Computers linked other technologies to human beings by constituting systems-constituting them conceptually, practically, and metaphorically-as information processors. They created a closed world of semiotic values in which future wars could be imagined, their soldiers trained, and their outcomes deduced. Yet the world of computer simulations was more than a game. For unlike the chess-style war games of previous eras, computer-age commanders could engage in simulations using equipment that not only resembled, but sometimes actually was, the equipment used for real war. The closed world within the machine, and the closed world of real strategy it supported, blurred together in an intricately woven, discursively constituted whole.
Paul N. Edwards. The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America