When I need to switch off after a week working on software development projects, the flight simulator has become something of a crutch. I suppose in many ways, anything that requires focus and concentration works. You might argue that learning how to operate a commercial airliner is a bit extreme, but somehow it seems to work.
Earlier today I arranged a virtual flight from Melbourne to Sydney in Australia – accompanied by my middle daughter, and my Dad – all via the internet, communicating over the radios, and seeing each other in our virtual worlds.
The photo accompanying the post shows the turn towards one of the “standard instrument approach routes” at Sydney International – with the Warragamba river in the background.
While flying along, making conversation with my daughter and Dad, I wondered how much this might help her sense of the world – of where the big cities are in relation to one-another – of where the various countries of the world are.
Next week a new simulator arrives – “Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020” – after twenty-something years, Microsoft is re-entering the fray, and something like a million people have pre-ordered. I’m on the pre-order list. Here’s the launch trailer:
It’s a little bit unfair in some ways – Microsoft are going to leverage Bing Maps, and Azure AI to generate accurate scenery for the entire planet. For the first time, most people will be able to fly over their own house and actually see it – the temptation to do exactly that as soon as I get it running will be incredibly strong.
Who’s up for some Zoom calls to fly around their neighbourhood – I’ll fly, and follow your directions.