6 January 2015

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The History of the Flight Simulator


Flight simulators (commonly known as airplane games) are software programs that allow the user to experience flying an airplane without all the dangers involved. This article will discuss the history of the flight simulator. 

The first commercially available flying airplane games were released in the late 1980s. These games generally started with the plane already flying in the air and the player can't completely control the movement of the aircraft in the game. On top of that, anyone who has played any of these games wouldn't feel like they're flying an airplane. They'd feel like they're just spewing bullets and missiles at blocky pictures on a screen in order to advance to the next level.

All of that changed about a decade later when technology advanced. 3D graphics were becoming more and more mainstream for games. More controls were added to the flight simulator so that the player can control more aspects of the plane. Some game developers even made an effort to make the planes more realistic (down to every last button in the cockpit) so that the player feels like he's flying a real airplane.

As airplane games became more and more realistic, their developers also started turning their attention to making genres for flight simulators. Here are several of the mainstream genres for such games:

1. General Simulation
This kind of flight simulator gives the user the most realistic flying experience that technology can afford and not much else. Even though the experience is very realistic, it can get boring after a while since these simulators only simulate basic flying maneuvers, global terrain, and nothing else.

2. War
After many people got tired of just flying around, people started looking for flight simulators that have a lot more action along with the realistic aspects of the general flight simulator. Fighter airplane games have been able to fulfill this demand easily.

Due to the high demand for these games, the war genre started subdividing shortly after its introduction. The most common sub-genre is the World War 2 airplane games where the player would control a World War 2 era fighter and play various missions which will entail more effort and perseverance since the player can't use modern weapons to complete their objectives in the game; thus creating a bigger challenge for its players.

3. Simple
These are generally called kids airplane games because of their simplified controls. These flight simulators are perfect for those who don't have the time or patience to endure the learning curve that most other simulators have. As its common name implies, it's also perfect for children and will keep them preoccupied for days.

Airplane games have come a long way since their introduction. Nowadays, 3D airplane games are now considered a standard in the industry. The best flight simulators also make the user feel like he's actually flying an airplane since the user has the ability to control most if not all the aspects of the aircraft he's "flying". This is the history of the flight simulator. 

 Submitted by: Ryan Pauline



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