Three Hobbies That Can Be Improved With Computer Simulation

People often say that gaming, like many forms of pop culture, offers an escape from reality.

But this is not quite true. While the likes of Halo and WoW draw in players by the richness and detail of their virtual realms, there are many well-loved games that do almost the opposite. These are the simulations, the simulacrums; the games that seek to replicate, in 0s and 1s, that which brings us pleasure outside of the screen.

This can only be a good thing. With the advance of computer technologies on all fronts, it seems likely that hobbies not well suited to the digital transmogrification may disappear completely. After all, who was really bothered about collecting hundreds of dragon eggs after Spyro 3? Not me, that’s for sure. With this in mind, we take a look at the three real-world hobbies that have adapted well to life on the other side of the screen.


Though there are many flying mechanics in more conventional games, the simulation flyer is a category all of its own. Here, what’s prized above all is realism and faithful replication of control systems – all with the aim of bringing the player as close to the inside of a cockpit as they are likely to get; this excluding work-o-holic airline pilots.

Though some may argue flying a plane hardly constitutes a hobby, they would be missing the point. Flying simulation games are for those hobbyists who do everything but: the model assemblers and builders; the radio-controlled vehicle flyers; the magazine collectors.

And it’s much appreciated.

In fact, flight simulators are also extensively used for pilot training for both military and commercial pilots. Yes, they can be that good.

Casino gaming

Card and casino games have done exceedingly well on the web, not least due to their highly visual nature. For all the fancy lighting in Vegas, and the pleasing clack of an old roulette wheel, brick and mortar casinos can’t hope to compete with the malleability of the digital image.

Just so, many players feel their money is safer in the hands of robots than in the holey pockets of human error. After all, a machine can bear you no ill will. Online casino gaming is so popular that here are lots of guides to help you find the best casino games online, which is just one edge virtual casinos have over their real-world counterparts. Guides like the one above provide user ratings, info on bonuses, and a host of other metrics not easily available offline.

And this user-friendly approach is something of a theme in online casino gaming, as guides and strategy tips are readily available on the web to help players hone their skills or even introduce them to a new game. For instance, you can read this guide if craps is your game, or find a different page if it’s blackjack you seek. Guides like this one also provide info on (and access to) some of the biggest brands in the game, including 888Casino and Royal Vegas.

This makes digital the smarter option for many players, tipping them off to great bonuses and reward schemes they would be hard pressed to find at their local bingo hall.


For all those who have played chess against Mac OSX, the pain of that 40th consecutive loss will be fresh. Yes, while on the surface chess, and many board games for that matter, might seem like obvious candidates for virtual life, the “reality” is somewhat different.

While playing against a person, you can rely, to an extent, on your opponent making a certain number of unforced errors; you may even build your game around them. When playing against a computer, you can expect no such good luck.

PCs and phones do not suffer fools gladly, and you will be hard pressed to find much to talk about while you preside over your slow destruction. Therefore, chess is usually harder when playing against a computer. That actually makes it better though, as serious players will welcome the challenge, while most apps offer newbies opportunity to play against a lower-skilled AI.