Here is My “What SimHQ Has Meant to Me” List
Number 10: Knowledge. Remember that database I talked about? It’s stuffed with not only the accumulated knowledge of posts of our members, but so much more. Have you seen the Air Combat Library lately? More than sixty (60!) articles that teach you fundamentals of flight, aircraft systems, communications, planning and tactics, and of course, combat. You could spend hours in there and gain an appreciation for real world application to simulation. Within the Air Combat Zone are articles, features, previews, reviews, interviews, book reviews. Same thing with the Land Combat Zone, Motorsports, Naval, and Technology Zones. The width and depth of these resources are stunning. If they were to be lost to world, it would a crying shame, and I don’t just mean because some of my stuff is in there. It’s a treasure trove if you’re a simulation fan, and no one except SimHQ has it. Read, enjoy, learn. Use the resources, they’re there for you.
Number 9: Networking. It always comes down to who you know, you know? No matter what the endeavor, when it comes to people, inside contacts count. And we have them. We talk to movers and shakers in the simulation world, the hardware and software world, software protection, controllers, peripherals, you name it. And then tell you, our members about it, as much as we can, when we can. Check out our interviews, no matter what genre. I won’t name names, you can see them for yourself. If it’s tops and it matters, we’re there. We have the connections to make it happen. And simulations is just a part. We do real life interviews with the real life people who flew the jets, flew the helicopters, manned the tanks. Many of them are current members. Others who have not been interviewed, have the qualifications, and they are on Staff. Real world connection to simulation world.
Number 8: Diversity. I struggled with this because I believe it to be a bit of a politically correct kind of word. Something people float when they want to make it seem they really care about all parties to the party. I don’t use it that way. I use it to mean our strength in all kinds of cultures and societies and places all over the world. You may ask, why is that a strength, you are based in Houston, Texas USA? I know that, but why I say it is patently obvious in our forums. Go, take a look right now. Who’s posting? It depends a little on the time of day, but we have postings from all over the world, all all times of day, 24/7. Do I always understand the English of someone who is trying so hard to say it so I understand it from Spain, or Italy, Thailand or Romania? No, but I get most of it, and you know what? The fact that they try, embarrassed as they may be, means mountains to me. I don’t speak a second language. Wish I did, but I don’t. So members that say, “hey, I’m coming in there and say something and I don’t care if people make fun of me”, you overwhelm me. And people here don’t make fun. And we connect, because we’re community. No matter where in the world we are.
Number 7: Passion. I could have made this numbers 10 through 3, I feel so strongly about it. Passion. Meaning we care, meaning this stuff as trivial as it may seem to outsiders, means a lot, to us. And it drives us. It drives some of us, those in the community who can actually make the simulations we crave, to do so. Draw together the teams to make it happen. Work for so little to deliver so much. Take a look in the forums. See some folks in there who care? Oh yes, they do. Some would say too much, but passion can do that to human beings. But without it, what is there? Shades of gray and nothing more. I’ll take that controversy, those arguments, spirited debates, anytime for the fire it brings. The shades of red and more. The passion.
Number 6: Intelligence. Oh boy, I may get myself into trouble here. Intelligence, what do I mean by that? I mean, as a group, in this community, is more intelligence than I have ever seen on a web site. OK, I don’t frequent MENSA web sites, I’m not invited. But if you want smarts, all across the wavelengths of brains, you will get that here. Simulations, of course. You want to know something about this sim or that, post a question. Someone will have an answer or a link to the answer. Without a dimwitted rejoinder about why you asked to begin with. It doesn’t matter. Yes, we have a search engine (well, kinda). Yes, people can find out other ways. But why? It’s a quest for knowledge and someone asking for it should never be made light of. Not ever. More than simulation knowledge, is general knowledge. If you have a question about anything, if you ask in the Community Hall, you will get an answer. Best answer? I don’t know. We don’t guarantee results. But people respond and do so in the best of intents. Namely to help.
Number 5: Opportunity. This is personal. What do I mean by Opportunity? You all have the opportunity to post in our forums, if you register, and I hope you do. That’s not it. I mean what SimHQ has done for me personally, by providing me the opportunity to moderate the forums of an internet web site. I had never done that before. To manage the forums of an internet web site, open every day, all day. I had never done that. And for giving me the chance to write, the thing I love most to do. Do interviews with some great people, do reviews of simulations and hardware. Do some commentary pieces. Most of all, and for which I will forever be grateful, to have the opportunity to be a part of this Staff and be able to have a voice in what we do, now and in the future. Andy, Doug, you have no idea what this means to me. Thank you.
Number 4: Excellence. If you’re going to do an enterprise, you want to do it right. In my world. And SimHQ is just that. I am going to sound really egotistical here, but among simulation web sites, aw hell, web sites in general, I think our writing, our articles, are prime beef. Were it not for the simulation aspect, you could post these on any national media outlet and people would read it and like it. The simulation part narrows it down, understandably, but the writing is excellent. Next, our forums. I think our forums, and here comes that ego again, are among the best anywhere. Do we do it right every time in every person’s mind? No, and we never will. It is not possible. But over time and over the course of all the viewers, yes, I think we do it good.
Number 3: Fun. Next to passion, is fun. Hobbyist web sites are always about the fun factor. If I didn’t have fun coming in here, as much as I do, I wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t either. Hey, this is not about discovering the next sub-atomic particle. We’re here, all of us, because we enjoy it enough to commit the time. Commitment brings me to Staff, all those folks who gather round and moderate forums, write articles, submit news, swap ideas, the behind the scenes things that make SimHQ work every day. I have fun with these people, they are the best.
Number 2: Friends. All that database is packed full of friends. Many I have met in person, many I will never meet in person. Friends nonetheless. I have met many SimHQ Staffers and members over the years, and they are exactly what I expected them to be. Damn good people. You know, you can tell, when you have a little internet acumen, who people are. You see their posts, you see consistency or inconsistency. Some things you maybe wonder about, some things not. Add to that the ability to communicate directly via TeamSpeak, and it’s a whole new world. You hear people’s voices, inflections, tones, awesome. I encourage you all, with the expansion of SimHQ’s multiplayer capability, to take advantage. Do some racing, some land combat, some flight combat. Your friends are there, join up!
Number 1: Owners and Staff. Without the Owners, there would be no SimHQ, period. One man’s vision became reality, and so on. But as with the site itself, so much more. Because with one man was one woman, and so on, and so on. This site has a legacy that is without parallel. How it has managed to remain afloat is a miracle story in itself. To this day, it remains so. And it’s free! I don’t have ten year’s history with Staff and Owners. I have history with one Staff and one Owner. I will speak to those. First, to Staff: You are the greatest. I have worked with a lot of people, in business and otherwise, but you guys take the cake. In sunshine and in rain, night and day, you haul the mail. There’s no way I could do it without you, no way I would want to try. Second, and most importantly, to “guod”: Damn buddy, you done good. Call me anytime you want to go to war.