There was quite a ruckus recently, as Yahoo hired a person because of their leadership as demonstrated by ability to lead a World of Warcraft guild. Bob Dean who I earlier mentioned, told me the story of his son, who was hired because of his knowledge of (and interest in) the Air Traffic Control system. This was learned not through book, nor courses, but by a simulation built on top of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator.
Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is an interesting story in itself as, originally built as a training tool, it became popular as entertainment. What it lacks, however, is context. There’re airports, but no people and consequently some distance from real flying. What Vat Sim adds, as I understand it, is other flyers and air traffic control. It’s a community of interested people who play these roles and make the flying experience more complete. It’s not designed to be training, in this case, but instead a way for enthusiasts to play together. Yet it’s obviously quite effective.
Our conversation wandered off into issues in sim design, and the role of Authenticity (the topic of Pine & Gilmore’s new book). Bob was curious if there were any other simulations that might inspire careers, and I couldn’t think of any offhand (though America’s Army certainly qualifies). Certainly people might try combat, flight, driving, and medical/vet simulations, and the various Tycoon games might allow some feel for those jobs. Know of any others?