Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., one day out of each year when we collectively stop obsessing over what we don’t have, or where we want to go, and ponder the bounty that has already been heaped upon us. As I had my coffee this morning, I thought about the good fortune I’ve found as a direct result of being involved in the hobby of simulating flight. I had no idea of what I was getting myself into back in 1999 when I took my son to the computer store in search of the game of the week that he had to have. Although I had worked in the high-tech arena for years, I had never gotten into the gaming aspect of computing before that point. Then came Combat Flight Simulator 1, followed quickly by FS2000, a host of new controllers, FS2002… I think you know how it goes from there.
At the time, I figured I had found a little diversion. What I couldn’t have known was what else would jump out of the box along with the CD; a community of like-minded enthusiasts, web sites galore, forums, addons, and more. Since becoming involved in ‘simming, I’ve met a slew of wonderful people from countries spanning the globe. I’ve traveled to distant cities to take part in FS gatherings, made part of my living from extending the hobby for others, and even learned to fly a real airplane. And all this from a chance encounter and a shrug at the software seller.
So, this Thanksgiving, let me take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has made this such an exciting and rewarding hobby so far. We come from all walks of life, diverse cultures, and sometimes radically different viewpoints. We’re bound together by a shared love of everything related to flying, and amazingly that’s enough. Thanks Microsoft Aces for creating the turkey around which we all gather this season (it’s an analogy guys, go with it), thanks to the addon developers who provide the delicious mashed potatoes and stuffing that makes flying so much more filling, and thanks to the community forums for the conversation around the dinner table. It’s a feast for sure, and it just gets better every year. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for some more pie.