iPad version of Flight Control will be used to train Aussie air traffic controllers
The idea that video games can have practical applications isn't a new one.
DS consoles are often handed out in schools for the edification of pupils, Wiis are used in hospitals the world over to assist in a number of different physical rehabilitation therapies, and as far back as 1980 a version of Atari's vector blaster Battlezone was used for military training.
So it's no surprise to learn that Flight Control HD, the iPad version of Firemint's hugely successful line-drawing game about landing planes, has been adopted by Airservices Australia as a training tool for wannabe air traffic controllers.
The game, which sees the player drawing lines with their fingers to guide airborne vehicles travelling at different speeds onto several runways, is apparently a convincing simulation of the real thing.
Speaking to Reuters, Airservices Australia's director of public relations Michael Arbroath said, "Flight Control HD is quite popular amongst our air traffic controllers as a breaktime activity.
"After a while it dawned on us that guiding little computer planes is very similar to landing real big planes, particularly with regard to what we like to call the golden rule: Never let the planes collide."
Air traffic controllers in Australia have been trialling Flight Control as a training aid since just before Christmas, with instructors reporting positive results.
Indeed, one controller, Ned Kelly, now leads the game's global leaderboard.
A full roll out of the program will commence with the release of the new iPad Flight Control HD version in April.