Indeed, for some very expensive professions, the fact of being able to resort to video games to train or to learn is a godsend and has become the norm. Three striking examples are civil aviation, astronauts and Formula 1 drivers. In these different professions, the execution of their work is so costly or technically very complicated, that they use simulators most often to train. If we want to define technically what is a simulator, we can say that it is: "a device or software allowing to create the working conditions of another device in order to test it, to allow a faster initiation, or to use some software". We can consider that the simulator is similar to a video game because it has all the characteristics of one. It will allow users to visualize the terrain and to practice before actually performing the tasks.

Civil aviation:

In civil aviation, the simulator is an integral part of the training of future pilots. In addition to the theory courses, they have to train with the simulator. It seems coherent that the pilots in training will not be directly at the controls of a real aircraft. The flight simulator allows to recreate the environment of a cot-pit.
Since it is a software, the advantage is that the programmers can change the flight conditions by creating new situations, unknown to young pilots. The simulator allows to create diversified situations so that, within the framework of their training, the next pilots are ready for all new eventualities.
Thanks to the evolution of technology, simulators are able to reproduce reality to near perfection, or even better. Without the integration of these simulators in their training, the next pilots would be under-trained or the training would be excessively expensive if they had to take off planes every time. Video games are a very good alternative.


Formula 1:

Another area where simulators are very important is for motorsports and more specifically Formula 1. The cars competing in this championship are a real jewel of technology, but to make it run, it costs excessively expensive. In order to save costs, the teams resort to simulators. Indeed, unlike the car itself, a driver can do an unlimited number of laps on his simulator in order to better know the different details and potential problems of his car.
To do this in the real car would be a real money sink for the teams. In a 2019 interview, former simulator driver Nick Yelloly explains, “I think I spend about 60 to 70 days a year in the simulator. The work can vary from simulator development to car development to testing different configurations. Supporting the team on the track, you are basically an extension of the results of the free practice they do.”



A final area where video games are used, but this time in conjunction with another technology, virtual reality, is in the aerospace field and particularly in astronaut training. The use of video games in this field seems coherent because we cannot send astronauts constantly in space during their training. This is a cost effective way of training future astronauts and video games are a good complement to their training. Here again, thanks to virtual reality, it is possible to recreate any situation that could happen in orbit to prepare them for any eventuality.
In this case, when NASA recreates spaces, such as the interior of the ISS for example, using virtual reality, the astronaut in training, with the help of the virtual reality helmet, can truly be immersed in the space environment. But here, can we really qualify this as a video game? What is certain is that there is no entertaining dimension. It is purely and simply training but the software itself can be qualified as a video game in the broadest sense of the term. But it would be quite acceptable to consider it as 3D virtualization rather than as video games.

A propos de Lucas GUIBERT