Always A Dull Moment
from the everyone-flight-sim-together,-now dept
I have a few friends who are obsessed with flight simulator. To them, it doesn’t seem odd to spend hours where their computer is basically set on “auto-pilot” flying a route, just so they can then help land the plane. Someone I know occasionally sets long flights to run while he sleeps or is at work during the day, so he can come back to the computer just in time to take it off autopilot. It sounds like some people go even further in their efforts to make their virtual flying experience seem real. Wired Magazine has a story about a large group of people who have set up a huge virtual airline industry, complete with air traffic controllers at all major airports to handle all the flight traffic. While the Wired reporter can’t understand why people would want to spend so much time doing… nothing, he clearly hasn’t spent much time around people who are obsessed by the air travel industry. To them, it’s not about “fun and excitement”, but about living a virtual reality as close to actual reality as possible.
Comments on “Always A Dull Moment”
The real reason
Perhaps they subconsciously derive relaxation from the whir of the jet engines, as it relates to breathing and heartbeat. The notion of flying offers escapism as well.
I’ve seen a similar phenomenon with serious kite flyers, who prefer quiet kites over noisy ones. I’ve caused a sensation in that community before by suggesting that kite flyers are effeminate. I was hounded at the park after I posted it. 😛
Re: The real reason
I think it has more to do with the challenge of mastering a complex environment. The simulators are quite accurate, offering complex navigational and aircraft systems. It is quite rewarding to plan and execute a flight to perfection. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy flying my plane – the feeling of satisfaction I get from flying through a 3000ft layer of clouds and popping out with the runway right where it is supposed to be is awesome.