Interesting article Dart, well written self-reflection on the community, if perhaps a bit pedantic on creating artificial pecking-order categories...
As I read "Confessions of an Elitist
", written in 2006 (I might add the year when I got back into flight sims after a long grad school hiatus -first was Red Baron
--original...felt I needed to say that
) I was reminded of the three-ring "reserve" I've read about in active WWI squadrons, probably infantry platoons as well I imagine. Our virtual community seems to fit the hierarchy well, if you juggle around the variables some...Paraphrased from Donald Jack's book
, "Three Cheers for Me"
There is the reserve of veterans towards newcomers, not necessarily a snobbish reserve but rather a "wait and see" attitude, because so many new pilots came, flew for a few days, and then headed West. It wasn't worth getting to know them. Everyone is polite and friendly towards them, always willing to answer questions, but the petals of the veteran's personalities only opened up in the warmth of their own company. A veteran didn't have to be an ace, but should be at least in the positive credit, such as one victory whether made up of a collection of partial kills or not.
However, it was actually a three ring reserve, for at the center were the "aces" around whom circled the second ring, those who had settled down and became useful fighters. On the outside looking enviously in, were the new boys. There were a few subtle classifications in the hierarchy, such as being able to wear wings on a regimental tunic, signifying trench experience.