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Guest Icelandic_Canadian

So, what is it with people outside the FS family?

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I was at work the other day and (instead of actually working :-roll ) was looking around Avsim, reading forums and glancing through screenshots, when this coworker of mine walks in and asks me what I'm looking at. Now, he had just got off of lunch, and playing Battlefield 1942 mind you. Yes, we have a laid back boss that lets us install games on our computers to play during lunch time.Anyway, getting back to the point... He candidly says, with the beginnings of a tear of boredom and a blank stare in his eyes, "So, whaddya do in that?" I tell him, the challenge is to fly and navigate from point A to point B, to be able to take this huge honkin' piece of aluminum (or even more challenging, a small aircraft tossed by the elements) and fly it through low visibility or high winds, and land it, like you would a real aircraft. That completely blew his mind. Insert the cow-in-the-headlights look here."So, you just... fly?""Yep," I tell him."You don't... bomb anything, or shoot other planes down?" Presently I was looking at a screenshot of a 757 in the screenshot forum. "Does it look like that thing shoots other planes down?" I lead into, "It's a commercial and general aviation simulation."Then he says again, "Huh... So, you just... fly?"I tell him yes again, that's the challenge, and begin a run down on how a pilot depends on the gauges. He says, "It seems like that would take away from the game, looking at all those gauges all the time. Doesn't seem like you would have a sense of flying or fun at all. I know in Battlefield 1942, the gauges in the aircraft don't even work, you don't even need them.""Yeah. But that's not very realistic. Besides, this is a simulation, not a game." I tell him that those gauges are part of the simulation."Huh... So, do real pilots do that?" Insert mild look of disgust here, "You mean real pilots just kinda sit there and look at all the gauges all the time?"I reply, "Most of them. It not only enhances the sense of flight, but is a necessity in the big planes. They almost never even look outside the plane."Again I get the befuddled look. He says, "I'm trying to understand this, I really am. So, you just... fly? Do you, like, overcome problems to get faster planes? Or can you find secret planes? Can you hop in and out of different planes at an airport and walk around? How about upgrading to better engines? If you fly over Iraq will you get shot down by the military?" [believe it or not he actually asked that last question... I'm mildly certain that it wasn't even sarcasm.]"No."By this point, I just wanted to smack the guy. Do you people get this sort of reaction at all very much? I didn't know whether or not to think of myself as a super-geek or my coworker as shallow. I know it's not his fault. He was raised playing first person combat video games. But then again, so was I. He's actually a year older than I am. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it at the time.My fiancee has similar feelings toward it though. She'll tell me, "It looks like your barely moving. Don't you get bored?" I'll tell her that I'm actually flying very fast, 200mph (roughly converted because she has no concept of what a knot is). To which she promptly replies, "Well it doesn't look like it, look how slow the ground is moving!" Aye!!!! Why doesn't anyone understand me!?!?!? :-eek Just interested in thoughts, or your own stories. Anybody have any Top 10 lists of why non-FS-addicted souls don't understand our hobby? That would be interesting to forward to all the people that don't have a clue why I like to, "Just sit in front of a computer and stare at the same thing for hours."(Sorry for the length of this post)Ken

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Hehe.Yeah, I get the same thing sometimes, too. "So you just...fly?"That's pretty well what they say. It's funny though, to let some of them try and fly the 172 1 lap around the patch and then land. I run through the controls with them, and then let them see for themselves how easy it is. They end up flying grossly exagerated bank angles, balloon all over the place, and jerk the yoke like they were driving their car!The end result is usually the same, they crash. Some of them are even lucky enough to crash on the runway! Others find themselves taking a short tour of the airport grounds before impacting a large inanimate object of one sort or the other. With Real Air Simulations 172, it adds even more excitement. Departure stalls here are quite common only because they jerk the plane off the runway so violently. And the guy who thought "you just fly.." finds him or herself begining to appreciate the sim.It only becomes worse as the aircraft performance increases. Try and have them taxi a 747 from the gate to the runway. Most of them want to drive the yoke and can't steer worth beans with their feet, let alone keep the aircraft on the taxiway and negotiate the turns. The takeoffs are usually better than in the props, but the crashes are even worse.In the end, if not more enamoured by the sim, most of my friends have at least walked away with a better understanding of what it is we "do" when we fly.Cheers,CF-AOA

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Ken...Good post--same story here. My wife certainly doesn't understand. I went to Frys with a coworker--we're both Wan Admins and computer "geeks".... He saw me get an add-on for MSFS, and thought I was nuts.... Yet he's a big gamer, heavily into MAME.I have another sim--NoLimits, a coaster sim. It brings on a great sensation of speed and has endless possibilities, as one can design and ride their own tracks. But for sheer speed thrills, nothing is better than cranking up Autogen, and flying an F86 in and out of the buildings at treetop level. Heck, even the Cessna 421 is a blast....People don't know what they're missing :)-John

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I also work with some people into gaming, and they have the same question. It's all to do with the "gaming" perception. So many games have unique challenges for which you are scored (like how many dragons you can kill- or even good old "ATP" had a scoring system which gave it a "gaming flavor"). And military sims (like CFS) have dogfights to win, etc.I think it all has to do with how you view things. For civil aviations sims, obviously "getting there" is what it's all about. Some folks though, are only motivated by an end-result ("I got there", "I survived that fighter raid", or "I killed those bad guys").My wife has shadowed my real and simulated flying experiences, and does understand (although she has no interest in actually doing it). I'm lucky though- our kids are all raised and gone, and she has numerous hobbies in geneology, digital photography and sewing, that all keep her very busy- and for which I have no desire to do either. We retire to our computer room after dinner, and both get lost in our own hobbies :)Good thread,Bruce.

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I think the best way to understand how your friends feel would be to drop into your local scrap book supply store or fabric/knitting store with your signficant other...

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I haven't really been asked why I do it, but I'd probably respond along these lines:The joy is found in the study and manipulation of a complex system. I would call it "a geek thing" as all geeks do this in one way or another. Some of us play around with flight simulators, where the complex system mimics an aircraft. Others play with cars or computers. In fact, there are many other similar pursuits that offer the same sorts of challenges and mental rewards as a flight simulator.

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I have my PIC 767 manual printed and posted in a three ring binder that's about two inches thick. I'd drop that on the desk and point out that it's for ONE plane of my hangar of about 70. Then I'd give him my copy of Canada Air Pilot instrument procedures, have him decode that, then give him the current metar and ask him what the weather was.If his eyes aren't crossed yet, I'd have him prepare a flight plan and calculate his fuel load.If he's still game, get him airborne then give him the sectional and ask him where he is and what heading to fly to the next waypoint.Somewhere in all that, he can do his 'just flying' part too.BlairCYOWPS. My wife smiles sweetly and says 'whatever make you happy dear' whenever I'm engrossed in FS! In return, I pretend to be interested in opera.

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Indeed a good post Ken,Though I'm a student, I still have the same questions of classmates.When I tell them I 'play' (bad word for it but ok ;)) Flightsim, they think well, that's easy, pick a plane, hit the keyboard and off it goes.I first ask them, are you willing to listen to my explanation, because it usually takes about 5-10 minutes to explain the sim.But when I'm talking about the SID's STAR's , aircraft weight, fuel calculations, winds, weather and of course not to be forgotten VATSIM. They really think well it's more then a simple flightsim.For me it's absolutely not only a 'computer game' you do learn from it!All I wanna say is: whatever they may think of flightsim, they will never fully understand the complexity of FS untill they play it theirselfs.Regards,:-waveEvert------------------------------Visit the Holland Aviation Siteand learn more about aviation in Holland!!! :DLast update 6/5/03http://fly.to/hollandaviationsite------------------------------

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Me?Generally I don't bother.If you need to ask, then you'll never be interested.However, a freind of mine did take more than a passing interest, so I explained what the sim is about, he thought "cool!", and went out and bought it.Saw him at work the next day - he couldn't get the plane to the runway so figured game was shot.Last I heard a NZ$100.00 PCgame should be sitting somewhere in our local landfill...Allblack

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I remember back when I was ten or so (I'm almost 15) my friend Adam and Joe would come over and ring my doorbell to see if I could "come out and play." I'd always say I was busy flying and invited them in to watch me for a minute while I'll close the flight down. They would usually ask to land- but I knew they just wanted to crash the thing- and thats what they did.... *sigh*. That was the story time and time again- its just a bunch of buttons and a yoke and pedals to them- but I guess we have a totally differnt perception of it. I remember one day they came over at about lunch time and asked to fly in the "game". I turned the computer on and they set up up and all- the started at Meigs- and next thing I see if them aiming for buildings and laughing histerically saying "Who would actually wanna spend their life doing this junk?" Well- after that, they all got a nice little talk about aviation and 'till this day I'm still considered "they geek who thinks he can fly"... (Thats what they think! :-lol) I don't really care though- I will never give up my dreams becuase what other think.Jay :-wave

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Ken,You are not alone. That famous deer in the headlights look is pretty common.Here is a tip. When you are outside and a plane flies over and you are with your neighbors, co-workers, etc....Whichever one looks up as you do is someone who will appreicate your flying a computer.Show that person the sim at Lunch, and you may not be able to get them off of it.Thanks for posting your story, I have had quite some fun having family try and fly the puter to their embarrassment and then some even get mad that you can fly so well without hardly any input, and they can't even taxi without crashing.ALWAYS LEAVE REALISM AND DAMAGE TURNED ON. ;-)Regards,Joe http://home.attbi.com/~jranos/sigban.jpg.Politics - Give Me Liberty or Give Me Deathhttp://pub207.ezboard.com/bpoliticsgivemel...tyorgivemedeath

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I just don't tell anybody, and nobody could really care any less. I work for an airline so most of my co-workers like flightsims or anything to do with flying, and I live with my older brother who is a pilot himself. So he and all his friends fly for a living, they love coming on to my computer to fly FS in unreal conditions just to challenge themselves. To the rest of my friends, they don't even know I play FS as far as I know. Why tell if they don't ask, and if they do I tell them it's a flight simulator and most just turn their heads in dis-interest. So who cares, man! Just go with it like you always do even though it can be frustrating explaining it, maybe just don't any more.Local Air is Better Air- www.hawkair.ca

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