Flying and computer gaming

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drseti
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Flying and computer gaming

Postby drseti » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:26 am

Great post recently from John and Martha King:

If you are mentoring potential pilots, or considering doing so, you might want to think about the concept of making aviation “sticky”. The gaming industry has figured out how to keep people engaged for long periods of time, getting personal satisfaction and fun from games.

As a pilot you know that flying is deeply rewarding and just plain fun. I believe the reason that we enjoy flying so much is that we are hardwired to enjoy any activity that makes us become more adept at using our capabilities. And flying uses nearly every aptitude we have—physical coordination, 3-dimensional problem solving, emotional control—you name it.

While flying develops skills that allow us to do very special things that can only be done with a combination of an aircraft and a pilot, you might be surprised to learn flying has a few things in common with computer gaming. Gamers seek engagement, goals, and “significance” in computer gaming. If you mentor folks interested in flying, you may want to think about the powerful draw of computer gaming and how flying appeals to the same needs.

The U.S. has 170 million gamers, many of whom spend from 20-40 hours a week playing games. What’s going on here? How can these folks get so deeply involved? As it turns out, the fun from both gaming and flying revolves around three important concepts: failure, flow, and fiero.

Failure is an important part of keeping you in the game. One of the things that makes gaming so capturing is that it keeps you in the game by providing very difficult, but eventually achievable, goals. It is like going to a carnival and trying to throw a basketball through a hoop. The trick is that in the carnival the hoop is just enough smaller than normal that the basketball bounces out nearly every time. If on the first try you could get the ball in the hoop, the game would be over. You’d go on to another game.

As a mentor you will want to explain that a very important part of learning to fly is coming to terms with the concept of failure and the satisfaction of overcoming it. Many people quit flying soon after starting because they feel like failures. Often, this is because the bar is set too high. Games can be tweaked so that you get just the right amount of failure mixed with success to keep games engaging. This is something we need to consider when teaching folks to fly. Every lesson needs successes to match failures. Focusing a flight lesson solely on difficult and failure-prone tasks can lead to feelings of frustration and a loss of confidence that the tasks will ever be mastered. I think it is important to explain that, yes, flying is difficult, but that is one of the reasons it is so much fun. It makes you grow in your capabilities.

Flow describes the deep engagement that gaming can provide. Gamers lose all track of time, and awareness of anything else. This state of absolute absorption and concentration tends to distract you from all the problems of the rest of your life as you “flow” with the game.

Well, pilots universally report that when they’re flying is the one time all of the other problems in life go away. In order to fly well, flying requires the same total concentration that leads to flow.

Finally, fiero is the satisfying, exhilarating feeling we get after we triumph over a major challenge. Everyone who has soloed has experienced fiero. You have it when you simply can’t help but pump your fist in the air and let out a big Woohoo!

If as mentors we understand what keeps folks “in the game”, and how flying satisfies those needs, we have tools and a vocabulary that can help us attract people to aviation and keep them flying.

While flying and gaming might appeal to similar needs, there is a huge difference. Gaming is an escape from the reality of life, but flying is a real and genuine part of life with real world benefits, not just to pilots but to others as well. You can’t find a better passion for someone to have.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby Merlinspop » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:45 am

I think the pilot community as a group tends to poo-poo new ideas and things. For example, the die-hard Cub type folks deride people asking about GPS options for navigation ("A sectional, compass and watch is all you ever need. You're just lazy and looking for shortcuts." kinda thinking). This mentality has been revealed in thread after thread here when folks relate their experiences when visiting flight schools and asking about Sport Pilot training.

Sure, it's difficult sometimes to embrace change, and not all change is for the good, but pilots seem especially intransigent as a group. We need to change that. I applaud the Kings for this article, even though their uber-perkiness sometimes makes me ill. ;-)
- Bruce

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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby drseti » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:55 am

Merlinspop wrote: even though their uber-perkiness sometimes makes me ill. ;-)


C'mon, Bruce, cultivate a little saccarine-resistance. :wink:
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby Merlinspop » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:08 am

drseti wrote:
Merlinspop wrote: even though their uber-perkiness sometimes makes me ill. ;-)


C'mon, Bruce, cultivate a little saccarine-resistance. :wink:

Aw... I'm just kidding. I have the utmost respect for them. They are the epitome of the sage advice of "do what you love, with great passion, and success will follow."

One look at their bio page tells it all, particularly this line: "They fly their own Dassault Falcon 10 jet wherever they go...".

http://www.kingschools.com/about/john-a ... a-king.asp
- Bruce

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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby FastEddieB » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:08 am

Merlinspop wrote:I think the pilot community as a group tends to poo-poo new ideas and things. For example, the die-hard Cub type folks deride people asking about GPS options for navigation...


Maybe a bit of a straw man?

At the Cub fly-in in Lock Haven, virtually every classic I peered into had a GPS bracket mounted somewhere, if not a GPS in the panel.

Yes, one should be able to navigate sans GPS. In reality, few seem to punish themselves that way!
Fast Eddie B.
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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby MrMorden » Wed Nov 27, 2013 9:08 am

FastEddieB wrote:Yes, one should be able to navigate sans GPS. In reality, few seem to punish themselves that way!


WHen the giant solar flare cooks all the GPS sats, I think a lot of us will be in the air mindlessly hitting the "direct to" button and wondering why we can't navigate... :lol:
Andy Walker
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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby Wm.Ince » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:06 am

Real pilotage seems to be becoming a lost art. Kids look at a six-pack and remark, "how do you fly with that?" Sellers of aircraft have a hard time getting rid of airplanes unless they have "glass."

Nothing takes the place of being able to read a real map . . . and positively knowing where you are located on it.
Additionally, one peek out the window . . . is worth a thousand sweeps on the weather radar.

:)

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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby designrs » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:03 pm

Merlinspop wrote:One look at their bio page tells it all, particularly this line: "They fly their own Dassault Falcon 10 jet wherever they go...".


If I could fly my own Dessault Falcon 10 jet wherever I go, I think I would constantly smile and giggle in a manner somewhat similar to the Kings!

Then again I'd probably have three strippers on board as well. :lol:
- Richard

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drseti
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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby drseti » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:10 pm

Strippers, Richard? I always assumed your tastes would run to fashion models.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
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SportPilotExaminer.US

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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby designrs » Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:17 pm

Both Paul. Some variety is good depending upon the mood. :D

Ahemmm! Getting back on topic.
Computer gaming does nothing for me.
Yet I can relate to the balancing of extreme frustration with "things I did well today" while flight training. That "wall of difficulty" that students hit combined with the $$$ of flying could explain for the low student retention rate.

What doesn't correlate to the "flying is similar to computer gaming" is why the air force is having problems recruiting drone pilots. That's one he'll of a video game... and seemingly not many want to do it?
- Richard

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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:11 am

designrs wrote:
Then again I'd probably have three strippers on board as well. :lol:


Why only three?
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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby drseti » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:27 am

He's probably concerned about weight and balance, Eddie.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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Re: Flying and computer gaming

Postby Merlinspop » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:40 pm

designrs wrote:What doesn't correlate to the "flying is similar to computer gaming" is why the air force is having problems recruiting drone pilots. That's one he'll of a video game... and seemingly not many want to do it?

I would expect UAV flying to be exceedingly boring. Except for a few minutes here and there.
- Bruce


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