The Ultimate List of Realistic Simulation Games for Training and Education

When we talk about gaming, we usually think of it as a game for entertainment, where gamers spend the entire night in front of dedicated game consoles drinking copious amounts of energy drinks.

However, only a few realize that games also have many real-world uses. There have been cases where the games have a separate training program, and the games created the training programs.

Here are some simulation games that have made an impact in real life.

Flight Training: X-Plane 11

Laminar Research released the first version of X-Plane 11 in 1995, allowing players to experience flight in a realistic simulation. The company sells consumer versions of the emulator for macOS, Windows, and Linux and has also created arrangements for Android, iOS, and webOS.

However, its use of blade element theory sets this game apart from other flight simulators. Instead of simulating an aircraft’s performance and response from a predefined database, the built-in software uses computing power to model its performance in real-time, allowing the simulation to provide a more realistic feel than other simulators.

For this, Laminar also offers FAA-certified versions of X-Plane. If you combine it with FAA-tested devices and set up a flight simulator on your PC, You can log your training time in this game, and the FAA will recognize it.

Driver Training: Euro Truck Simulator 2

While there are no documented cases of a truck driving school using Euro Truck Simulator 2 (ETS2) to train its students, there are several cases on Reddit where ETS2 players have switched from driving virtual trucks on PC to driving real.

One such player is Zdenko Martinovic. he was Interviewed on AltChar After discovering that he turned his passion for digital truck driving into real-life truck driving. Although he didn’t have a driving license when he started playing ETS2, he eventually got the license for the enormous truck possible, with a maximum load capacity of 44 tons.

When asked how difficult it was to get a license and how ETS2 had helped him, he replied:

Well, I struggled on my first day of riding. I couldn’t even imagine sitting in a truck and driving on the highway with other drivers around me. But thanks to the Logitech wheel, shifter, and pads, you’ve got the basics. So it was easy to drive at the end. 

Race training: Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo is a popular racing simulation game developed by Polyphony Digital exclusively for the PlayStation. Eight significant versions have been released in 2022, with Gran Turismo version 7 being the most recent.

One of the things Gran Turismo is known for is the realism it offers in design. Reported site Polyphony Digital has scanned the Nürburgring with a laser to provide its operators with the closest route to reality. And if you set up a racing simulation platform at home, it will feel like you are driving a real car.

For this reason, Nissan saw fit to use the game to find future motorsports drivers by offering the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy. This virtual-to-reality competition pits the best Gran Turismo players against each other as the best international drivers earn their place in Nissan’s comprehensive driver development program.

Self-Driving AI Programming: Grand Theft Auto V

The real world is chaotic and random, making it difficult to predict the actions of another road user. This situation presents a problem for self-driving AI systems, as they have to navigate the chaos, trying to predict the unpredictable. Conducting these experiments and programming AI is dangerous, especially as it involves ordinary life and the general public.

However, where else can you find a chaotic world where you can escape freely without real consequences? You can find one of these worlds in Grand Theft Auto V.

Use Project Deepdrive, a research team focused on integrating vision and vehicles to create self-driving cars in Grand Theft Auto V to train self-driving AI. Although Forbes The group was reported to have received a letter from TakeTwo, the publisher of GTA V, that they should stop using the game code to share it with others.

And while TakeTwo is correct, mainly as the researchers work with copyrighted game code, it has helped drive the use of games to safely develop self-driving AI technology at the enthusiast level.

At the time of writing, Project Deepdrive 2.0 gave anyone access to a driving simulator to test AI research.

Military Training: Weapon 3

Bohemia Interactive created the ArmA military simulation franchise as an offshoot of its core business: the military training simulator Bohemia Interaction Simulation (BISim). The company developed it so that military personnel – in the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps – can train and develop tactics digitally before deploying them in real-world scenarios.

This way, the organization can save on training costs by ensuring they can digitally test their plan before investing in fuel, logistics, and workforce. 

Business Formation: Capitalism 2

Business concepts can be difficult to learn, especially when taught in the abstract. But one of the ways students can know it is by practicing its lessons. This is where Capitalism 2 comes in. This business simulation game allows students to apply theories and better understand the effects of their decisions without risking large sums of real money.

Additionally, Capitalism 2 allows students to play against each other, forcing them to think creatively and figure out how best for other teams.

Oil Refinery Management: SimRefinery

When Maxis created the first SimCity, it became an instant hit. His game allowed players to become mayors of cities, manage small towns, and turn them into megacities.

Several companies saw potential in this game, as they were able to ask Maxis to create their simulation of the industry. This way, these companies can experiment with plans and policies to see their approximate impact before implementing them.

One such company, Chevron, wanted to teach its employees how the refinery worked. While Chevron knows simulation is no substitute for actual training, at least it helps its employees understand the bigger picture.

According to the story The Darkness About Maxis Business Simulator and SimRefinery:

Refinery operators have sometimes struggled to understand what was happening at the plant outside their area of ​​interest. “The main goal of this was to teach operators that they are part of a larger system,” said Skidmore. “The company’s concern at the time was that operators tended to be so focused on their one plant, the one thing they were doing, and therefore they didn’t remember that what they were doing was affecting other parts of the business. So he wanted a training simulation that would allow operators to manipulate the inputs and outputs of different parts of the refinery process to see how much they affected.” VerifyThe best free online city-building game you will find is SimCity.

Games that go beyond entertainment

These are just a few examples of how games can be used in real life. Simulation games can be used for everything, from training pilots and soldiers to testing new processes and procedures. Even high-quality history games, such as the Age of Empires series, can be used to teach world history.

So, if you take the gameplay seriously enough, some titles go beyond just entertainment.