Computer Hardware and Simulation Gaming for Aviation Safety Considered

Modern day computer hardware is getting quite robust, and there is about 10 times the computing power in a smart phone as was used to fly the first Space Shuttle, maybe more. Still, when it comes to operating today’s aircraft simulators the computer hardware is intense, and these simulators can cost a ton of money. Because they cost so much the time to use them becomes very valuable, therefore most airlines only use them as required to check out their pilots, or train them for certification on the next aircraft that pilot needs to fly so he or she can get their type rating and satisfactorily prove they are safe.

The other day, I was speaking with an expert in computer online gaming communities, Troy Laclaire, about the use of simulators in aviation, and how great these tools were for complying with safety standards and preventing mistakes in the real world, carrying real passengers, when it really mattered most. One question we pondered was should airline pilots, commercial pilots, charter pilots, and fractional jet pilots be required to fly with another pilot to an airport first prior to going there as the pilot in command for the first time.

If such an onerous rule were to be made by the FAA, what about simulators, couldn’t a pilot merely fly the last 5-10 minutes on approach and take-off to each airport that the airline generally went too? Maybe, but in the case of a charter jet, that might mean they’d spend 100s of hours in a simulator and that costs a lot of money right? Okay so is there a solution to all this? Troy has come up with one potential solution, so lets’ talk about this shall we. First, Troy notes:

The only problem with this is that simulators are not exactly cheap to run and each simulation takes a fair amount of time, and far as I understand simulators are mostly used to get pilots comfortable with flying a particular plane type. However, since the pilots are generally already familiar with flying their planes (at least I should hope so) and nearly everyone has computers these days, it is possible that you could have a DVD series created to cover the routes, based around actual flights, and then have the pilots use their computers to run these so that they can get some familiarity with the airports.

Now then, this is a good idea, and it makes sense, a perfect solution, plus it also stands to reason that a gaming expert would come up with this concept. Okay so, Troy also suggests that we “provide the pilots with a take home DVD, basic flight-sim gaming controls, and they can use these to get some muscle memory.” This too makes sense, keeping it simple, and perfect for a last-minute booking for a fractional jet, or charter flight, as the pilot can merely practice a couple of ILS approaches, missed approach, take-off, and navigating the taxi ways, etc.

Troy, being a computer hardware engineer, and quite the prudent safety advisor also states; “Alternatively, have a “pilots room” setup where a pilot can run through a video/basic simulator of a previous flight that has already flown that route, letting them get a rough idea of what to expect when going to an airport they are not yet familiar with.”

Okay so that’s pretty easy, it can be set up in the break room of the local Jet Center, or at an FBO etc. Perhaps, for $10-20 they can shoot a couple of landings at the desired future airport that they will be flying too? Perhaps, it might also be available to ALL general aviation pilots, the DVDs and a flight simulator room at the local FBO, etc. May as well keep the system busy and paying for itself, perhaps it might also spit out certificates of completion and aviation insurance companies may consider lowering rates too? Indeed, I hope you will consider all this and think on it.

Fantasizing About Violence: Violent Video Games Promote Aggressive Behavior In Youth

According to recent research, it is clear that teens (as well as adults) are spending more and more time immersed in video game worlds. These virtual worlds of fantasy can challenge our minds to be creative, solve problems, and learn lessons like no other tool in history. Many of the games are produced so well that you can actually feel as if you are driving a racecar, flying through space, or feeling the recoil of a high powered rifle.

I started playing video games when pong first came out in the ’70s. I thought it was cooler than even my 8-track tapes! When Pac-Man came out shortly after my 16th birthday in the early ’80s, I could not imagine a better way to spend my time between classes at high school. In the late ’80s, strategy/role-playing games like Ultima and Balance of Power challenged me to think. I loved the thrill of winning after hundreds of hours of struggle.

However, in the early ’90s, action games like Dune and first-person shooters like Wolfenstein emerged. More recent games like Quake, Half-Life, and System Shock are so graphically real and mentally absorbing in their storylines, you don’t just play the games anymore, you are part of the game.

These game worlds have very few laws (if any!) governing what goes on inside them. It is a dynamic that is limited only by the imagination of the designer and the desire of the game player to be absorbed in the fantasy. No holographic policeman exists in the virtual world to enforce what is right. Gamers are left to do what is right in their own eyes. This freedom to influence our children has many parents concerned.

Two studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology on April 23, 2000 (Read the article yourself at Violent Video Games Can Increase Aggression ) This article clearly demonstrates that violent video games do negatively affect the behavior of those who play them. One study demonstrated that graphically violent video games produce an immediate increase in aggressive thoughts and behavior. The other study found that violent game play not only increased aggressive behavior, but also produced a long-term, real life impact on the behavior and relationships of the players.

Psychology professors Craig Anderson from the university of Missouri, Columbia, and Karen Dill of Lenoir-Rhyne College, conducted the study on 227 undergraduate college volunteers drawn from the introductory psychology courses. They found that violent computer games affect the player in the following ways:

1. The player identifies with the aggressor. In “first-person” video games, the player assumes the identity of the shooter and sees the world through the character’s eyes. In effect, the game puts the weapon in the hands of the player to heighten the game’s impact as the player kills the enemy. They found that players became emotionally involved with their character and “enjoyed” killing the bad guys. (It is one thing to watch the “Terminator” work, it is another thing to be the terminator.)

As a result of identifying with the aggressor:

a) the player develops positive attitudes toward the use of violence;

b) the player develops expectations that others will behave aggressively;

c) the player assumes that others have similar attitudes of aggression;

d) the player comes to believe that violent solutions are effective and appropriate for solving problems in life.

2. The player actively participates in the violence. These studies found that playing violent video games is a way to rehearse violent behaviors and makes it easier to bring that behavior into real life. If you practice shooting basketballs thousands of times, you get better at scoring. If you practice killing thousands of times, you get better at that as well. The Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, had been playing “first-person shooters” for more than a year before that fateful day. When the time came to “play the game” in the real world, they were ready.

As a result of actively participating in the violence:

a) The player develops a total disregard for societal norms, property rights, and even the general value of other lives;

b) The player see the world as a violent, unsafe place (everyone is out to get you);

c) The player learns that aggressive actions against others, such as fighting and shooting, may be appropriate, even necessary.

3. Violent video games have an addictive nature. For aggressive performance, players receive constant and immediate reinforcement in the form of visual and auditory (sensory) stimulation During a kill. With special effects such as exploding body parts, blood, gore, and general mayhem it provides an excellent environment for learning aggression.

As a result of the addictive nature of violent video games:

a) Excessive exposure contributes to aggressive personality traits in the player, and further playing can make an already aggressive person even more aggressive;

b) The player becomes more aggressive, changes his outlook on life and socializing, and tends to socialize with others who demonstrate similar attitudes of aggression;

c) The players socialization with teachers, parents, and non-aggressive peers are likely to degenerate.

The more realistic the games are, the stronger the negative impact. If you observe your child developing aggressive attitudes towards others, you may need to make an evaluation of his or her video games and other forms of entertainment. These two studies validate the probability that your child will become more aggressive, irritable and possibly even violent if he or she plays violent video games.

The Apostle Paul admonishes us in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” Paul warns us that submitting our minds to that which is counter to Scripture will undermine our Christian life.

Research Studies Prove That Video Games Do Have an Influence on Gamers

There have been several research studies done in the past to determine if video games are affecting the children that are playing them, but none of these studies have been proven what they initially set out to prove until now.

For the past nine years the National Institute of Media and Family have been conducting research studies to find out how video games are influencing the children that are playing them. The results of these research studies have been extremely shocking, but it these results have been well documented as well. Parents and adults alike need to be well aware of the results of these research findings so that they can make their very own conclusion.

Through all the research studies that have been completed it is no wonder that parents are getting mixed feelings about how video games are affecting their children. These video games have an industry rating that are suppose to warn parents about the content included within them, but do these ratings tell parents everything that they really need to know about these video games. All the video game industry is telling parents is to pay close attention to the ratings, but they deny any type of harmful effects the video games themselves may have on children.

Brain research studies have shown that violent video games can actually activate the anger center within a child’s brain, which can affect the behavior of the child. These research studies have even shown that while the child is playing video games their brain can grow in spurts that will actually affect the impact of wiring of the child’s brain. This wiring affects the child’s self-control, relationships, and responsibilities that may affect them way up into their adulthood.

This does not mean that every single child that plays a violent video game will have aggressive behavior, but it does mean that these games can affect their behavior. The results of these research studies show that video games can teach children skills, but they also show that these video games will affect the behavior as well. It can be said that video games are simply natural teachers simply because they are so powerful due to the fact that children are finding them stimulating and motivating. Video games offer children the repeated practice at necessary problem solving skills and they provide the children with rewards for the achievement in these successful skills.

Violence in video games is considered to be when the characters within the video game are intentionally harm other characters. The results of these research studies have shown that playing violent video games can lead to increased physiological arousal, increased aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and a decrease in social helping behaviors. These research studies also proved that there was a direct relationship between long-term game play and aggressive behavior toward the real world, and that these aggressive behaviors are being demonstrated by children subtly.

Parents have an even more important role to play with their children that are playing these violent video games by limited the amount of time their children are allowed to play. Parents also need to pay closer attention to the industry ratings that are given on video games so ensure they understand the content within these video games. Parents need to realize that when children play violent video games for hours every day, then their child pay start showing a decrease in school performance as well as the feared increase in aggressive behavior.

Playing Deer Hunting Games To Keep You in the Sport During the Off-Season

If you’re avid deer hunter and you’re into video games, deer hunting games could be a fun source of entertainment during the off season. Or if you’re not able to go hunting for real due to time constraints or any other number of reasons, going virtual hunting may get you through the season with at least some of the virtual challenge of the sport.

With the technological advancements of the 21st century, you can find some very challenging and realistic types of games that you can play right in the comfort of your home on your Wii or Xbox or any other video game system. Or you can find some interactive online settings where you can challenge other online hunters to simulation games.

Whichever format you choose, there are a variety of deer hunting games depending on what level of challenge you want and how realistic you want it to feel. And most of these virtual reality games come with a range of themes as well, like different settings for the hunt or different types of weapons depending on the season.

For instance, you may pick a forest environment theme or a guided hunt theme, and then choose the deer hunting season where you’re using either a muzzle-loader or flintlock, bow, rifle or shotgun.

Some of these games may have a theme where you’re only allowed to shoot certain types of deer, for instance, buck season or doe season. Or maybe your challenge is to get a buck with a specific amount of points or you have to bring home a button buck. And the game will be made so realistic that you’ll feel like you’re actually out there hunting, trying to find just that particular type of deer.

Some deer hunting games may even include challenges like coming up on the occasion wild and dangerous animals that you have to avoid while on your hunt, like bear, snakes and other wild creatures that will really test your quick thinking and fast acting skills to keep your virtual hunter alive as well as add to the excitement of the game.

There are also some games that have additional features to give you some realistic challenges in a variety of outdoor hunting and fishing sports that virtually put you in real-life scenarios where you’ll hunt some pretty realistic animals programmed with advanced artificial intelligence.

Whatever format or level of challenge you decide on, there are a lot of deer hunting games to choose from. Ask your friends for their opinions or read the online reviews before deciding. Or pick up a couple so you have a nice variety to keep you busy during the off-season.