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Can flight simulators solve the pilot shortage?

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And more importantly, can they train me not to get airsick?

Flight sims are a powerful experience, offering us close looks at natural wonders, the chance to experience dire weather firsthand, and impossible, cursed versions of the world. But can they help solve the pilot shortage?

As travel demands have increased over the past decade, so has the need for commercial pilots — and the release of games like Microsoft Flight Simulator might just help bridge that gap.

Since the first flight simulator was created in 1929, these games have been used mainly to train pilots for commercial flights, only becoming associated with games when Sega released the arcade machine Jet Rocket in 1970. Nowadays, most people know the genre because of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The first entry in the franchise arrived back when the Microsoft suite was mostly productivity software, so if you wanted to sneak in some fun on company hardware, the flight sim was your best bet.

For a lot of modern fans, this franchise was their entry into the world of aviation, and it sparked a lifelong love of flight sims — and, for some, of piloting itself. We spoke to two hardcore simmers, as well as some of the minds behind Microsoft Flight Simulator and X-Plane, about how immersive flight sims can inspire fans to undertake the long, expensive effort of getting their pilot’s license.

Watch the video above to learn more about how the immersive experience of playing flight sims might just solve the pilot shortage. For more on Microsoft Flight Simulator, check out our guide.