Flight Simulators

Thus far in class we have explored the notion that video games may facilitate learning better than traditional methods we have grown accustom to, such as traditional schools and online classrooms.  Time and again we refer to this notion of learning but what exactly do we mean by learning? Learning is a very broad and encompassing term that can include essentially everything from academics to self defense.  When we say that video games may better facilitate learning are we referring to all types of learning?  Can a video game teach a 6th grade student how to write a five paragraph essay as well as an accredited english teacher? Can a video game teach a solider military strategy as well as a decorated officer?  Clearly there are some elements of certain types of learning that make these subjects better suited to being taught through traditional methods as opposed to by a video game, but what exactly are these elements?  Are we able to segregate certain types of learning into categories  based on their inhereent characteristics and conclude that certain categories of learning are better suited to be taught by a videogame whereas other types of learning are better suited to be taught by a livinging person?  Take for instance a solider training to become a pilot.  Almost all aviation training programs utilize flight simulators, a type of video game, to teach aspiring pilots how to fly planes.  Although most of these training programs use a combination of simulation and actual flight experience, for regulatory and safety purposes, in order to train their students, which of these mediums is a more effective teaching tool?  This summer I was able to meet and speak with a few air force pilots at the intrepid museum in New York City and the topic of flight simulators came up.  Although the pilots I spoke with all went through programs that incorporated both flight simulation and real flight experience, the majority of their training was spent in flight simulators and these pilots made it seem as if they learned more in the simulators than they did from their actual flight experience and their flight instructors.  What are your thoughts on this idea that learning can be separated into categories and are their certain tasks, such as learning to fly a plane, that are better suited to being taught by a video game as opposed to an actual person?

The following is a link to Precision Flight Control INC which is one of the leading flight simulator and flight training devices manufactures on the market.  Precision Flight Controls INC has a wide customer base which includes hobbyists, educational institutions, private sector aviation, business aviation, military flight training and the aerospace industry in general.


Do You Like Free Games?

OMG, so do I! Here’s a list of free, Linux-based games for those of you who are game nerds and programming nerds. (I kid, programming skill is not necessary.)


One of these games — World of Goo — has garnered some serious recognition from the gaming community.

Video Games and the Concept of Irreversible Consequences

Any savvy gamer can tell you that there’s a way around any unpleasant video game event. A character you like dies? You can download a mod to return them to life. Did an event turn out the wrong way? Just reset the game! This article from PopMatters talks about the idea of consequences in video games, and how some fringe games are experimenting with the idea of irreversible consequences: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/135569-one-chance/

Personally, I think part of the appeal of a video game is that failure can be overcome. But what do you think? Does it make games less challenging?