Using Digital Combat Simulator and War Thunder to present historical air combat from around the world.
Depending on which country you were born and raised in, the view of what real-world air combat looked like may vary considerably for a combat flight simulator enthusiast. As an American enamored with military aircraft, I grew up on books about World War II bomber streams, verbally recited stories of aerial ambushes in Vietnam, and documentaries of coalition air power over the skies of Iraq. Growing up with a somewhat preshaped view on the subject, expanding my knowledge by studying the international history of air combat via different forms of media has been one of my favorite pass times. This is why Showtime112 has had my attention for roughly two years.
Where a majority of Digital Combat Simulator-focused creators prioritize the nuts and bolts of air operations or playthroughs of fictional scenarios, his content for well over a year now focuses on recreating historical events from conflicts I knew little about or had never heard of.
One of the best ways to learn tips and tricks is to listen to how other people may approach a process you're already familiar with. A change in point of view or an additional minor detail they prioritize can yield some useful information. My introduction to Showtime112 came during a session of looking for tutorials from smaller video channels. I stumbled into a set of videos in Croatian. As I don't speak the language, I had planned to click away, but a recommendation for Syrian air force operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant popped up. This led me to watch videos from this channel in the English language about other Syrian and Russian operations at that time.
Using a flight simulator as a medium to tell history aviation history is a great way to repurpose an existing product. With aircraft in flight on screen, many camera angles you won't find in documentaries, and complete control over the environment, Showtime 112's recreations can be solid representations of historical events. Each of his videos have sleek introductions using text on the screen to introduce the video's setting before transitioning into the start of the narration.
In my opinion, the most important aspects of his presentation are the tone of the narration and the willingness to stick to facts. The long-term quality of his videos is ensured by not using sensationalism to heighten the tension of events or giving into bias to represent one side more than the other. Even when facts from various parties and individuals conflict with one another, the different iterations of the event are explained to the audience. Sources for the content of his videos are provided in the video description for viewers to double check his work if they so choose.
So far, the bulk of content he has produced ranges between the 1950s and the early 2000s. Specific events from well-known conflicts like the Korean War, Vietnam War, Iran-Iraq War, and the Gulf War are covered, but I find myself most interested in the lesser-discussed conflicts. Indo-Pakistani conflicts, missions over Bosnia during Operation Allied Force, and especially conflicts throughout the African continent.
It is also notable that more recent conflicts that are still ongoing or have impacted current world events have been covered. These include the Russo-Georgian War (2008), the ongoing Syrian Civil War, and the Russo-Ukranian War. These are sensitive topics, to be sure, but even they are handled in the same fact-based style as every other video on his channel. It's a respectable venture.
Digital Combat Simulator World has been the primary simulator Showtime 112 has used, but recently War Thunder has also been utilized. War Thunder has primarily been used for videos set in World War II or conflicts after the year 1945 that utilized aircraft produced during World War II. Recently, viewers of his channel have also assisted with video creation, both as extra pilots or with details like the proper pronunciation of the pilots' names and locations.
Besides the YouTube channel, Showtime 112's community includes a Discord server where people can hang out with the creator with supplemental Facebook and Instagram accounts. An official Patreon account has been more of a focus lately, with exclusive content hitting there first before it reaches YouTube. With the time and effort it takes to produce this content 'full-time,' the creator has emphasized that its possible production will stop since the effort put into the venture isn't sustainable with the volatile returns provided by things like Google Ads and occasional sponsors alone. An all too common problem for video-focused creators these days.
Showtime112 has been a reliable source of consistent and informative historical air combat content. I sincerely hope that his work continues well into the future, with more attention brought to what he has been doing for quite a while now.
About the Writer
Aaron "Ribbon-Blue" Mendoza
Co-founder of Skyward Flight Media. After founding Electrosphere.info, the first English Ace Combat database, he has been involved in creating flight game-related websites, communities, and events since 2005. He explores past and present flight games and simulators with his extensive collection of game consoles and computers. Read Staff Profile.