I am extremely fortunate. For the better part of 6 years, flight simulation has been more than just a hobby for me – it turned into a lifestyle. Prior to my role in FSElite, I used flight simulation as a way to replicate past flights, explore new areas of the world or add to my knowledge of planes, systems and the world of aviation as a whole.
Being a co-founder of FSElite has changed that somewhat. Don’t get me wrong, I love being so heavily involved with flight simulation. I love being able to dedicate so much time to this hobby; talk to developers on a daily basis and deliver content day in and day out for the whole community. It’s hard work and it’s also rewarding. Some days are easy and some days are hard, but overall, being the Content Director in these parts gives me a reason to keep giving to the community.
There is, however, a big BUT.
I feel like I am getting flight simulation fatigue.
Not fatigue in the sense that I’m bored, but in the sense that right now, it is simply overwhelming. It’s hard to describe how I’m really feeling, but each day I see cool new add-ons for the sim. Whether that be airports, aircraft or utilities – the ecosystem for flight simulation is stronger than ever. In the past month, we saw massive releases and it just feels really overwhelming.
I’m often asked how much time I spend in the simulator actually flying. The truth is; not very much. I can go months without flying for pleasure because I’m reviewing, building or creating other content for FSElite. Whilst some may consider reviewing a ‘pleasurable’ experience, it’s got its share of work associated. I’m not flying for fun, I’m trying to piece together an objective overview of my feelings toward a product. That often requires doing mundane things, repeating things time and time again or spending ages capturing that perfect shot.
So for as much as I may be spending a lot of time in the simulator, I’m not really getting that same buzz I once had.
It’s not just the pressures of work, but the outside world is having an impact. Restrictions are lifting and seeing friends and family is normal again. Going out and doing things is normal again. I’m getting older and responsibilities are changing all the time.
But this thought process has made me curious. How are others in the community coping with all of this content? Am I alone with this sensation that there is just an overwhelming amount of things out there there’s now a little bit of a disconnect? Do I need to find a different way to engage with flight simulation to move past the fatigue?
All of these questions then made me consider that perhaps my simulation-style needs to change. Perhaps the days of long-haul flying are over or attempting to recreate 4-sector short hauls is no longer feasible. Time is limited and simply put, flight simulation is a time-consuming hobby.
Just the other day, I found myself with 2 other colleagues at FSElite exploring Italy. We took some small planes up in Microsoft Flight Simulator and spent 1 hour or so just chatting and admiring the ground beneath us. Perhaps this is how I enjoy flight simulation moving forward and jetliner flying is reserved for big events that are a little more planned.
So I’m curious; how do you manage your time, add-ons and personal life to still get the most from flight simulation? Do you have any advice or creative ways you get over this type of fatigue? Do you have similar feelings as me right now?
I’m still passionate about flight simulation; I love the virtual skies. I love how the latest simulators are providing the richest simulations ever for aircraft, airports and the world around us. I just wish I could overcome this sense of fatigue and find new ways to get the most out of my time and the hobby that led me to write this article in the first place.