Reader Question – Rotten Attitudes

Your reader emails/questions have been flying in of late. Thank you!  If you have a question for me regarding flight simulation or just an opinion you would like to share, please consider contacting me.  You can use my “Ask Me A Question” form which can be found under Information (at the top).  We do have a fresh question from Jason regarding rotten attitudes within the flight simulation community.  Here’s his comment.

Hello Jerry.  My name is Jason and I’m relatively new to the flight simulation community.  I came aboard with MSFS 2020 (the PC version) about 18 months ago and I truly love the hobby.  Being brand new to flight simulation and also somewhat new to the world of aviation in general, I joined many forums and other social networks dedicated to the hobby.  However, I’ve found the vast majority to be made up of rude and condescending individuals.  Most of the questions I’ve asked have been met with responses such as “Did you do a Google Search” or “Google is your friend”. I’ve also watched hours, upon hours of various YouTube videos and Twitch Livestreams, but find most of these flight sim content creators to be just as rude.  I scratch my head and wonder why on earth they are spending time producing content if they are not willing to help?

Fortunately, I’ve found your website and your tutorials have been instrumental in helping me grasp the basics and you’ve also been very helpful with my email questions.  You might remember I emailed you about 18 months ago when I was struggling with configuring my controller.  Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for all your efforts.  I’m truly loving the hobby and most of that is down to you.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  Jason

Sadly, the observations Jason makes in his email to me are so very true.   As most will know from reading my blog over all these years and by the way, this September will mark 14 years that I’ve been blogging about the hobby of flight simulation (and other things), I’ve truly tried my best to help as many people as I can.

In the Beginning

Of course for me personally, my start to this awesome hobby was way back in the early 1980’s. I was a teenager with a Commodore 64 and so wanted to learn how to fly and land my little aircraft.  This was well before the Internet Age we live in today.  But I was fortunate that I had an Uncle who had his PPL and while he knew nothing about a computer, the advice he gave me helped me learn how to depart Meigs Field and fly around Chicago and return back and land.  It was a game changer.  I went back home and one of my friends (who also had a C64 with flight sim) started a crude virtual airline where we tracked our flights on a Big Chief tablet and once a week compared notes.  What I didn’t know then was this was the virtual airline concept that we all know and love today.  But I digress…

Curmudgeons Everywhere

Ha Ha.  First let me define the word Curmudgeon for those who might not be familiar with the meaning.  According to the Webster Dictionary (yes I have a copy on my desk), a Curmudgeon is a bad-tempered person, especially an old one. It’s truly a sad state of affairs that this awesome hobby is chocked full of Curmudgeons.  They literally are everywhere….within all the forums, within all the social media platforms and within many of the Virtual Airlines I’ve come across over the years.

The Dawn of MSFS

Before Microsoft released MSFS 2020 back in August of 2020, the number of brand new flight simmers I encountered through VA’s, forums etc. was relatively low.  However, once MSFS released, the numbers of new simmers entering the hobby exploded beyond anything I had ever experienced before or even could have imagined.  By the way, this explosion of brand new blood into our hobby is extremely good news for the longevity of our beloved hobby.  All these brand new members are spending their hard earned dollars (or their parents hard earned dollars) on the sim platform and all the various add-ons that enhance their experiences.  Many young people are gaining an interest in aviation and will become aviation professionals as a result.  It’s all very good news!

Taking a Step Back

The issue Jason points out in his email to me is valid.  The problem with dismissing questions with a response like “Did you search before asking your question” or “Google is your friend” will often lead individuals to the wrong answer.  Sometimes….a person really doesn’t know or understand the exact phrases or terms they should be searching on to begin with.  This leads to even more frustration and like I said, will often lead to a wrong answer.

Now with that said, I am a firm believer in doing one’s own research as much as possible.  But as I just mentioned, someone new to the hobby might not understand exactly what they need to search on and let’s face it, some of these online forums/communities search features are not the best in the world.  As for Google, yes….Google can certainly be your friend….but it can also lead you down the wrong path.

Purpose of a Forum/Community

I’ve owned and managed many different forums and other online communities over the years.  Regardless of the type of platform the community is operated on, the main and primary purpose of any community should be to unite likeminded individuals and help foster growth within the community.  This includes helping those who desperately need help.

Final Thoughts

At some point in time everyone involved in the flight simulation community was new to the hobby.  Even if an individual is a real world pilot and understands the inner workings of a real world Cessna, Airbus or Boeing aircraft, they might not understand initially how all that knowledge corelates into the world of flight simulation.  So always be kind, be helpful and be respectful.

For those in the community seeking answers to questions, Yes…absolutely do your best to search the various forums, communities and Google can also help find a lot of information.  But when your searching doesn’t provide the fruit of your labor, then ask the question.  But perhaps as you ask your question, formulate the question in such a way that you have searched this, than and the other and still you are left with a question.

As I said at the top of this blog article, if you have questions please consider using the “Ask Me A Question” form.  If I know the answer, or if I can find the answer I’ll be perfectly happy to assist you.

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!


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