Using commercial (PC based) flight simulators for training is more popular among younger U.S. Navy aviators than older ones. The younger ones see the simulators as giving them additional "experience," while the older ones are more aware of where the simulators fail to replicate actual flying conditions. The U.S. Air Force has a similar pattern of use, although the air force also keeps tabs on commercial flight simulator development, and notes which are strong, or weak, and in what areas. This information is distributed to their pilots.
A decade ago, the U.S. military checked trainee pilots for prior use of these flight simulators, and found that these "games" did help with initial pilot training. Experiments were then conducted, having some trainees spend time with the commercial flight simulator software, while others did not. This confirmed the belief that the commercial flight simulators were useful. As a result of this, cheaper professional flight simulators were developed using commercial flight simulators as a starting point.