My rough understanding of the lights-and-switches console that many PDP-11 models had is that they were not hardwired into the CPU itself or anything, but implemented as just another Unibus device. What sort of control protocol did the console device expose?
Was it possible for software to read the switches and drive the lights directly or was the console too autonomous for that? E.g. I found this tutorial on using a console as UNIBUS diagnostic tool without even a running CPU.
Specifically, I'm wondering if it were possible to switch the console into a mode where it wasn't actually debugging the CPU but instead providing a custom user interface? Like a "whack-a-mole game" where an arbitrary data/address bit would flash and the player had half a second to flip the corresponding switch. Or — perhaps a better use of company/university computing resources — if the PDP-11 had been programmed as an industrial controller, the console lights could be relabelled as individual status indicators and the switches used independently to turn on/off a bunch of actual aspects of the equipment being operated.