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Debate- Is MSFS a "Game"

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I read many who write this in posts to various threads.I propose the MS Flight Simulator series is NOT a game, it is an industry.Consider companies who produce a range of products such as Dreamfleet, PSS, Wilco, Go Flight, CH Products, Vmax, Precision Flight Controls and many others, all able to market products based on the architecture of FS. What other 'entertainment' software, released for the home computer has spawned such a variety of products?Also, a PC game implies a goal or an ending, some way of achieving success, then that game loses it's appeal. I maintain that apart from the flight certificates MSFS offers no such thing. It is continuous. Your strategy for enjoyng the software changes. Some like VA flying, some like GA or IFR approaches or any of an almost infinite ways of enjoying FS.It also enables some to realise in some small way an unattainable desire to reach for the sky and explore the world. No other popular entertainment software that I am aware of can offer that.Contrary opinions welcome.

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Well, to answer that - we need to define what a game is, right?gamen. An activity providing entertainment or amusement; a pastime: party games; word games. A competitive activity or sport in which players contend with each other according to a set of rules: the game of basketball; the game of gin rummy. A single instance of such an activity: We lost the first game. games An organized athletic program or contest: track-and-field games; took part in the winter games. A period of competition or challenge: It was too late in the game to change the schedule of the project. The total number of points required to win a game: One hundred points is game in bridge. The score accumulated at any given time in a game: The game is now 14 to 12. The equipment needed for playing certain games: packed the children's games in the car. A particular style or manner of playing a game: improved my tennis game with practice. Informal. An active interest or pursuit, especially one involving competitive engagement or adherence to rules:

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It depends on who's asking me.If someone tells me I spend too much time playing games, I tell them it's a simulation.Without hesitation or consideration I installed both FS2002 and 2004 into C:/Games/.

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...And if you look at the videos that are in the COF section of the "simulator" you will see that each one ends with the logo...Microsoft Game Studios:Kinda reinforces what Microsoft thinks this is, and of course that is all that matters. And as far as goals go. There's always a goal in flight sim. To keep your landing/take off ratio = 1Cheers,Will.

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>And as far as goals go. There's always a goal in flight sim. >To keep your landing/take off ratio = 1LOL :-lol

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Hi Robert,Although I agree with almost everything you said, I find the question quite irrelevant :-) Game/simulator/industry/.... What's in a name ? And by what/whose defintion ??Like you said: it's the personal enjoyment and way one uses FS that counts. :-)But if you are looking for definitions: how about Way-of-Life, or education-tool ?I probably learned more from/related to Flightsimming than any other PC application or hobby: building/tweaking PCs, building controllers, designing gauges (XML), aviation in general, etc. etc.Cheers, Rob

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It is both-depending on how the end user uses it.A person flying around between buildings and crashing to see effects-a game.Me getting in a jet and not knowing any of the correct procedures or processes-a game.Me getting in the rendition of my real plane-flying in real downloaded weather to real airports-a simulation!When I flew to Oshkosh this weekend, one of the first places I stopped was Rod Machado's booth to pick up a new copy of his instrument survival guide. (To anyone who wants to learn instruments, or go back and revisit as I constantly do I find this text magnificent and the best! )In any case, Rod happened to be sitting there so I went up and identified myself as a flight simmer/pilot. The first question out of Rod's mouth was "do you find the sim useful for training purposes?".I explained how in my primary training I used fs4 to break the habit of using the yoke to "turn" the plane on takeoff in one afternoon of practice. How I "drew" some roads on the sim-then practiced my S turns, turns about a point etc. using different winds. How I used the sim to practice for the checkride-and how easy the ride was from practicing on the sim.I explained how during my instruments I used fs95 and ift pro to not only practice the procedures-but to be able to replay my track and examine how I did. Got the hold thing down much easier on the ground with the sim than in the air where you couldn't pause and see what you were doing. How I again practiced for the checkride for hours on the sim.I then explained (this was Sunday) how when I left my home base of Fnt-although I had to dodge many thunderstorms on the way there (still need a stormscope for fs!) , that the forecast was for 1200 bkn and 5 miles in haze for Green Bay, my destination. Upon getting to Green Bay the ceiling was 400 ft. and 2 miles in fog-a lot worse!It so happens that I had practiced on fs9 many times the whole week flying the ils 36 into Green Bay in all kinds of nasty weather I made up-and even some real which duplicated what I found that day in reality.I did the approach and when the runway popped out at almost minimums my daughter who is also a pilot was probably surprised when I exclaimed-just like flight sim! ....and it was! The airport appearance, weather, everything!So yes-it can be an incredible simulator, training tool, saving real pilots lots of money-and possibly their lives.It can also be a game to the less serious flyer.Can't get better than that! :-)Me and Rod joshing about flight simming...http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/Geofdog2.jpg

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In Corporate America, where desktop PCs abound, they are called "Executive Diversions" not "Games." And "Joysticks" are referred to as "Executive Graphics Manipulators."

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>I probably learned more from/related to Flightsimming than any>other PC application or hobby: building/tweaking PCs, building>controllers, designing gauges (XML), aviation in general, etc.>etc.>Absolutely! I have even found myself buying a book for learner pilots and now that COF has come out I have bought a book on meteorology. I don't ever remember buying any books on sorcery for Diablo! Definitely an education.

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Hi.With the new release it is clear that M$ is focusing more and more towards the GAME aspect of it. I base my opinion on the Eye Candy that it is more and more being emphasized, less useful Flight Reference points, less flexible Flight model / dynamics and many other factors. It would not surprise me if the next version of the Combat sims and the so called Flight simulator, would not be using the same basic engine in the future. M$ goes where the money are. The Game market is probably in the 3-4 Billion dollars and they want to get a chunk of it, first priority, second they would like to keep their cost down, and thus they will converge to one engine in the future, I believe.I do not think that there is any intent to have it become a Simulator that can be used a serious tool by Pilots. In this release, FS9, there were no significant improvements, for Real aviation, over the previous versions, just Eye Candy.With regards to what Geofa has mentioned, regarding the use of his model, for Real flight training, I would caution everyone to be very careful. The original model that I have, has some very serious flaws in the Flight Model / Dynamics and Instrument errors. While he may be able to work around it and compensate for them, in real life, if one uses the information, numbers combinations, and then try to apply them to real world, VSI vs ALT, slow flight characteristics etc., could be in for an unpleasant surprise.I think at this point we need to be resigned to the fact that M$ is not dedicated to created a Simulator, if they were they would have done it by now. They have the resources, and I am sure they could find the people to help them accomplish this. The only hope would be if someone else does it. While there are some alternatives available, I do not think tat there are sufficient resources available to be able to to accomplish this task. I hope I am wrong. TV

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Nor a game, nor a industry, Its an Addiction!(sung as VonStrogenoffs 33rd/and two fifths or can be sung to Cheech & Chongs "Earache My Eye")Sorry! Sorry. Anyone seen my evil twin, Posturing Paul? Geof? Anyone?

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>With the new release it is clear that M$ is focusing more and>more towards the GAME aspect of it. First of all, I think that the use of "M$" invalidates your argument. It instantly declares that you have some sort of axe to grind and are part of the Microsoft Conspiracy faction--the one that thinks that Microsoft was on the grassy knoll. Why not just call them MS or Microsoft? Yes, they are a company in the business of making money to the benefit of their employees and shareholders. Should they send you a check every month as well, just to demonstrate their good will?Secondly, Microsoft has never tried to make MSFS a "serious tool for pilots". Why would they even want to limit their market in that way? They have created a simulation/game that is meant to convey the experience of flight, primarily for those of us who will never get the chance to fly a real plane. Towards this end, "eye candy" is very important. I don't think they actually started to get it right until FS2002, because the other versions never felt like flying to me ... they felt like I was moving a camera around a simulated world. I think these last two versions are very successful at allowing people to get some sense of what it might be like to be a pilot.What they have also done is created an open engine that allows others to increase the level of complexity and realism if they so desire. We also hear regularly from real pilots on these forums that MSFS has helped them to practice procedures in a very inexpensive and efficient way. Is their opinion suddenly invalid because you say so?I would suggest that Microsoft Flight Simulator is simply not appropriate for your needs, and never will be. There are some expensive IFR simulators and such that you might want to try.

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I couldn't disagree more-but what else is new :-)Considering the airforce among others uses Msfs for training purposes it appears others find value also.It seems you base most of your argument on the flight model. To me the "flight model" is the weakest point of any pc based sim-and I would certainly not hope to accomplish much here. I haven't found one on any of the sims out there that I have not found some type of problem.Without the corresponding sense motion/control feel to go along you are losing half the picture -period. True, some fm's are done very well in duplicating much of the feel , reaction, and numbers-but it just isn't the same and I don't think ever will be until motion can be added. The faa disorientation booth shows the opposite effect-a sim running the equivalent of fs3-4-but with motion to go which adds the whole other dimension.You can however practice navigation, holds, radio work, procedures, complying with atc, getting a geographical layout sense of an unfamiliar airport and surrounding topography,instrument procedures at an unfamiliar airport, taste of real weather conditions based on actual, wind correction maneuvers, instrument scan and failures to a high degree of accuracy-and the list goes on and on. These are useful, and save much air time, and do improve safety.My Civil Air Patrol squadron right now is training with msfs to do grid searches. We have found that by using Reality Xp's apollo gps (which is the unit the CAP planes use for grid searches), and using msfs that we have been able to do almost all our training we need while on the ground. Why waste valuable air time learning to work a gps in the air, or trying to visualize how to locate a grid, or matching up the real world view to a grid-when you can accomplish all this on the sim?If you are implying that someone should be able to fly for instance my aircraft sight unseen based on the fs version of it-of course that would be ridiculous. But one could get used to the instrumentation, layout, workings and instrumentation, viewpoints-and that would save actual air time of doing the same. Most of the headwork that aviation requires can be practiced on the sim. Once one is familiar with a particular aircraft in reality-as you mention in my case-one can also fill in the holes mentally and almost capture 100% realism. As for the flaws in my flight model-I will accept the critic gladly-however when I fly my plane in fs I am not using it to get the "feel" (which is actually pretty good)as I already know that. When I use my final approach setting of 17" ,drop the grear and trim for 500 fpm, or raise the power to 21" with the gear down to attain level flight with the gear down though-I am emphasing real world procedures. That is very valuable.I know in my case using this sim has improved my piloting skills, and saved me lots of money in my continued flight training .

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And don't forget some very valuable geography lessons.Racartronit means something, but I just can't remember what

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Depends on what you do with it and how much you spend on it, but the box you buy for $60 and take home, contains a game. True simulators really don't offer much in terms of scenery or entertainment and usually cost 4-100 times as much as FS.What about the Nascar series of "games"? Aren't those Nascar "simulators"? What about IL-2? Is it a "game"? Or is it an air combat "simulator"? Simulator can either refer to advanced multimillion dollar simulators, or a game genre. With FS, it's just a genre. Saying that FS is not a game is like saying that Rock 'n Roll isn't music.Certain roleplaying games allow you to do anything you want and have no set "goals" or such, aren't those games? Note that these also have countless free and payware "addons"

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Easy answer: its not a game, its a simulator; thats why its called Flight Simulator.. otherwise it would be flight game.Johan[A HREF=http://www.phoenix-simulation.co.uk]Phoenix Simulation Software[/A]-----http://www.people.zeelandnet.nl/johdUnofficial PSS Website

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>I do not think that there is any intent to have it become a>Simulator that can be used a serious tool by Pilots.> In this release, FS9, there were no significant>improvements, for Real aviation, over the previous versions,>just Eye Candy.So in other words, without regard to flight models.......... the extensive data-bases for topography, navigation, airports, mean nothing for real pilot's?That's kind of BULL, don't you think? For under $60.00 you'll never find any other home P/C simulation that has such extensive data-bases, which certainly arn't "gamey" type. These are REAL aviation databases; more than you'll find in FLYII or X-Plane.Geoff Applegate is "right on" when it comes to experiences using MS and real world flight. And I can't see any reason whatsover that you'd dismiss it.... Except for hidden agenda's...And to flight models............. I see an attempt to destroy FS2004 over incidence, angle of attack, and associated drag. All of a sudden, all the "real pilot" data-bases are pushed aside to once again make a "game" statement by a few individuls. Just another attempt to dismiss all the worthwile value of this sim--- to make a few points. Since Ron Freimuth, is somewhat optimistic, as well as Lou Betty, & Tom Main from Flight One Products, I don't see a large un-beatable problem. As Geoff Applegate has replied...... the flight dynamics are just a small part of the equation of "real flight"; and can you disagree about that "fact"?L.Adamson

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Will,On the business card I have for one of the individuals that is Program Manager for Microsoft's Flight Simulator, it states the following:MicrosoftEntertainment Business UnitSimulations Product UnitXXXXX XXXXXXXProgram ManagerYet its marketed through their gaming divisions, so I don't know is it a game, is it a simulation, is it both, or is it neither?Bear!

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when this topic came up last time, I seem to recall someone coining the word 'gamulator' -- quite fitting I think.In addition to the activities we all use it for, I alos use it regularly to teach my kids geography. - dcc

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Hi,By using the phrase 'As Real As It Gets' on the box, I think they are claiming they are trying to 'simulate reality', within the confines of the box you play it on. Just my 2 cents.Jimmy Richards

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