Joined: Aug 2005
Its good to hear that articles are desired and encouraged. There may be a lull for now but I imagine some intrepid souls will come along and create some. I still think it could be kind of cool if an AAR is posted from time to time on the main page header to show activity as well as to get people to dig in to that and other forums more. Maybe even have a "legacy" article pulled up once a month or so to give people some nostalgia while at the same time others who never saw them in the first place to see them and maybe even stoke interest in members to get back into older sims they may have put away.
I agree with the AAR idea been following dbonds excellent AAR on War in the East and Now war in the West ,,Would give new members or even older ones a chance to learn the ins and outs of a new game ,,I've learned a lot reading some of the AAr's just can't see the screen shots to well,,but was prompted to dig out War in The Pacific Admirals Edition That's been on the shelf a few years
I still pop in here once or twice a week, just to skim over things incase something intresting catches my eye. I still do stuff for the Strike Fighters2 series but no longer post screenshots since the Photobucket changes, is there a way to directly upload from my pc ?
"Back in the day" we had multiple shall we say current/newish flight sims all with a fairly heavy user base but there's nothing REALLY new anymore, nothing to get us all excited about the same sim, instead we've become a very fragmented bunch who all have our favourite eras and stick to them be it the TW stuff, IL2 based, CFS3/FSX etc etc.
The lack of proper new sims is not helping the current situation here or at many other boards in my view.
Rock music (like Big Band, Doo-wop, Disco, New Wave, and all that has come before) has had its day and the world has moved on. I'm cool with that because...
1. Nothing released today could ever match what I already have anyway, IMO. 2. I stopped listening to radio (or equivalent, whatever that might be) for new music a long time ago, although I occasionally listen to Classic Rock and 80's Pop/Rock radio when driving my parent's car. 3. There's never a shortage of live Rock for me to enjoy, even if it's 'oldies', cover or tribute acts. The shows are usually local, substantially cheaper and far more pleasurable to attend (no real crowds or traffic). 4. Rejecting current trends, lifestyle and culture (including music) doesn't make me feel old at all, quite the contrary. Trying to accept it and somehow fit in would probably make me feel older.
I don't even try to compare old and new music anymore because to me it's irrelevant.
I usually give New Rock a listen whenever someone provides an example that Rock isn't really dead. IMO, it is in current culture, or it's morphed into something that I'm not interested in.
But that's ok, as long as the Rock that I listen to is still being played live everywhere. For example, I have a 5k on Saturday in downtown Baton Rouge and I have no doubt that the band, as always, will be covering the Rock that I listen to (70's and 80's).
Walking the crowded streets of downtown Nashville on a Friday at midnight back in April, live Classic Rock (Journey, Foreigner, Eagles, Van Halen, Bon Jovi) being played everywhere. Like a candy store, wish we could have hung out for a while. Classic Rock is far from dead, as long as people keep gathering to hear it.
Look, people come and go with message boards all the time. It’s a completely normal thing.
What has concerned me is the failure of the site to attract any new members but I think that largely has to do with the simulation genre. It’s become much more of a niche genre over time. How many people do we know who are under 30 who play hardcore flight and naval sims?
Have you seen the GameFaqs message boards lately? A decade ago, it was sprawling with activity. A popular game could easily get 30 thread refreshes per hour. Nowadays, they're pretty much dead. Even NeoGAF had a steady year-on-year loss of traffic, well before it went down.
Reddit, Steam Forums, Twitch and Discord is where the youngcrowd talks about games, and there are some VERY active DCS Discords out there, with 20 to 30 posts an hour easily. Subsim.com is also still going strong, with a high "refresh" rate of people. But that is mostly due to the incredible mods that are there, and people having trouble with getting it all set up.
However, I do see a common tendency among all forums I visit, and not only the gaming ones: People that belong to the core of any forums these days are all 40+ years of age, have been on that forum for many years, and that forum is one of their main hobbies and pillars of online social activity.
The "why" is quite simple in my view. Before Facebook, Youtube and Steam broke through to mainstream a decade ago, the main hubs of online social activity were forums and instant messaging programs like MSN and ICQ. The latter being mostly used (at least in my environment) by people you already knew, and forums were used for people to talk about shared interests. However, the hobbies and interests of young people change overtime, and so do the crowds they visit. Adults which are settled come from work and check on their family and friends. They're not really looking for a new crowd because they're happy where they are. They have a place where they can talk about their hobby, know the people on the board for a long time and have a good time along the way. The social relations of young people tend to fade away quite quickly while they are still developing themselves into adulthood, and they are much quicker to pick up new things like Facebook, Steam, Instagram, Discord, Twitch, etc... So all the new influx of simmers go the new media, while the adolescent simmers have mostly changed where they post for news and chat, and keep forums around for mods and other archival stuff.
So while all the younger gamers have transferred over to those new media, the message boards and gaming sites are mostly visited by the ol' captains. This is just how things go, just how mailed letters are the stuff of 80-year olds, while the younger lot uses e-mail.
And fun fact: Sim games attract the same amount of crowd as they always have, according to multiple sim devs. It is just that the expected standards have grown, which pressure profit margins. Thats why fewer games come out, even though the cake is as large as ever (or even larger, with the rise of the middle-class in asia and all that.)
I had no idea there were other places as mentioned, although I'm not interested in them myself. But I'm surprised there's as much or more interest in flight sims today, if only from my anecdotal experience...
Why am I here? See attached pic below (my apartment in 1990/91 during the Gulf War...remember when speakers were bigger than the screen? ).
I'm here because I was fascinated by the aircraft and FLIR/LGB footage they kept showing on CNN. I was fascinated by all the aircraft shows of the day, from Discovery Wings to Dogfights, and even Modern Marvels. I would drive out to Dobbins AFB (Marietta, GA) and watch the bustling activity from the end of the runway when Desert Shield/Storm started (mainly F-15s and large cargo planes). Not to mention that I grew up on Firefox, Blue Thunder, Airwolf and Black Sheep.
All of this resulted in purchasing my first flight sim from CompUSA, Microprose's F-117A Stealth Fighter 2.0. I was hooked because I wanted to play out what I was seeing constantly on television, and the captions on that big heavy beautiful box looked promising (the F-19 developers made sure to add a FLIR screen and Iraqi theater for F-117A).
During Desert Storm I was 23. So what inspires kids and young adults today to want to play flight sims?
Imagine after all the CNN/Discovery Desert Storm footage, seeing this intro as you crank up your very first flight sim (while being one of the few who owned a PC powerful enough to run it smoothly...a 486DX2/66 was a big deal then).
Could you see kids sitting through a two minute start up scenario these days though?
Absolutely not for about 98% of them.
I don't blame the current day kids entirely though for that. Today there are so many more different forms of entertainment competing for the consumer's time compared to even the 1990's that any kind of game that requires a significant time investment in order to learn how to play gets pushed aside. We also cannot underestimate how mobile gaming has changed the market.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”