from the now-there's-an-idea dept
We've seen stories over the years about how applications like Microsoft's Flight Simulator not only are attracting a new generation of pilots to take up flying, but are getting them started with many more skills than those who haven't used Flight Simulator. It appears other industries may be taking notice. Apparently the industrial heavy equipment maker Caterpillar is pushing simulators of its earth movers, excavators and dump trucks as a way to better train miners to use that equipment. Using simulators to train people is nothing new, obviously -- but what's interesting is the undercurrent to the promotion, noting that there just aren't enough skilled operators of the equipment these days. However, by making it more fun via the simulators, perhaps they can attract more people to become skilled operators. The article notes how much fun a bunch of "hardened miners" were having playing with the simulators at a mining convention, to the point that they were "giggling like children." So perhaps we'll start seeing more "fun" simulations of other jobs that are having trouble attracting skilled practitioners.