Saturday, November 19, 2011


I should really (read: I probably will never) create a list of the most important things I've read. Not the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, or anything "important" in a grand way, but the things that have stuck with me personally, popping up in my thoughts again and again, perhaps having a lasting impression on the way I think.

A surprising number of these writings will probably be about video games. Like this one!

In case you don't feel like investigating the whole thing, here's the short version. Among gamers, there's a subset that are enthusiasts for flight sims: highly accurate simulations of actual aircraft. And within that community, there's another subset that simulate air traffic controllers, using headsets to keep virtual pilots from crashing into one another. I should also mention that the air traffic software isn't a commercial product, but a fan-developed free add-on.

If the idea of people simulating another person's in-no-way-glamorous job in their leisure time sounds crazy*, then allow me to correct you: it actually isn't. It only sounds crazy because it's probably not you, or anyone you know. It is a sliver of a sliver of a chunk of society, but it's there. And that's why the post has stuck with me, it's a great example of how very broad the range of human experience is.

*I could never do this without insisting on using the crazy phonetic alphabet from the Hot Shots movies.

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