Editorial: My Sim's Super - Your Sim Sucks!
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You may read the previous and think to yourself, “What? A bunch of simmers being belligerent with each other? All over a discussion of the relative merits of two simulations which everyone is free to buy or not buy, use or not use, like or not like?”
But true, isn’t it?
And no doubt quite familiar if you’re a regular reader in the forums, here or elsewhere. Perhaps you’ve participated in one of these slug-fests which begin oh-so-benignly, with a simple question, a request for help in making an informed decision. The inevitable results are so predictable, certain members will contribute an “IBTL!” for entertainment purposes before things even begin to turn sour. Others will bring out the popcorn and watch as the drama unfolds. The exchange can happen very quickly.
Because they have a pretty good idea what’s coming, fifteen rounds of lightweight, welterweight, and heavyweight action. Yet despite the best efforts of many people to give assistance, actually answer the question and give thoughtful insight into the merits of each simulation, the odds are good: There is going to be a fight tonight.
And lest you think it’s just the prop-heads and jet-jocks who get into these altercations, think again. Substitute auto racing terms for the flight sim terms and you’ll find the same types of debates raging in some auto racing forums. With the same result. Land combat? Yep. Naval? Yep. Technology? Absolutely.
Ever wonder why should that be? I do, but as Forums Manager for SimHQ, I have a slightly different perspective. Whenever I see a thread titled “Sim X or Sim Y” or similar, I know I have one that needs watching. Sometimes they manage to make a couple pages or so before the post frequency bell starts clanging off the charts, one indication that tempers are running hot. Nevertheless, I do wonder how these things get started and why it should always be the same outcome.
Before I offer my theories of why this situation should be (why it is, the way it is) let me offer my ideas about why it should not be (why I wish it wasn’t).
It should not be because we’re all here for the same reason — we enjoy computer simulations. That’s the commonality and the glue that binds us. When a new simulation is announced, we tend to get excited about that. We want to know more. What’s in it? Does it have a dynamic campaign? What’s the protection scheme? Will it have co-op, stable multiplayer? How are the graphics? Does it support NaturalPoint TrackIR’s 6DOF? How will it play on my system? And of course, when’s it coming out?
You would think that given that common interest and enthusiasm, we would be willing to live and let live without climbing down each other’s throats just because we don’t all like the same thing. I don’t think golfers get into knock-down arguments over who uses what golf ball (but maybe they do!). You like Sim X, hey, more power to your afterburners.
It should not be because as simulation enthusiasts, we know that we’re not exactly swimming in new products every day or every week, unlike our console counterparts. No, for us flight sim types, we’re lucky to see a truly new sim every two or three years. Sim racers are more fortunate, but even there it’s about one every six months or so.
Does that mean we have to fawn with mouths drooling and eyes wide at every opportunity? No, of course not, and it’s not to encourage the production of real garbage, because in that case the news travels around the world at the speed of light. Most sims are not universally praised and not universally panned, instead they have their supporters and their detractors.
And some, like fine wine, definitely improve with age. And patches.
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