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Classic Wings Magazine WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific Luftwaffe Resource Center
When Hollywood Ruled The Skies - Volumes 1 through 4 by Bruce Oriss


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:15 pm 
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To expand on my initial argument a bit, the larger point is that video gamers are the group we need to cultivate. The way I see it, there are various "circles" of interest in warbirds. In the outermost are those people with just a passing interest in military aviation. Given the innate "coolness" factor, they will always exist. As you move closer to the center, the level of enthusiasm increases, but the number of individuals increases. Without this inner group, it will be very difficult - if not impossible - to sustain the community. My fear is that we risk alienating them with a dismissive attitude.

As an aside, there's a whole reddit community, r/gatekeeping, dedicated to calling out those who arbitrarily decided who is and is not allowed to participate in some community. I've never bothered much with it (which explains why I didn't think about it until now), but this whole discussion would fit right in there.

k5083 wrote:
So this is all true of course, but one point should be made about the difference between simulations as they apply to flying versus infantry combat. Flying - even the most intense combat flying - is like using a computer in that you do it sitting on your butt. You manipulate controls using relatively fine movements that can be duplicated on a simulator rig and at least reasonably aped even on a home unit. Infantry combat is more like football. No matter how many hours of Madden games you've played, it won't help you survive even one real NFL football down. Same with ground combat, fighting zombies, and most other things that computers can "simulate." The intense physical aspect, and even the physical requirements for being any good at them, make it a much more different experience. The sitting-down nature of flying is the thing that makes pro level flight simulators useful for training in a way that they can't be for those other things. Certainly, the consequence-free nature of it still matters a lot in terms of distancing it from reality. I think that in the professional simulator context, they work hard to make crashing seem like a big deal by shaming you hard when you mess up, to try to restore a little of that sense of consequence.

All great points. I was just reading about some amputee pilots today - Bader, Maresyev, Rudel - and it occurred to me that they were only able to continue their service because they were pilots. If they were ground pounders, they almost certainly would have been forced into a desk job. Ironically, in Bader's case, it was pointed out that that the loss of his legs made have inadvertently made him a better pilot since it would make him more resistant to G-LOC.

Rauhbatz wrote:
Bob "Punchy" Powell, 352nd FG ace shared he went to a video gaming convention a number of years back.

In addition to giving a presentation on WW2 combat to gamers which was very well received, they also had Bob check out the control throws and harmonies on the P-51 B/C/D on a a video game from a company attending the conference. The company made adjustments to the aircraft controls to match Bob's feedback.

I have a good friend who is a former U.S. Navy helicopter and current JetBlue pilot. A few years back, I shared some Ace Combat related content with him and his response stuck with me because of how non-judgmental it was: "I enjoy learning about how other people experience aviation."

k5083 wrote:
I'm pleased to see someone taking this subject seriously.

I was checking my inbox this morning and it just so happens I received an email about a highly relevant upcoming webinar titled Simulating Aviation for Fun and Profit put on by the Aviation Cultures group in Australia. I encourage anyone interested in the subject to take part, as the Mark V conference I attended last year was excellent.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2022 8:01 pm 
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To follow up on the mini-conference mentioned in the last post, the National World War II Museum hosted a roundtable titled How Video Games Shape Our View of World War II at the end of last month. As further evidence of the growing influence of video games on the real world, I offer two examples.

The first concerns the origins of the myth of the "Ghost of Kyiv" in the current war in Ukraine. A Colonel Tomb like figure, the legend was almost certainly popularized - if not outright created - by a tweet from a WarThunder player with the username ScottishKoala. Near as I can tell, it was most likely inspired by a machinima called The Ghost that was filmed in Digital Combat Simulator. Having spent a good amount of time trying to understand where the myths and attitudes of the past came from, it's fascinating to actually be living through period of another and watch it develop in real time. "Scratch one flattop", "sighted sub, sank same", "send more Japanese", Colin Kelly – these are all examples of the same type of stories as the Ghost of Kyiv, just 80 years earlier. Both then and now each story was embellished and repeated by the popular media of the time. (For example, Tom & Jerry.)

The second, although based on a non-aviation video game, is illustrative of the origins of nose art. An SH-60 from HSM-51, DET-4, was photographed on February 21st of last year with an unofficial detachment insignia that references the video game Among Us. I find nose art to be one of the most difficult topics to explain to the public - especially because the question often comes from children. Not because of its controversial aspects, but because there's not a simple A to B answer. "Why did airplanes use superchargers?" is a pretty straightforward concept involving the physics of internal combustion engines and air density. The complexities of human psychology are not. The realization that nose art was essentially the internet meme of its day really helped my understanding of the subject and I have started to consider using that understanding to explain it to others. (A fact that, I will note, is not lost on others as well.)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2022 1:10 pm 
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Noah, once you have your article complete, I'd be interested in printing it in our CAF wing newsletter. As membership officer for our wing, I've pondered how to gain new members, especially younger members. Video games are an excellent gateway drug, and I personally know someone who has played a whole bunch of War Thunder and is now looking into beginning flight training - that's exactly what we should be working to promote if we want to make sure that the warbirds we enjoy will have curators after we're gone.

(also, I should note that Scott Yoak himself is a War Thunder player, though he says the P-51 flight model isn't quite correct, as he's tried replicating his show routine in it)


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