I have spent an incredibly long time on this forum – longer than most. Going on three years, I have experienced some incredible highs, but also many lows. I will be sharing my journey through the forums and the Infinite Flight Communities in this post, but I need to make a note before delving into my story. Below, I am encouraging all of you to share your stories – which I am sure will be filled with funny anecdotes, but may also contain personal or embarrassing moments one may not want to be shared. For the sake of privacy among the regular community, please keep information that may harm one’s reputation or personal well-being away from the public eye. Now – I’m sure all of you have been waiting for this ;) – here’s my journey navigating the many arms of the IFC.
In early 2016, I remember digging through my “games” folder and finding something I had honestly forgotten I’d purchased. That app was Infinite Flight. I had downloaded it in 2012 on my original iPad, and god, I thought it was impossible. No matter how hard I tried to land or takeoff, I crashed and burned – literally. Big time. Nevertheless, I decided to have another look at it, just to see if any changes had been made to it. When I opened it, I saw the same colors, same layout, and same everything, really. But, I saw one change that really did inspire me to rediscover my passion for aviation that I have held since a young age. The New York region was added, and I was incredibly excited to fly there. Those were the airports I knew – they were my home. I begged my parents to let me purchase the region and they eventually relented. I can honestly say that my purchasing of the region is the sole region I stuck with Infinite Flight for as long as I have. I would spend an endless amount of time trawling the region, visiting the places I had been in the real world, thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I had finally discovered the potential I had sought for so long on I.F.
Naturally, I was eager to see other things I loved in the simulator, so I had the idea to suggest features for the development team. I thought that I had come up with some revolutionary concept, but alas, I found out only too well that others had thought of the idea of feedback before my little self. Eventually, I found my way to the old feedback forum and got hooked on the voting feature that allowed you to select which aircraft you wanted next in the sim, given two choices. I ran around, giddily voting between two planes I had not even heard of, let alone wanted in the app.
On the older site, the updated forum was linked many times, but I never really got into it at first. I thought it was mainly used for support issues and thought it had too many rules. I did, however, occasionally browse through the topics, without creating an account. I thought accounts were only for advanced users of the app. I spent many hours reading through the feature requests, eagerly awaiting the Concorde update that was obviously soon to come. I did realize in the end that those people requesting features were merely offering suggestions, which led to me “branching out” and exploring the live and general categories. Then, on July 29th, 2016 I took the leap. I saw @Pilot8’s post about needing a sunset screenshot as a chance to really showcase my stuff. I finally created an account after months on end of reading. I uploaded my unedited, uncropped picture of a Garuda 738 in Singapore landing during sunset and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Naturally, my picture was not picked and I proceeded to send @Pilot8 a strongly worded message about how great my picture was. I got reported and bam, there was a warning – which looking back now, I definitely deserved.
Back then, I thought likes were life and death, so I decided to make a rather shabby RWA post…
Ironically, these are the types of topics I despise today.
The post, however, got a positive response from the very friendly community and I was encouraged. I spent all day reading and I saw a post about VAs that intrigued me by @Daniel_Cerritos. He was interested in starting a VA and I was fascinated. I volunteered to make a website for it and I quickly became “Co-Founder” of the airline, which is still going strong today as Aviation Airlines. Obviously, the most I did for it was volunteer. My “experience” in web design consisted of adding text to a premade Weebly template for a school project. In fact, I volunteered to create three VA websites, all within one of my first days on the forum.
I then joined the IFO organizing committee. That was when I met @Thomas_Galvin and got inspired by his interesting events (If any of you haven’t seen them, I’d really recommend you check them out, they’re really cool.). I decided to “collaborate” with him on a new project called the VA World Cup. Obviously, by collaborate, I meant sticking his name on it to make it seem like I knew what I was doing – which I didn’t. The event failed, but it did pique the interest of a certain @Ben_Schenk who was starting a group to run the VA Category, which you may have heard of. I got recruited to the original group of IFVARB members and that was an opportunity I absolutely could not have passed up. I remain to be the only original IFVARB member who is still active in the Board, which is quite surprising to even myself reflecting back on it. When I first joined, I was almost banned on many occasions. I was still an idiot. Then, something changed.
I received my final warning from the VARB Administrators, then I knew. It was time to change. I made a promise to myself – I would only comment on something if it was helpful, or constructive in some way. No more mini-modding for me, nah-ah. From that change, my standing in the community who considerably improved. I joined IFATC, became a VARB Administrator and decided to actually help the community. As @JoshFly8 once said to me, “Don’t be sorry, be better.” I plan on being here for a long time to come, and I am sure that I will reflect on this post today and wonder, “What was I thinking when I wrote that?”. But we cannot predict the future, only remedy our flaws as best we can, and that’s all anyone can ask.
Now, you have all read my story, so it’s your turn. Share how you grew as a writer, and as a person through your journey navigating the ins and the outs of the forum.
No TL;DRs here, you better scroll up and read :)