Gaming Steve writes: "As Grand Theft Auto IV approaches release everyone's favorite lawyer, Jack Thompson, has made his usual unspecified legal threats against the release of the game. In these threats he once again refers to any Grand Theft Auto game as a "murder simulator."
I've been working with simulator programs for the US Army for about six years now, which I believe makes me an expert on exactly what a simulator is, what a simulation does, and what the goals of these simulators. Comparing these simulators to GTA it cannot in truth be called either a "murder simulator" or a "murder simulation" in any sense.
"Simulators" are devices used to mimic the actions and functions of a real thing, a real situation, or both. A flight simulator will typically have a mock-up of the interior of the aircraft being trained, and usually involves some sort of realistic motion. This is because they need the skills in the simulator to map to the actual skills being trained, including certain motor skills when finding and adjusting instruments.
With this in mind, what kind of simulator would be a "murder simulator"?