for $250,000 per person.

The controller has been identified as a modified 2011 Logitech G-F710 controller which is completely wireless. Logitech is known for making high-quality gaming hardware and this controller doesn't seem to be an exception in Amazon reviews, but both negative and positive reviews for the controller cite an issue with it randomly disconnecting. That's not ideal when you're playing a high-stakes game of Call of Duty, but it's even less ideal when piloting a submersible vehicle in the depths of the North Atlantic with a handful of passengers. 

Of course, it's worth noting that we don't know if any updates have been made to the controller or if they still use that controller since the CBS News report. There's also a number of other things that could've caused this submarine to get lost, so the fault can not be placed on the controller at this moment. The search for the submarine is ongoing.