Science Technology

Want to be an air traffic controller? Buy the iPhone game

I’m sure like most of you, I’ve been waiting for the day when I could declare myself an official expert on some subject or the other because I’d recently played a video game. In my youthful mind’s eye, decades ago, I envisioned such a game as a huge walk-in virtual reality system with wall-sized monitors and fully-emersed game experience.

But as it turns out, you only need a $200 phone and a free app to become an air traffic controller. @NASA has released a new iPhone app (Android version still in development, WTF?) that allows you to manage and alter the trajectory of incoming airplanes in California and Nevada air space. The idea is to demonstrate the need for math skills and patience in dealing with the complex world of air traffic control.

Or, you could just get shit-faced on cheap whiskey, sit in your living room in your undies and intentionally smash planes into one another while listening to Surf Nicaragua at full volume. There does not appear to be anything in the game that prevents this:

NASA – NASA Releases Sector 33 Air Traffic Control Educational Game App.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.

2 replies on “Want to be an air traffic controller? Buy the iPhone game”

That's a nice app indeed. Regarding your "WTF" about the android version, I must say (from personal experience developing an ATC game), that the iOS SDKs make everything way easier than the Android SDK. Even if android is no rocket science (pun intended), it is not as seamless as the iOS ones. And for such graphical apps as ATC games, the wide variety of resolutions is a real challenge on android.

Thanks for the info, Vincent!

Its a bit deflating to see the problems Android has with the chaos that is their environment. Granted, these things happen with "Open Source" tech, but come on! Its barely that. Would be nice if Google could introduce some architectural order.

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