Microsoft Flight Simulator

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Microsoft Flight Simulator can be whatever you want it to be. It can be educational — a learning pilot can expose themselves to the physics and realities of the aviation world without having to spend extra hours in a real cockpit — or it can be purely entertainment. It can be intense, with flight simulator rigs getting as large as entire rooms with moving parts that simulate the feel of what an actual flight would be. Or, you can just use your gaming controller or mouse and keyboard. The flight simulator is truly in the hands of the player.
- Josh Wilson
FanSided Managing Editor

How this fandom made the world a better place

Flight Simulator is genuinely fun but rooted primarily in the idea of simulating, with relative realism, what operating an aviation machine is like in the real world. While flying planes and helicopters traditionally — and still does — take up thousands of dollars and hours, a console/PC-based simulator allows a more expansive group of people to test the water on aviation before pulling the gear up off the runway for real. In the end, the game/simulator creates more aviation professionals and hobbyists who are truly passionate about the planes they’re flying and the passengers they’ll be servicing.

What was the icon or totem for this fandom this year?

There’s so much crossover between aviationists and Flight Simulator fans that it’s sometimes tough to separate the two. I’ll go with wings, often handed out by commercial pilots or flight attendants to children. I, a grown adult, am still trying to obtain my first set.