About Me


I, David Wilson-Okamura, am an English professor at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. I grew up in southern California, majored in English at Stanford, and received a PhD (also in English) from the University of Chicago. I specialize in poetry from the time of Shakespeare. If you'd like to learn more about my research, google me or just click on "virgil.org": it's the last item in the red sidebar at left. Or you can email me here: david@virgil.org.

I have had some version of Flight Simulator since junior high school in the mid-1980s. After college, I dropped out of computer games while I worked on my PhD. Then, in the fall of 2003, I bought a copy of Flight Simulator 2002 to see where things had gotten to. Tsugoi! A few months later, my brother gave me FS2004 for Christmas and I bought a new video card so that I could play it.

What's so fascinating about Flight Simulator? For me there are two things. First, there is the technical challenge of making a complex machine do what you want it to -- what G. M. Hopkins called "the achieve of it, the mastery of the thing." He was talking about a bird, but it also applies to airplanes. The second reason is that I like -- but can't afford -- to travel. Like a painting, Flight Simulator is a window on a world, some of which I have been to, or will visit someday, and some of which I will probably never lay eyes on in person.

Where did that crazy name, Wilson-Okamura, come from? Are you Japanese? No. My wife's family came from Japan at the end of the nineteenth century. When we married, she and I combined our surnames into one. But she's not Japanese, either: her family has been in this country for a hundred years now, and she's just as American as I am.