When I was first allowed to play the Microsoft Flight Simulator, I felt like doing yoga: shoulders back, eyes forward, pelvic floor tensing. It’s called “squeezing your ass cheeks.” And of course don’t forget to breathe!
It’s not so easy, because when you look at the graphics of the new flight simulator planned for 2020, you can’t breathe. But wait, I’m a seasoned editor, nothing will surprise me that quickly. I stay professional and cool, no matter how realistic the cloud shadows may be, no matter how authentic the raindrops crawl across the cockpit window.
And yet, the first time I use Microsoft’s Flight Simulator hands-on, I notice how I hold my breath, how my hands tense up and lie wet on the rubber of the rudder. How my gaze stiffens, my eyes squeezed together, my lips pressed together.
I am simply trying to land my Cessna 172, a virtual structure made of polygons. But a part of me fears for life and limb. A sinking feeling spreads in my stomach. I tilt my head as the aircraft on the screen turns into a curve. And as my alter ego in its rickety box on the airfield comes to a halt, I sigh out loud.
I have survived Microsoft Flight Simulator.