LittleSoft Hill Simulator
Gordon Smith (but a different one from pp6-9!) reports
Opinion polls conducted by GORI have suggested that nearly all hillwalkers would rather play with computer games than subject themselves to the vagaries of the Scottish weather and the tiresome habit of counting conquests. Even those who do not lean this way will need something to do when they have ticked off all the boxes in their I-Spy Book of Munros.
With a view to this huge market, work is in the Advanced Concept Stage for a Virtual Hillwalking System. Central to the system will be a new sensaround hillwalking suit. In addition to the normal visual and tactile feedback, the suit will connect to any standard bath tap or shower system to provide realistic weather. It is hoped to provide a refrigeration unit on future models.
Once plumbed in, the user selects an appropriate OS sheet and sets off. Hillwalking companions can be selected from a menu. Standard conversations are provided with the basic system, but a range of celebrities, both real and imaginary, will be available at extra cost. It is unclear at this stage whether Muriel Gray will be included in the standard package or not.
Those with modems will be able link up with other users of the system and virtually walk with 'real' people. A catalogue of virtual gear will be available, from ice-axes to crampons, from unbreakable flasks to goretex map cases. For those Munroists who have peaked too soon and are at a loss, a range of new hills will be available. Future releases will include a hill editor. This will, for example, allow users to make the In Pinn a little more accessible. Release date is expected to be sometime after Windows '95.
Ed. - Whilst on the subject of simulators - albeit analog rather than vitual - TAC has heard tell of a climbing wall somewhere down on The Plain which is specially designed for vertiphobes. It's on some kind of rollers, such that as you climb, the wall comes down to meet you and you're never more than five feet off the ground. Imagine if hills were like that.
TAC 22 Index