If you tell any hardcore flight sim enthusiast that Microsoft FSX, Prepar3D or even X-Plane is just a game, they’ll tell you that YOU are wrong. Flight simulation is NOT a game, it is a simulator. But can the same be said about Farming Simulator 2015?
I started my virtual farm endeavors about three months ago. In this span of time I’ve learned much about virtual farming. I’ve farmed on the default maps using just the default “in game” equipment and I’ve experimented with mod maps and mod equipment. Just like Flight Simulator, Farming Simulator is greatly enhanced by all the add-ons or mods (modifications) which are developed by those who enjoy the world of virtual farming. In my opinion, the key success to the Farming Simulator franchise is the mods. Take them away….and I believe the game goes away as well.
The topic of this blog posting is whether or not the software application Farming Simulator 2015 is “just a game” or whether it is is more…
In the short span of time I’ve been writing blog articles devoted to Farming Simulator, I’ve made many references and comparisons between Farming Simulator 2015 (FS2015) and Flight Simulator (FSX/P3D etc.) Of course, each application represents something completely different from the other.
Now I’m sure some Harvard educated individual with a PHD might tell you the key differences in what makes up a simulation versus “just a game”. For me, (and my non-PHD education) I’ll just say that I consider a simulation as a tool to provide some level of instruction, guidance, training etc. Or more simply put, through participation and study with the simulation…knowledge, skill and perhaps luck is gained which “might” be applied in the real world.
But wait….I’m not saying that having flown a Boeing 737-800 in P3D will automagically allow me (or anyone else) the ability to fly the aircraft in the real world. I’m simply saying that through repetitive use/practice AND the appropriate real world training/instructor program, one could go from FSX to a real world pilot. The same could be said with experience on the VATSIM network (VATSIM is the virtual air traffic ATC for the flight simulation hobby). Because VATSIM is mostly based on real-world procedures, a teenager who spends most of his teen years developing his skills controlling on VATSIM could (if they have the interest) take that experience into the real world and become an air traffic controller. I actually know several real life examples of this happening. Same with pilots…
So…back to Farming Simulator. Is it just a game? Or could it be more?
Again, with about 90 days of experience I would say it is both. Or perhaps allow me to rephrase and say it certainly could be both. Like with Flight Sim, if someone is using the application to simply fly around and not caring about process and procedures, then probably to them it is just a game. However, to someone who properly flies the aircraft, who follows the correct procedures and can safely navigate from point A to point B and safely land…then they probably consider it a simulator or simulation.
Now in all honesty, Farming Simulator (and the equipment available to use) is somewhat lacking with respect to allowing better simulation and immersion. Comparing it once again to FSX or P3D (and especially with regards to some payware aircraft), FS2015 is truly lacking. In FS2015 there really is no negative impact to how one drives a tractor versus flying the A2A Cessna (as an example). There also really is no negative impact with weather and one can drive all over their planted crops and no damage will be caused to either the crop or the equipment.
But….could someone like myself (a middle-aged, IT Professional) spend time with FS2015 then go out and purchase some land, purchase some equipment and become a farmer? I’d say absolutely yes. But I remind you of my background which I shared in my first posting. While today I’m a middle-aged IT Professional, in my past I spent four years in high school gaining agriculture experience through the FFA program. I raised livestock. I’ve driven tractors and I also once held a class A commercial drivers license (CDL) in the Great State of Texas. But I realize I’m the exception to the rule. But I do believe some value could be gained and applied from FS2015 to the real world. So yes…Farming Simulator 2015 can very much be considered a simulation and that is how I refer to it.
Regardless of how you view Farming Simulator 2015 (Game or Simulation), it is wonderful fun and I enjoy it very much. As a matter of fact, I think I’ll go harvest some wheat and feed the cows.
Until next time…