How Flight Sims Led To Civilization As We Know It

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Kotaku, Motoring Con Brio, and TTAC.

The Father Of CivilizationKotaku

A great profile Kotaku on one of the most influential designers in video game history who, btw, got his start with flight simulators.

Then they found Atari’s Red Baron, a squiggly flight game in which you’d steer a biplane through abstract outlines of terrain and obstacles. Stealey, the Air Force man, knew he could win at this one. He sat down at the machine and shot his way to 75,000 points, ranking number three on the arcade’s leaderboard. Not bad.

Then Meier went up. He scored 150,000 points.

“I was really torqued,” Stealey says today. This guy outflew an Air Force pilot? He turned to the programmer. “Sid, how did you do that?”

“Well,” Meier said. “While you were playing, I memorized the algorithms.”

LaHood Calls For VMT, New Taxes To Raise Funds For Infrastructure, As Gas Tax Runs DryTTAC

How Flight Sims Led To Civilization As We Know It

What do you do when the gas tax runs dry?

The idea of a VMT, especially one tracked by GPS, is one that leaves civil libertarians in a cold sweat at night. Sources in DC tell us that a VMT essentially declared it a non-starter, not just for civil liberties reasons, but that the ROI would not be enough to justify implementing it. Nevertheless, a GAO report essentially endorsed a VMT scheme that could use GPS or other wireless transponders or prepaid “miles” indicated by a sticker on a vehicle’s windshield. Given how much the idea of the automobile is tied into the notion of personal liberty and freedom of movement, it’s hard to imagine this being acceptable to a vast swath of the American public. But something’s gotta give.

Old car brochures. Lots of ‘em.Motoring Con Brio

How Flight Sims Led To Civilization As We Know It

Not much text, but just look at all the pictures.

The motherload, we found it. Or we were made aware of it, anyway. There’s a little something here for everyone, but if you’re a German car aficionado in particular, expect to say goodbye to a good portion of your morning, afternoon, or evening. Here’s a preview: