Call me Renic. I've been playing videogames since I got my first NES for my fifth birthday, and I've been wanting to have a custom cockpit for space and flight sim games ever since I picked up my first joystick. The idea has been floating around in my head for years, and I've finally started on the path to total in-game immersion.
I went through many design ideas, but I always had a few core things that I wanted in my own cockpit. The most important thing to me was that the cockpit was enclosed. For full immersion I wanted to have no distractions from the outside. Another important design decision was that I wanted full control of whatever game I was playing without using the keyboard or mouse. That means full stick, rudder and throttle control with a real stick, rudder pedals and throttle. All secondary systems must be controlled via custom button and switch panels. The actual flight controls are easy enough. There are plenty of joysticks, rudders and throttles on the market. But the button and switch panels are a different matter. I must construct those myself. Another core idea was that the cockpit must also be usable for my day to day computing. I didn't want to have this huge thing taking up space that only had one function. I needed a design that allowed me to sit comfortably for surfing the internet, writing, and playing games that aren't space or flight sims.
I think the entire cockpit concept goes back to when I was a child and I would play in boxes, decorating both the inside and outside with designs of wings, engines, buttons and switches. The box would become my space ship. I've always wanted to fly into space. The space sim games that I play let me pretend for a while that I actually can and the more immersion that I have means more ability to forget for a while that I was born in too early an era. Yes, its all pretend, but pretending is fun. And life is to short to not have fun during the time we have.