Microsoft has released a new version of Flight Simulator. It was very surprising to me when they did this. I really hadn’t expected them to get back into the flight sim business. I actually had it figured that they had decided to turn the flight sim into a military training aid– since there were news stories telling how effectively the program had been in allowing a student aviator in the navy to make a perfect score on the final test flight– and this had never happened before.
I also heard, like a lot of other people, that the “terrorists” had used MSFS to practice running into the World Trade Center.
Then I ran into a VERY strange bunch of shit from some VERY strange people over at SimHQ and I just figured that Uncle Sam had made Microsoft an offer that even THEY couldn’t refuse.
So imagine how surprised I am now.
I have mixed emotions.
I really, really think that MSFS is a wonderful tool. It allows for a kind of virtual reality trip that gets into your head and stays there, turning an ordinary guy into the beard-scratching weirdo you see before you.
In other words, it’s as bad-ass as LSD and it’s legal.
But, and this is a big butt, I have to mention that the weirdos who tormented me at SimHQ were not just men in black with bizarre attitudes about ‘merica.
They also had bizarre attitudes about intellectual property– that they probably learned from MSFS developers. You see, MSFS created a whole generation of selfish little pricks who won’t share things properly.
I’m not talking about the “pay to play” people who sell stuff. You sell stuff and you get money and I get it. Capitalism.
I’m talking about people who GIVE STUFF AWAY and then want to police how you use it. Kinda like Apple. Kinda like everybody, actually, these days. But when you BUY something, you don’t really expect it to be yours, not anymore. It’s all about that sweet, sweet subscription money and you “buy” something only as long as mommy lets you play with it.
But to give something away, and THEN police the hell out of it to make sure that you don’t alter it, incorporate it, or — GOD FORBID — improve it.
Yeah. That kind of IP protection is crazier than a shithouse rat. Not in my opinion. In fact. If you slave away on something, and you present it, as a gift, to the “community” and they take it and run with it, and make it better, and take your germ theory of disease and make antibiotics and adopt antisepsis, well, that’s a good damn thing. That’s why you did it all, Doctor Pasteur. You da man. You deserve the Nobel prize in medicine.
But don’t get all bitchy and threaten to take your theory and go home if people don’t put a “developed upon the Pasteur Theory” stickers on every vial of vaccine, or ask permission to use your ideas if they want to use sulfa drugs to treat infection.
Don’t be an asshole.
So, now you bastards know where I stand. I pay for something, or I get it for free, and by-God I’m a-gonna rape it to death if I have to in order to elevate it to the next level, and YOU should thank ME for doing it.
Basically, I guess I’m a Bolshevik.
So I don’t visit all those pussy websites where you have to listen to some Uncle Comfy explain that we all have to “honor” the wishes of the mouth-breathing basement dweller who insists that his program never be modified, never be adapted, and never be touched by any other man.
If that’s my only option, I’ll pass.
As you can tell, I have some strong opinions on this. Heaven forfend that the MSFS way of thinking becomes the usual way of thinking in this world. I might have to start up my Martian Liberation Movement a bit early.