Culture

The Wildfires in the West Appear in Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 allows players to explore the wildfires raging on the West Coast.

By Peter Hunt Szpytek

September 11, 2020

The smoke from the tragic wildfires that have been raging through California and Oregon isn’t just noticeable in the immediate surrounding area in cities like Salem and San Fransisco, but also in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. As Reddit user u/Branham7761 pointed out yesterday, the smoke from the wildfires is clearly visible from the plane as it takes up most of the screen.

This detail has brought up a debate in the comment section about the idea of escapism and how it’s tied to gaming. Some people want to escape the many troubles of the real world by playing a game were those troubles seem to not exist while others point out that they want their games, particularly their simulation games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, to be a realistic simulation of the world, both good and bad. Their argument is that including things like the California/Oregon wildfires makes the game more genuine, making it comparable to drone photography/exploration just without the cost and risk of owning a drone and being close enough to the fires to use it.

This isn’t the first time, however, that players have used Microsoft Flight Simulator to explore natural disasters. Just last month, players were flying their planes south into the eye of Hurricane Laura to get a view for themselves what it might look like from the comfort and safety of their monitors.

While there’s also a debate about whether a game should include natural disasters that take real human livesMicrosoft Flight Simulator almost acts as a teaching tool for people who are trying to see the reach of just how devastating the wildfires are. It allows them to explore safely while also understanding the immediate effects because they can see them for themselves.

For more on Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can access all our articles on it through this link right here. You can also check out our review of the game right here as well.

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Peter Hunt Szpytek

Peter is from Chicago. He's played more JRPG's than he can count despite being not totally great at them and you can usually find him on the weekends dropping hot in Apex Legends. When not holding a controller, he's at the gym trying to get in shape for his next cosplay.

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