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  1. Hi everyone! In late February I posted this topic. Today, Iโ€™m happy to present the results of this research. First of all though, I want to thank those of you who filled out the survey or participated in the forum discussion. Without you, I could not have written this thesis. Here is the abstract of the thesis: If anyone is interested, the full report can be downloaded here.I will also present the results via live video stream this coming Monday the 28th of June at 15:30 (Amsterdam time) - this is the link to the MS Teams meeting. Questions or comments are more than welcome!
  2. Haha wow that's amazing, I did some motorbike tours myself in Asia/NZ/SA but never such incredibly long ones. You are well travelled I see! ๐Ÿ˜„ Hi RB, that does help a lot, thank you! I completely understand that really seeing your family and meet people from other countries can never be replaced. I suppose MSFS is more of a band aid to ease the travel itch? So, if I can paraphrase, it forms an addition to real travel, i.e., allows you to get the feeling of travelling just a little more often until you can really go again. Let me know if I'm wrong here of course ๐Ÿ™‚ (Oh and thanks for the tip about Mississippi, after having travelled to the north-eastern and western parts of the US I'd love to visit some less-visited states as well one day!) --- By the way, the survey's closed now. Thanks again to everyone who participated!
  3. Hey I love reading your answers Stephan, thanks! Very interesting how your hobby became more and more serious/intense, and to see what the 'cockpit upgrade' added to the experience. And I guess that to me, as someone who sims on one (big) screen perhaps once a week at most, your home cockpit is absolutely a home cockpit ๐Ÿ˜‰ (On a sidenote: is that a zero too many or did you really ride 250 thousand km by motorbike? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ) Thanks for participating RB! I find your comment about being virtually 'near' family very interesting by the way - it reminds me of another participant with a similar story. Just a question for you, as this is quite important for my research: I'm guessing that you would not replace your two weeks of vacation time with (some days/sessions of) MSFS2020. In other words, the sim does not change your travel intentions, I suppose. But do you think that the sim does replace/substitute some travel in a tiny way? Like when you feel a little closer to your family members by virtually flying near their homes? And how do the two (real travel during your vacation time - virtual travel during working weeks) compare or relate for you? --- Oh and just a general comment: I will close the survey this coming Monday so that I can go into full-time analysis mode. Anyone who still wants to contribute, please do so this weekend if you can (every single reply helps a ton)! ๐Ÿ™‚
  4. Wow thanks for sharing, that's really cool. I love how you compare your previous setups to each next one. I still wonder:, do you think the home cockpit also adds something to your virtual travel experience (besides the aviation realism)? And if so, how exactly? And now that you've visited these places digitally, do you think you're okay with never seeing all those places for real? Did you decide this before, or after flying around them?
  5. Hi Stephan! Thanks so much for sharing, that's such a great story! I think people might just envy you during these times instead of calling you crazy actually! At least, I know I envy you: while my partner and I fly together from place to place about once a week, we have to do so using a joystick and a screen. It must be a great experience to actually fly around like that in a complete home cockpit. Did you build this already before Covid/MFS came out (for other flight sims)? And what persuaded you to invest the time and money to do this? I'm still quite new to the world of flight sims so to me it's really fascinating! The obvious advantage to the aviation experience aside, do you think the home cockpit also adds something to your virtual travel experience? And if so, how exactly? And now that you've visited these places digitally, do you think you're okay with never seeing all those places for real? Did you decide this before, or after flying around them? I know, lots of questions, but I'm very curious haha!
  6. Cool! So I guess that the new lighting/terrain/live map data really changes your experience compared to other sims? And on a note related to my research: do you travel much guenseli? I wonder how you see your sim experiences in relation to that. Does it make you want to visit these new places? Or do you reckon you won't actually travel to (all of) them, so you can see them through MFS? Okay so I have to ask; when is the depiction good (enough)? Do you have any examples? ๐Ÿ™‚
  7. Hah that's amazing! I recognise the feeling. Did you have a similar feeling of amazement when flying over new locations as well sometimes? 1. That's a great comparison between MSFS2020 and previous flight sims, thanks! I think that really captures the reason why I think this is really a big step in the development of virtual tourism - the accuracy (and lighting, indeed) of the scenery has become so high level that it captures people's attention more... and takes them on an (imaginary) adventure. What do you think? 2. That makes a lot of sense actually, thanks for elaborating! In addition to your point, I'm starting to get the feeling that perhaps because we are 'limited' in our movement as in real life, and only really take one perspective usually (from the plane), that the experience feels more true to real life than e.g. scrolling over Google Maps. And thanks for the compliment, it probably helped that I lived in New Zealand for some time as well ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hey that's an interesting point hjsmuc. Do you mean that in MFS you 'miss' the story of a place (if we are talking about travel inspiration)? And when you relive these memories, do you feel like visiting the place again (perhaps imagining going again) or is it more like looking at old photos for you?
  8. Hey that's a great one, hadn't heard of this before. Thanks! I've contacted the creator to see if he's up for a chat about what inspired him to make this. Thanks for the detailed reply, this really clarifies some things for me ๐Ÿ™‚ My partner is also hesitant to take controls (although she did do a landing once!) but is happy to take some 'co-pilot tasks' such as contacting air traffic control and doing the navigation. How did this work for you two? Was it accidental that she started getting involved a little, or did you plan to enjoy MFS in this way when you bought it? Related to your other points: if I understand correctly, you're saying that MFS has become one source (out of many) for getting travel inspiration. What makes it different or what does it add to these other sources such as Youtube for you?
  9. Hey that's super interesting @bobcat999! On a personal note, I'd love to check out Utah in MFS myself now after your enthusiastic reply :-) I like the way in which you call them reconnaissance missions, it makes a lot of sense. Do you and your wife use MFS together? And when you flew around these other places, were there any that you didn't find so attractive (i.e., places that are now off the 'backup list')? If so, why? This is great stuff @hjsmuc, thanks so much for elaborating. You see, your reply differs a lot from that of @bobcat999's and I'm really interested to learn what might be the reason. Do you (both of you) have any idea why one might find inspiration for travel why the other does not? And just a specific question for you @hjsmuc: wherein lies the power of the sim for you in reliving you previously visited/liked places?
  10. Hah I think that might be my next research topic, once that holodeck becomes available ๐Ÿ˜‰ But to turn the question around then, does MFS inspire you to pick new places to travel to?
  11. Hi everyone! What a great number and, most of all, positive replies! Thank you all so much for taking the time and effort for filling out the survey! Always nice to see fellow Dutchmen online! ๐Ÿ™‚ You raise a very interesting topic, which is part of the reason for this research. Given the negative environmental and (sometimes) social impacts of travel, would you be willing to reduce your number of trips per year by enjoying some digitally sometimes? Why (not) or under what conditions? Thanks for checking (and filling out) the survey @guenseli, your feedback is much appreciated. Thanks to you as well @omarsmak30! You touch upon another good point. Given these extraordinary times, do you think that using MFS satisfies your travel itch a little? And you say the places that you 'were' planning to visit. Is it because of covid that you no longer want to/can, or do you have other reasons? Thanks @tull! Nice to meet a fellow traveller ๐Ÿ™‚ I guess I could ask you the same question... Does MFS satisfy your travel itch to some extent? What are your reasons for this? Sure does @badger2000, thank you so much. Thanks @bobcat999, I'm glad you enjoyed the survey. Hey that's a great story @JETPETER2. What made you try this, and what made it so real for you? As with the others, also a big thanks to you @hjsmuc. What makes real travel more or less doable for you? And are there any conditions (e.g. price, effort, or other limitations) that would make you choose virtual travel over a real experience? If so, why (not)? And as your Dutch neighbour, I'd like to say vielen dank! ๐Ÿ™‚
  12. Hi everyone! Do you use the latest Microsoft Flight Simulator? Then please keep on reading! Contribute to scientific research by filling out a short 10 min. survey and sharing your experiences in this forum. MSFS 2020 can easily be considered a new form of virtual tourism: travel without โ€˜realโ€™ travel. But could this substitute a vacation-feeling to some degree? And why/how? My masterโ€™s thesis on Virtual Tourism and Travel will try to answer these questions. From a personal perspective, this topic really fascinates me: I am both an avid traveller (at least, in โ€˜normalโ€™ times!) and a MSFS-user myself. My girlfriend and I are both loving this sim since we started using it to fly around both familiar and unfamiliar places around the worldโ€ฆ which got me to the point at which I am now with my thesis. Your thoughts, opinions and experiences can contribute so much to my research and make a difference in a cutting-edge research topic. Please fill out the survey by clicking on this link. It should only take about 10 minutes of your time, thank you so much in advance! All done? Time to discuss the topic! Share your experience, opinion, and/or comments about how Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) simulates (or stimulates?) your travel appetite. And of course, discussion about the topic and with each other is not only allowed, but also actively stimulated! Thanks again and looking forward to hearing your thoughts! Jochem Lips MSc Tourism, Society, and Environment Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands --- PS: Wondering what to write about? You can use (but you do not have to restrict yourself to) these questions to get started: 1. Do you ever have moments when your MSFS experiences make you feel as if you are โ€˜thereโ€™, where you are flying? What were you doing? What do you think contributed to this feeling? 2. Have you visited any place in MSFS that you would consider really traveling to? 3. โ€ฆ or are there any places you visited in MSFS that you feel less inclined to travel to now? 4. Why do you use MSFS? Is this the first time you are using a flight sim? 5. Who are you? Do you think that MSFS users are a very specific group of people, or do you think anyone could enjoy this sim? --- Note: by participating in this discussion, you consent to your answers being used for the purposes of this research. This means that what you write might be published or used in e.g., presentations or other material that might be publicly accessible. Anonymity of your answers cannot be guaranteed, although you can request to have your (user)name omitted in the research report and other data resulting from this study. Please explicitly mention this in you answer(s). --- Note to moderators: I have tried to contact this forum's admins to make sure that this topic/post does not violate any forum rules. If there are any concerns about this, please contact me and I will make any necessary changes. Note that there are truly no commercial interests vested in this research; its purpose is purely academic.
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