Erik "EinsteinEP" Pierce


Erik "EinsteinEP" Pierce
Air Combat & General Aviation Editor

Hi folks! It's a real honor to be part of SimHQ.

Erik "EinsteinEP" PierceA geek from day one, I was programming in BASIC not long after I learned to read. Tearing apart (and eventually reassembling) the home VCR and cable box lead to greater things, like chemistry sets and the proverbial explosion in the kitchen sink (mine occurred on the dining room table). I grew up in Northern California, moving from the vineyard valleys of Napa to the red bluffs of Red Bluff (quite possibly the most hick place in all of California) in my freshman year of high school. Working as many as three jobs at once, I earned my pilot's license before heading off to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ.

Our senior project at ERAU was the design of a replacement aircraft for the A-10 Thunderbolt II: a task that got harder and harder the more we learned about the A-10. How does one design a replacement for the perfect aircraft? I practically cried tears of joy when I found out that DCS was making the Warthog the focus of their next installment! Only practically. I swear.

After college, I landed an Aerospace Engineer's dream job at Raytheon Missile Systems where I got to work in a real bomb factory. As awesome as that job was, I got a case of wanderlust after a few years and migrated out to the East coast where I worked as a civilian for the US Navy. I got to work on some really neat projects: submarine concept systems and unmanned underwater vehicles. I even got a two-year rotation to Washington, DC where I worked with a great group of people on the SSGN (Google it, it's awesome).

Along the way, I met a great woman whom I somehow convinced to marry me and we moved back to Tucson. We now have a bright bouncing baby boy who’s birthday happens to be the day after mine ("Sorry son, no more birthday cake for you. We ate it all yesterday, remember? Muahahaha!").

My gaming library is pretty eclectic: The Dig, TIE Fighter, The Sims, Doom II, Quake, and Duke Nukem have all graced my hard drive at one point or another while games like Battlefield 2, Silent Hunter III/IV, and SimCity 4 still sit on my shelf. I really enjoy combat flight sims, and regularly play IL-2 1946 and DCS: Black Shark. I especially enjoy a good cooperative multiplayer match (mostly because I simply suck at PvP!).

Although I really enjoy the fun of gaming ("Shoot to Kill. Play to Have Fun." is my motto), I can't help but bring the engineer inside me along. I always need to know the how's and why's and love a good challenge. Complex games — er, simulations — like Falcon 4.0: Allied Force and DCS: Black Shark are perfect for me because there are all sorts of real physics and complex integrated systems to figure out. I hope I can share some of that fun and excitement with you in future articles and certainly look forward to your feedback and questions.

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