Flight Simulator’s Last Flight

The big news yesterday in the tech world is that Microsoft will be laying off 5,000 people over the next year or so. It’s a sobering reminder that just about nobody is insulated from this downturn.

For me at least, it’s hard to fully grasp numbers when people start talking in the thousands, hundreds of thousands or millions. It only translates into “a lot” in my head. It’s only after I dive in and hear about the stories of what got affected do I start to appreciate the gravity of things.

It turns out one of the franchises is a casualty of the cutbacks. It looks like Flight Simulator will be no more. I’ll be the first to admit it. I don’t play Flight Simulator anymore. I haven’t played it in years. But I remember the first time I took off on an old 386 PC. The graphics were beyond crude. It was all a silly trick back then, simulating flight. But man was it awesome. It was my first taste of real-time control of 3D. The whole experience pretty much solidified my love for technology and computers.

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Flight Simulator wasn’t really a game back then. It still isn’t for the most part. You didn’t really shoot at anything or kill anything and nobody was keeping score. It was just so much fun to pretend to fly.

It makes you wonder what’s left to invent in technology that conjures that type of “Holy shit! How the hell…” reaction.

I hope Flight Simulator somehow survives. It’s a big part of gaming and personal computing history and the latest version looks amazing (though I have no clue how commercially successful it is). We’ll just have to see.

Ah the good ol’ days! Nothing impresses these kids nowadays. Oh wait…

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