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“Paul's Inspiration To Study Aviation”

Over the course of several years Paul developed a fascination with planes and flight. This started with a cursory interest in some of the war games that let you fly planes but steadily grew as he worked his way through other games that offered the chance to fly things.
 

Outcome
Choosing to study Physics and Geography to understand the dynamics of flight and air travel.


This outcome arises from the following 5 milestones over the span of 4 years, from 11 - 15 years-old:

DetailsPathway Details

Name: Paul Gregory
Stage of Life: 11 - 15 years-old
Genres: Narrative, Open World, Race, Shooting, Simulation and Strategy
Platforms: Nintendo 2DS|3DS, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox Series X|S and iOS
 

 

Flying War Planes

Age: 11-years-old / 01/01/2014 / 8 years ago

Play Styles: Child Helps Parent Play (Associative Play)

Platform: PC

Although Paul enjoyed a range of battle games, it was those that offered a chance to fly planes that he enjoyed the most.

Paul learnt how to fly planes effectively in the video game, but also how to make and fly model planes in the real world.

Activities: Paul found that the following related activities worked alongside playing War Thunder:


Make Gliders
MAKING AND DESIGNING

Made balsa wood gliders to experiment with different styles of flight. Including some rubber band powered versions.
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Momentum of Flight

Age: 12-years-old / 01/01/2015 / 7 years ago

Play Styles: Child and Parent Play Together (Cooperative Play)

Platform: iOS

Paul discovered Lifeslide, a game that let you control a gliding paper plane through an environment. He was fascinated at this kind of unpowered flight as it was similar to the model planes he made.

He played the game repeatedly trying out different techniques to get better scores on the levels and progress further. Because he played it on his iPad he was able to show the rest of the family. Some evening they would sit together before he went to bed and take it in turns to fly the paper planes in the game.

The process of playing the game and then making the planes led to Paul friends calling him the "paper plan pro" which he embraced. He started describing himself as someone who loved to make paper planes.

Activities: Paul found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Lifeslide:

Paul enjoyed watching this video about making paper planes and then flying them.
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Geography of Flight

Age: 13-years-old / 01/01/2016 / 6 years ago

Play Styles: Child and Parent Play Together (Cooperative Play)

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Paul enjoyed the flight mechanics of Feather, as it expanded from fixed structures of planes to moveable wings. This also connected him with how the landscape can affect flight with valleys and other features.

This led to him taking a trip to the Bird Sanctuary in his local area that included a Falconry session. This further inspired Paul about the idea of flight and how these birds use their mechanics and the landscape to catch their prey.

Paul gained an understanding of how flight works for birds, and the difference between a feathered wing and a fixed wing.

Activities: Paul found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Feather:

Paul visited a local Falconry centre with his family, which expanded his engagement with how birds fly.
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Logistics of Airports

Age: 14-years-old / 01/06/2017 / 5 years ago

Play Styles: Child Plays Independently (Independent Play)

Platform: Nintendo 2DS|3DS

Paul dug out his old 3DS and purchased the game Air Traffic Controller on the eShop. He enjoyed learning how complex an airport is. In particular he embraced understanding each of the different phases a plane goes through as it approaches, descends, lands, taxis and disembarks at a gate.

The game was good at demonstrating how airports need to be well run with tight systems to ensure the air traffic is safe and efficient. Paul particularly enjoyed the challenges where a plane had to make an emergency landing.

Paul's disposition towards wider aspects of air travel changed. Before playing the game he was a little dismissive of anyone not the pilot. But after seeing how important and complex these wider roles are, he talks about them in more reverent and warmer tones.

Activities: Paul found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Air Traffic Controller (Airport Hero):

Paul recreated a working airport with Lego. Inspired by this video, he created his own complete with baggage, runways, control tower, parking and passenger terminals.
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Flying Real Planes

Age: 15-years-old / 01/01/2018 / 4 years ago

Play Styles: Child Plays Independently (Independent Play)

Platform: Xbox Series X|S

Paul saved up for a new console so he could play Microsoft Flight Simulator. This took some persuading as his parents weren't sure the investment would be beneficial.

Since having the game, Paul now runs weekly excursions for the family. They gather in the evening and suggest places they want to visit. A holiday destination, somewhere they grew up, a point of interest in the locality, or sometimes just a city they have heard of.

Microsoft Flight Simulator lets Paul try out a wide range of planes, times of day, airports and weathers. He has kept a log book of all the flights he has taken.

Playing the game cemented Paul's affinity to a career in or related to flying planes.

Activities: Paul found that the following related activities worked alongside playing Microsoft Flight Simulator:

Paul visited a local airport to watch planes land and take off.
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Pathway Outcome

The culmination of the milestones in the pathway lead to Paul choosing to study Physics and Geography to understand the dynamics of flight and air travel. We have described it as a linear journey, but of course, there is always a fair amount of back and forth between the games they played.

Along with the main outcome Paul also changed in the following ways:

  • Disposition: Paul's disposition towards wider aspects of air travel changed. Before playing the game he was a little dismissive of anyone not the pilot. But after seeing how important and complex these wider roles are, he talks about them in more reverent and warmer tones.
  • Identity: Playing the game cemented Paul's affinity to a career in or related to flying planes.
  • Identity: The process of playing the game and then making the planes led to Paul friends calling him the "paper plan pro" which he embraced. He started describing himself as someone who loved to make paper planes.
  • Knowledge: Paul gained an understanding of how flight works for birds, and the difference between a feathered wing and a fixed wing.
  • Skill: Paul learnt how to fly planes effectively in the video game, but also how to make and fly model planes in the real world.

We focus on how games contribute to this outcome, but also include related activities that play a part of this journey:

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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