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Guest LouieMac MATVA

Is AVSIM losing it's objectivity?

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For all of you who feel the urge to jump on this post and label me as some kind of miscreant. Please settle down, this post is a question not an accusation. It contains my thoughts on the series of comments/reviews recently released on the subject of Microsofts' much heralded FSX. My question to the good folks at AVSIM is "are you in danger of losing your objectivity?". Excited reviews of the product that read more like Microsoft press releases, pictures of senior staff standing proudly in front of a Microsoft FSX banner (nice picce tho' folks), not to mention Microsoft being a major sponsor for next years proposed UK convention.While I fully understand the need for sponsorship to keep the very much appreciated AVSIM in it's present form, it is beginning to look a little like you do not wish to upset the sponsors. Is FSX really that good, maybe it is, but to my way of thinking the flight sim community, will in the end decide it's suitability as a viable product. Some will buy it regardless, some will buy it and go back to what they used previously while others will continue as they are. Should anyone be interested I hold the opinion that online flying is not the way of the future and FSX's supposed compatibility with existing FS9 products will be a major consideration. But these opinions are based purely on my experience of flight sim products and my exchanges with other simmers over many years. Maybe I am being a little naive but it has always seemd to me that the idea behind AVSIM was to represent the flight sim community and review products accordingly, this does not seem to be the case with FSX. The neutrality appears to be missing. So are we seeing the beginnings of AVSIM_MS.com or even worse MS_AVSIM.com.That's it folks, a question for, not an attack on, yourselves. I will continue to consider AVSIM a valuable source of flight sim information and accessories, but how do you expect to write credible reviews on products when you appear to be so involved with the company or companies producing them.Louie Maclennan, MATVA

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"Excited reviews of the product that read more like Microsoft press releases, pictures of senior staff standing proudly in front of a Microsoft FSX banner (nice picce tho' folks), not to mention Microsoft being a major sponsor for next years proposed UK convention."I was always taught that if your initial presumptions / assumptions / posits were wrong, then your conclusions would most likely also be wrong. First, we have not done any reviews. Please point one on FSX out to me. Secondly, taking a group shot at the request of a SimOuthouse staffer under the banner, which he requested, seems pretty innocuous to me. Finally, who said that MS will be a "major" sponsor of the UK event? We said "With the support of RCSimulations and PCPilot Magazine, and the full sponsorship of Microsoft, we will bring for the first time an...". It seems to me you are jumping to conclusions. You can be assured that our objectivity remains intact, and that MS, and the many vendors in our community, appreciate and want that objectivity to stand. After all, if we weren't objective and protected our credibility, they nor you would be served very well.

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Thanks for the response Tom but it seems to me you have jumped on one or two phrases and missed the point of my post. Most importantly. it was a question, a request for information, not an accusation. Maybe it loses something in the translation from one side of the Atlantic to the other. I never at any point implied there was anything underhand going on but you appear to have made that assumption. I only asked about your objectivity based on what I had seen on the website.I stated at the beginning of my post that I wasn't some kind of miscreant but even you appear to want to label me as one. There is certainly no need for you to adopt the attitude of defender. Even the section you quote can easily be taken out of context in the way you chose to quote it. That paragraph actually reads:-"For all of you who feel the urge to jump on this post and label me as some kind of miscreant. Please settle down, this post is a question not an accusation. It contains my thoughts on the series of comments/reviews recently released on the subject of Microsofts' much heralded FSX. My question to the good folks at AVSIM is "are you in danger of losing your objectivity?". Excited reviews of the product that read more like Microsoft press releases, pictures of senior staff standing proudly in front of a Microsoft FSX banner (nice picce tho' folks), not to mention Microsoft being a major sponsor for next years proposed UK convention."I am well aware that you haven't officially reviewed FSX, but there have certainly been a few paragraphs on it. It could be argued that any article large or small that contains information about and/or an opinion on, be considered a review. I actually initially used the words "comments/reviews" but you accidentally left them out of the section you quoted. The picture? I don't see where I said it was anything other than a picture. I just mentioned it in context and as part of my question as a whole. "the full sponsorship of Microsoft" I think that clearly implies some kind of major interest/support from them. At no point in my post did I imply any kind of wrongdoing. In fact I thought I made it very clear that I was asking questions. AVSIM is your organisation, it is not for me to tell you how to run it, but as a member of the AVSIM community I feel I should be allowed to ask what I feel are perfectly legitimate and innofensive questions.

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LouieLet me respond very simply. AVSIM has not and will not lose its objectivity on any FS product regardless of whether the developer is a sponsor or an advertiser or for any other reason.We are interested in having MS as a sponsor at the conferences because they are the major player in this hobby. In fact, without MSFS a large portion of this hobby would not exist.AVSIM has always has taken a position that there has to be a seperation between the editorial side of AVSIM and the business side. That is the reason that review staff works without any input from the business side. I know that in the almost 10 years we have been doing this that not a single reviewer has ever been asked to change anything they said because a company or a person complained. We have and will correct errors in a review, if we missed something. We will never make a change because the developer is unhappy with the review.Be assured that Avsim will review FSX with the same honesty we have reviewed all of the earlier versions.As for you comment that any article constitutes a review, I dispute that. That is about as accurate as saying the fact your local paper reports that Jaguar is releasing a new model, talking about its features, that they have in fact endorsed the car. It is news and nothing more. http://www.avsim.com/pages/robert/kirkland.jpg

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Thank you RobertYour post contains the answer to the question I asked. "Is AVSIM in danger of losing it's objectivity?" You tell me no and explain your reasons for doing so. Fine, that's all I needed, I am now a happy bunny, or simmer or whatever folks want to call me. :-)The last paragraph was a little unnecessary but I have absolutely no intention of making a large mountain out of the small molehill of your/my interpretation of what I said/meant. I don't post very often but on this occasion I felt the need to do so. You have now answered my query, so as far as I am concerned the issue has been resolved.Thanks againLouie MaclennanMATVA Scotland

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